Child Protection&Online Safety

27 February 2008

au: Education 'as effective as internet filtering' News.com.au

Better education about online safety would be just as effective as internet filtering to prevent children from accessing inappropriate material on the web, according to a report by Australia's communications watchdog.

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Japan cracks down on child porn Sydney Morning Herald

Japan's ruling party plans to ban possession of child pornography after pressure from Washington to fall in with industrialised countries that have stepped up the fight against sexual exploitation of children.

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us: Computer-Generated Child Porn Hinders Law Enforcement E-Commerce Times

Each week, about 100,000 sexually explicit images of children arrive on CDs or portable disk drives at Michelle Collins' office. They are sent by police and prosecutors who hope Collins and her 11 analysts at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can verify that the graphic pictures are real, not computer-generated. When they can't, officials sometimes turn to outside experts.

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Australian net filter at test phase Australian IT

The federal Government's plan to have internet service providers filter pornography and other internet content deemed inappropriate for children is going full-steam ahead.

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21 February 2008

Study rejects Internet sex predator stereotype ZDNet

The typical online sexual predator is not someone posing as a teen to lure unsuspecting victims into face-to-face meetings that result in violent rapes, U.S. researchers said Monday.

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19 February 2008

UK online content providers sign up to code of conduct to protect children The Guardian

Media companies including the BBC, Channel 4, Google, Yahoo and social-networking site Bebo have signed up to a new code of conduct, to be announced today, designed to give parents more information about the suitability for children of audiovisual content available on the internet and mobile phones.

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15 February 2008

Safer Internet Day [12 Feb 08]: Online risks to children on the increase across Europe, evidence shows Public Technology

Evidence that more children across Europe are being exposed to risks online and are increasingly distressed by them was revealed this week by EU Kids Online to mark Safer Internet Day.

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10 February 2008

uk: Ministers plan clampdown on 'unsuitable' video games The Guardian

A legally enforceable cinema-style classification system is to be introduced for video games in an effort to keep children from playing damaging games unsuitable for their age, the Guardian has learned. Under the proposals, it would be illegal for shops to sell classified games to a child below the recommended age. ... Ministers are also expected to advise parents to keep computers and games consoles away from children's bedrooms as much as possible, and ask them to play games in living rooms or kitchens facing outward so carers can see what is being played.

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08 February 2008

Australia Net Censorship Plan Under Fire Business Week

On paper, the policy looked like a sound one. Australia's newly elected Labor Party government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would protect children online by preventing access to Web sites containing images of child pornography. But the decision to press ahead with a policy of mandatory filtering of Web content by Internet service providers has brought howls of derision from the Australian Internet industry and free speech advocates, who have claimed it will turn Australia into a nanny state, debase the democratic principles on which the nation was founded, and impair the speed and utility of the Internet itself.

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07 February 2008

Chat rooms, IM riskier than social networking sites for kids ComputerWorld

Parents who are concerned about their children being exposed to sexual predators and harassment on the Internet need to stop thinking of social networking sites, such as MySpace.com and Facebook, as the biggest threats.

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26 January 2008

uk: Classmates seek help as another girl in Bridgend tries to commit suicide The Times

A dozen pupils at a Bridgend secondary school have asked for counselling after the attempted suicide of a 15-year-old girl. Leah Phillips was within minutes of becoming the most recent suicide in the Welsh town when she tried to hang herself on Friday night. She was found and given the kiss of life by her stepfather and a neighbour. At least seven young people, all known to each other, have killed themselves in the past year in a series of apparent copycat suicides.

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20 January 2008

uk: 'Parents don’t understand risks posed by internet' The Times

Children cannot be protected from risk but parents must be educated in the dangers posed by the internet, the Government's parenting guru has said. Also includes a link to "Soaring number of teachers say they are 'cyberbully' victims", also from The Times.

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16 January 2008

MySpace's Shaky Safety Balance Forbes

MySpace wants to be the model citizen of the social networking world. And that role, it turns out, may be trickier than it seems. Monday, News Corp.'s social networking site teamed up with attorneys general from 49 states to announce a set of industry guidelines for keeping kids safe on social networking sites. The Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking outlined changes on MySpace to protect children from sexual predators and obscene content, including clearer methods of reporting abusive content and safer default privacy settings for users below the age of 18.

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MySpace Agrees to Lead Fight to Stop Sex Predators New York Times

MySpace, the country's largest social-networking Web site, has agreed with attorneys general of 49 states to take new steps to protect children from sexual predators on its site. It also agreed to lead a nationwide effort to develop technology to verify the ages and identities of Internet users, officials announced Monday.

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15 January 2008

Great wall of Australia: Industry rejects sanitised Internet; Child Wise wants govt rethink ComputerWorld

ISPs, IT managers and the Electronic Frontiers Australia have slammed the federal government's national content filtering scheme and dubbed it a technically impossible token gesture. While Child Wise CEO Bernadette McMenamin has clarified her position on the Federal government's plan to implement mandatory Internet filtering at the ISP level, stating that all she wants blocked are child pornography Web sites, and nothing else.

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11 January 2008

us: L.A. grand jury issues subpoenas in Web suicide case Los Angeles Times

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has begun issuing subpoenas in the case of a Missouri teenager who hanged herself after being rejected by the person she thought was a 16-year-old boy she met on MySpace, sources told The Times.

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09 January 2008

au: Conroy wades into child porn net flood Australian IT

Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy faces an uphill struggle in his plans to increase internet censorship by boosting the official blacklist from a puny 1000 web pages to many millions of banned websites.

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uk: One Click from Danger BBC

During the BBC's Panorama's investigation into the vulnerability of youngsters online, we found a number of cases in which teenagers and younger children had been approached by predators on social networking sites.

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05 January 2008

Who's afraid of the net? - censorship in Australia The Age

It's an idea that just won't die: if the government makes your internet provider run special software, all the bad things (and people) of cyberspace won't bother you. This is the view being touted by the new Minister for Information Technology, Senator Stephen Conroy, who is proposing that internet service providers should be required to filter Australians' internet connections against a list maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

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04 January 2008

au: Rudd online porn-free plan questioned Australian IT

A Rudd Government plan to censor internet pornography and violence could undermine another of its election promises - to speed up our internet access. Also includes links to "Rudd porn filter fails: experts" and an opinion piece "Labor online strategy slammed" - all from Australian IT.

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Swoop on Austria child porn rings BBC

Police in Austria say they have questioned 107 people in an operation against internet child sex abuse. A man from Vienna has been detained on suspicion of abusing his stepdaughter.

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01 January 2008

au: Minister warned on porn filters Sydney Morning Herald

Labor's plan to introduce mandatory internet filters will send Australia down a censorship path similar to China's and Singapore's, but will not stop computer-savvy children looking at banned sites, according to the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.

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Onus on Australian internet users to "unfilter" websites Australian IT

Australians will be forced to contact their internet service provider to avoid having their access to the web restricted. The restrictions are planned by the Federal Government to give greater protection to children from online pornography and "violent" websites.

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30 December 2007

us: New Jersey law restricts some sex offenders from surfing the Web Sydney Morning Herald

Convicted sex offenders who used the Internet to help them commit their crimes will be banned from using the Internet under a measure signed into law Thursday. The bill applies to people who, for example, lured a potential victim through e-mail or other electronic messages. It also affects paroled sex offenders under lifetime supervision, but exempts computer work done as part of a job or search for employment.

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29 December 2007

Germany's biggest child porn investigation under threat DW-World.de

There are fears that an investigation into Germany's biggest-ever child pornography investigation could be in jeopardy after details of the probe were made public.

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