Tata Communications becomes the first Indian internet service provider to join the Internet Watch Foundation

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Mumbai: Tata Communications is the first internet service provider (ISP) in India to become a Member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

With this collaboration, Tata Communications is leading the way towards a safer internet by protecting citizens from online child sexual abuse material.

As a Member of IWF, Tata Communications will now be using the URL List service, a list of webpages that contain child sexual abuse imagery. By using the URL List and removing its customers’ ability to access these webpages, Tata Communications will provide its customers with the most up-to-date way to protect their networks from child sexual abuse imagery online.

Today, over 28 percent of the world’s internet routes travel over Tata Communications’ network, making it the fifth largest global internet backbone service provider. With such a significant global reach and strong pan-India presence, this membership will go a long way in supporting the cause of creating a safe internet.

Manish Sansi, General Counsel – India and Company Secretary, Tata Communications, said: “In line with our strong corporate values and ethos of integrity, we have adopted and implemented the IWF resources to block child sexual abuse material from the internet. As well as being the responsible thing to do, we are most proud to be the first ISP in India to join hands with the IWF and reinstate our commitment to protecting our customers from malicious online content.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, said: “The promotion of a secure internet for both the general public and companies to use is paramount to Tata Communications, as it is to us. This partnership puts us all one step closer to achieving a safer internet, by disrupting the hosting and distribution of child sexual abuse material online. I’m looking forward to working with their team.

“We are now calling on other ISPs in India to do the responsible thing as the gatekeepers of the country’s internet and join IWF as a Member. All membership fees go directly towards funding the vital work of removing child sexual abuse content from the internet. Online child sexual abuse images are a global problem – the internet does not know borders. That’s why it’s important that service providers in every country join IWF to defeat this global problem.

“What we provide is more than just a service – it’s a membership of a global network all dedicated to making the internet a safer place. Therefore, it’s not something that can be done alone by any company, and we are exclusively the organisation to help them. We can’t thank Tata Communications enough for leading the way.”

On 18 April 2017, the Indian government issued an order in relation to the ‘measures to curb online child sexual abuse material’. They placed a requirement on all ISPs to adopt and implement IWF’s URL List to prevent the distribution and transmission of online child sexual abuse material into India. The policy came into force on 31 July 2017.

The order came after India implemented its first IWF portal in India in September 2016, so the country’s people are able to report online child sexual abuse material straight to the IWF Hotline in the UK.

Any company, worldwide, wishing to join the IWF as a Member can go to www.iwf.org.uk/become-a-member to sign up. New sign-ups will be joining the likes of Google, Microsoft, Sky, Facebook and Vodafone as Members.