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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
January 14, 2009
(202) 289-8928
Internet Safety Task Force Report Released
Thierer Applauds Work of Task Force, Urges Holistic Approach to Safety

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force publicly released its report of findings and recommendations for improving online child safety, especially on social networking sites. The Task Force, originally proposed as part of an agreement between MySpace and 49 state Attorneys General, presented its final report to the AGs on December 31st. Adam Thierer, Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and member of the Task Force, is releasing an extended version of his statement from the report.

"It has been a privilege to serve on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force," states Thierer.  "The work of the Task Force and the final report represent a major step forward in the discussion of online child protection.  The Task Force concluded that there was no silver-bullet technical solution to online child safety concerns.  Moreover, reliance on mandatory age verification could actually leave our children less protected online.  Instead, a multi-layered approach encompassing education, empowerment and enforcement would be a more effective method of keeping kids safe."

The extended statement is available on the PFF website.

Adam Thierer is the author of many papers and studies on online child protection, including his recent book, "Parental Controls and Online Protection: A Survey of Tools and Methods."  Thierer has also produced an extensive collection of work specifically on topics of social networking and online age verification.  Some of his writings include, "Social Networking and Age Verification: Many Hard Questions; No Easy Solutions," a discussion of the policy and technical issues of online age verification and the short paper, "Social Networking Websites & Child Protection: Toward a Rational Dialogue." Thierer was recently awarded the Family Online Safety Institute Award for Outstanding Achievement for his work on online safety.

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