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Press Release: Commerce's NTIA Announces Working Group to Advise on Industry Efforts to Promote a Safe Online Environment for Children

First Meeting to be Held May 22, 2009

For Immediate Release: April 28, 2009
Contact:  Bart Forbes, (202) 482-7002 or press@ntia.doc.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced the Online Safety and Technology Working Group -- a working group dedicated to keeping children safe on the Internet.  More than two dozen private sector and child and family advocacy leaders will help evaluate industry efforts to protect the privacy and safety of children and families online.

"President Obama recognizes the importance of protecting the safety and privacy of our children as they use the Internet, Acting NTIA Administrator Anna Gomez said.  "We are committed to helping foster a safe online environment for America's youth."

The Working Group was established by the "Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act."  Members will work with federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Department of Education, to evaluate industry efforts and to make recommendations to promote online safety for children through education, labeling, and parental control technology. The Working Group will also evaluate and make recommendations on industry efforts toprevent and respond to criminal activity involving children and the Internet.

The Working Group reports to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Congress. Within a year of convening its first meeting, the group will submit a report of its findings and make recommendations on how to increase online safety measures.

Private sector members of the working group include:

Ms. Parry Aftab, WiredSafety
Ms. Elizabeth Banker, Yahoo! Inc.
Mr. Christopher Bubb, AOL
Ms. Anne Collier, Net Family News, Inc./ConnectSafely.org
Mr. Bradon Cox, NetChoice Coalition
Ms. Caroline Curtin, Microsoft
Mr. Brian Cute, Afilias U.S.A.
Mr. Jeremy Geigle, Arizona Family Council
Ms. Marsali Hancock, Internet Keep Safe Coalition
Mr. Michael Kaiser, National Cyber Security Alliance
Mr. Christopher Kelly, Facebook
Mr. Brian Knapp, Loopt, Inc.
Mr. Timothy Lordan, Internet Education Foundation
Mr. Larry Magid, SafeKids.com/ConnectSafely.org
Mr. Brian Markwalter, Consumer Electronics Association
Mr. Michael McKeehan, Verizon Communications, Inc.
Dr. Samuel McQuade, III, Rochester Institute of Technology
Ms. Orit Michiel, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.
Mr. John Morris, Center for Democracy & Technology
Mr. Jonathon Nevett, Network Solutions, LLC
Mr. Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace/Fox Interactive Media
Ms. Jill Nissen, Ning, Inc.
Mr. Jay Opperman, Comcast Corporation
Mr. Kevin Rupy, United States Telecom Association
Mr. John Shehan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Mr. K. Dane Snowden, CTIA - the Wireless Association
Mr. Adam Thierer, Progress & Freedom Foundation
Ms. Patricia Vance, Entertainment Software Rating Board
Mr. Ralph Yarro, The CP80 Foundation

Hemanshu Nigam and Anne Collier will act as Co-Chairs of the Group. The Group's first meeting will be on May 22, 2009, in Washington, DC.  Further details will be posted at least two weeks prior to the May 22 meeting date at www.ntia.doc.gov.

The NTIA is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policies.  For more information about the NTIA, visit www.ntia.doc.gov.

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