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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
March 25, 2008
(202) 289-8928
PFF Releases New Edition of
Parental Controls & Online Child Protection Report

Version 3.0 Includes Legislative Appendix, Expanded Info on Internet & Social Networking

WASHINGTON D.C. - Debates continue to rage about how to shield kids from the potential negative effects of various types of media or communications technologies. Is government intervention and regulation really needed to quell concerns, or do parents have access to constructive tools to control what their child sees and hears? To assist policymakers and parents, The Progress & Freedom Foundation is releasing an updated edition of Adam Thierer's Special Report, "Parental Controls and Online Child Protection: A Survey of Tools & Methods." The new version, Version 3.0, includes two new appendixes and updates to each section to reflect new parental control tools and programs developed in the last nine months.

The updated report is especially timely as it comes on the heels of the recently-announced Internet Safety Technical Task Force, which is being chaired by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Thierer is a member of the Task Force, which "will evaluate a broad range of existing and state-of-the-art online safety technologies, including a review of identity authentication tools to help sites enforce minimum age requirements."

Those issues and much more are covered in the latest edition of the PFF special report. Thierer, a PFF Senior Fellow and Director of PFF's Center for Digital Media Freedom, explores the market for parental control tools, rating schemes, education efforts, and initiatives aimed at promoting online child safety. He argues that the parental controls and content management tools cataloged in his special report represent a better, less restrictive alternative to government regulation. "There has never been a time in our nation's history when parents have had more tools and methods at their disposal to help them decide what constitutes acceptable media content in their homes and in the lives of their children," Thierer concludes.

Version 3.0 of the special report, now over 200 pages, contains over fifty exhibits and numerous updates in all five sections of the book. Major updates have been made to the Internet, social networking, and mobile media sections, reflecting the growing importance of those sectors and issues. A greatly expanded section on video empowerment technologies has also been included. Finally, two appendices have also been added: a comprehensive legislative index cataloging over thirty bills introduced in Congress on these issues, and a glossary of 35 relevant terms and cases.

"Parental Controls and Online Child Protection: A Survey of Tools & Methods, Version 3.0," is available on the PFF website, as are the previous editions. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting the Foundation at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation