Sunday, February 04, 2007

Virginia Internet Safety Task Force Report

This is a very good report, chock-full of issues, approaches and a really nice appendix of web links to Internet Resources for parents, teachers, kids and otherwise.


Attorney General visits AOL for Internet Youth Safety

Right here in our area, the Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell visited AOL headquarters in Ashburn, VA, as part of his campaign to enlist Internet Service Providers and others to help with Internet Safety issues. This was a meeting of the US ISP Association, meeting at its 5th anniversary at AOL. He reported on a Youth Internet Safety Task Force formed last June (for which we requested participation, but to no avail) - the primary outcome of the Task Force was to urge more effective education programs and awareness for parents (Dads!). In addition, the Task Force recommended harsher penalties, new forensic tools, more law enforcement training and quicker responses. In our opinion, what was missing from this report, was actual new technologies and processes to implement on the part of the ISPs themselves - they appear to be left off the hook, at least as far as this Task Force was concerned. Where's the new government-funded public/private partnership among, for instance, the FBI, DHS and this ISP Association, to collectively perform some R+D?

The primary outcome is a "new foundation" accepting private dollars to promote child Internet safety, educating parents through public service advertising on radio and television, free DVDs for parents and youth, and to promote more common sense. Perhaps this "foundation" ought to closely align itself with existing online educational efforts - like ours!