One New Zealand tackles online child sexual exploitation and abuse

One New Zealand has today become the first telecommunications provider in New Zealand to sign up to Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs’ 11 Voluntary principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. From today, it has also begun blocking Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse material (CSAM) at a network level to prevent active or inadvertent access to known child sexual abuse material on its platform and is working to actively combat dissemination of new content.

“Unfortunately, this type of horrific online abuse is a growing issue in our country. The message from One New Zealand is crystal clear – there is no place for this type of behaviour or material on our network and we will do everything in our power to stamp it out,” says CEO Jason Paris.

“We’re taking this extremely seriously and are working with law enforcement and the relevant government agencies to provide a safer internet environment for everyone.”

The 11 voluntary principles provide a common and consistent framework for businesses in the digital industry to better combat the proliferation of online child exploitation, including targeting online grooming and preparatory behaviour, targeting livestreaming, preventing searches from surfacing child sexual abuse material, adopting a specialised approach for children, considering victim-led mechanisms and collaborating and responding to evolving threats.

“By blocking access to CSAM material at a network level, and by signing up to the Department of Internal Affairs 11 voluntary principles, we will ensure customers will be safer with One New Zealand,” says Paris.

One New Zealand has engaged with stakeholders as it seeks to increase the safety of its network including Makes Sense, which is campaigning to create a safer digital landscape for children and young people.

“We applaud any initiatives to combat illegal sexual content online, that is easily accessible and harmful to children. With online CSAM content increasing year on year, it's essential Internet Providers take a proactive approach to make the internet safer for our kids,” say Makes Sense coordinators Jo Robertson and Holly Brooker.

One New Zealand describes the action as offering a higher level of protection that has previously been provided in New Zealand as it directly stops access to abusive content websites.

The Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse principles were developed following a 2020 agreement between New Zealand, Australian, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canadian governments in conjunction with international technology companies.

Click here for more information on the principles.

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