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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
July 8, 2009
(202) 289-8928
Internet Safety Recommendations Released
PointSmart.ClickSafe Task Force Urges Holistic Approach to Safety

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, the PointSmart.ClickSafe. Blue Ribbon Working Group released its report, PointSmart.ClickSafe.: Task Force Recommendations for Best Practices for Online Safety and Literacy, which outlines suggested steps the Internet industry should adopt to help keep children safe online. The working group was assembled through a joint partnership of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), iKeepSafe, and Common Sense Media. 

Adam Thierer, Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and member of the task force had the following comments regarding the release of the report:

It was a great honor to serve on this working group alongside so many respected child safety experts and advocates.  The working group has produced a stellar report, finding that there is no single ‘silver-bullet' solution to child safety concerns. Instead, we need a holistic approach based on education, empowerment, and sensible industry self-regulation. The best practices outlined in this report will set a new benchmark for online operators going forward to ensure that they have policies in place to keep kids and parents educated and informed about how to stay safe online.

The blue ribbon working group's full report is available on the Point Smart.Click Safe. website.

Thierer also released today "Five Online Safety Task Forces Agree: Education, Empowerment & Self-Regulation Are the Answer," a summary of the findings of five groups convened over the past decade to study child safety.  Thierer identifies common themes in the recommendations of all five groups, including that there is no single technological "silver bullet" to child safety concerns and instead that a "layered approach" provides the best solution to child safety concerns.  In addition, the groups advised policymakers to avoid technical mandates, provide additional resources for education, and ensure law enforcement agencies have adequate resources to police and punish crimes against children.  The paper 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 and the short paper "Saving Online Free Speech: A Voluntary Code of Conduct for Internet Operators." Thierer is also a member of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Online Safety and Technology Working Group and was a member of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, a task force assembled in 2008 by state Attorneys General to study online child safety and potential technological responses.  In 2008, he received the Family Online Safety Institute's "Award for Outstanding Achievement."

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