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New Service Provider For Digital Child Exploitation Filter

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, has announced Allot Limited as the new service provider for the Digital Child Exploitation Filter (DCEF) from 1 August 2020.

The filter operates as a service provided to most New Zealand Internet Service Providers on a voluntary basis. The Filter blocks access to websites that contain illegal child sexual exploitation content[1]. The filter has been in place since 2010.

“We are committed to protecting children from online sexual exploitation. The Digital Child Exploitation Filter helps by reducing access to this material,” says Jared Mullen, Director Digital Safety at the Department of Internal Affairs.

On 28 February 2020 the existing provider, NetClean, advised they were terminating the contract early, despite an existing contract until July 2023. The Department negotiated to extend this deadline from 30 April to 31 July 2020, to allow time to secure a replacement provider.

The Department carried out a rapid but robust procurement process to secure and implement a replacement service after the existing provider.

“We made sure there was a seamless provision of the new filter service; that the new filter was ready and operating before the expiry date of the old filter,” says Mullen.

The Department identifies websites that host illegal child sexual exploitation content and adds them to the DCEF’s filter list. An Independent Reference Group has oversight of the Department’s work.

A representative of the DCEF Independent Reference Group was included on the procurement panel to help us ensure the new service was fit-for-purpose.

“Allot has over 20 years of experience in network intelligence and security solutions. They have a local presence in New Zealand and have worked hard to help us meet the deadline,” says Mullen.

“In addition to securing a new provider, we have upgraded the infrastructure to provide more stability to the filter platform.”

“We’ll continue to invest in the Digital Child Exploitation Filter to further improve the platform and to ensure that it remains stable and continues to reduce harm from this illegal content.”

Oren Coral, Allot Vice President of Sales Asia-Pacific said, “Allot is privileged to be a part of the DCEF program and in meeting the requirements of the Department of Internal Affairs to keep New Zealanders safe online.”

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