Child Protection&Online Safety

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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25 December 2007

Thousands sought in Germany over child porn BBC

German prosecutors are investigating 12,000 suspected members of a child sex abuse network on the internet - the biggest in the country's history.

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22 December 2007

New laws set to curb minors online in Australia The Australian

New restrictions on online chatrooms, websites and mobile phone content will be introduced within a month to stop children viewing unsuitable material. From January 20 new laws will be in effect, imposing tougher rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones. It is the first time content service providers will have to check that people accessing MA15-plus content are aged over 15 years and those accessing R18-plus and X18-plus content are over 18. Also includes a link to the ACMA news release.

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18 December 2007

au: Chilling' admission on pedophile notes News.com.au

A man accused of being part of a nationwide child pornography ring has admitted a "chilling" step-by-step guide on how to groom children for sex was in his handwriting, a court heard yesterday.

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Spanish police arrest 63 in Net child porn swoop Reuters

Spanish police said on Sunday they had arrested 63 people across the country in five investigations into child pornography being posted, viewed and paid for on the Internet. It is the second huge swoop this year after police arrested 66 people on charges of child pornography in July.

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Australian online porn ring traced to country NSW The Australian

Detectives have smashed a nationwide child pornography ring that allegedly included a former police officer and a trainee teacher. In a series of co-ordinated raids at homes across NSW and Victoria on Saturday night, police seized thousands of photographs of young children and arrested six men.

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16 December 2007

US Crackdown on Child Pornography Washington Post

Lewd photographs of children were disappearing from adult bookstores. Child porn magazines in plain brown envelopes were no longer reaching customers through the mail. It was the early 1990s, and experts believed that federal law enforcement efforts were ending child pornography.

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13 December 2007

Food makers in Europe volunteer to cut ads directed at children International Herald Tribune

Leading companies in the European food and beverage industry said Tuesday that they would voluntarily change their policies on advertising for children by the end of next year, setting standards on nutritional content to encourage more healthful lifestyles. ... They agreed not to advertise food and beverages on television programs, Web sites or in print media where children under age 12 could be considered a target audience, except for products that met specific nutrition criteria.

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12 December 2007

TV and net face crackdown on advertising to children in UK Independent on Sunday

Television and the internet face the threat of restrictions as the Government moves to protect youngsters from the "commercialisation" and sexualisation of childhood.

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au: IIA ready for new censor battle The Australian

Australia's peak internet industry group will this week launch its bid to force Labor to rethink its internet filtering policy. Internet Industry Association's Peter Coroneos said the organisation would meet Labor's new Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy this week to brief the federal Government on mandatory ISP-level internet filtering.

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09 December 2007

us: New Bill Demands ISPs Report Online Child Exploitation Internet News

The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed a new bill putting ISPs on notice they face big penalties for not reporting child pornography and other illegal exploitation of children online.

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01 December 2007

Studies highlight difficulties in defining, dealing with cyberbullying ars technica

Bullying in one form or another has analogs in other primates, so it has probably been an issue for as long as there have been humans. Only recently have authorities recognized that it presents both a discipline problem in schools and public health issue in terms of childhood development. As more of childhood takes place online, reports have suggested that bullying has followed it there, leading to problems at schools and attempts to address it via legislation. A recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health explores the topic in depth, with results that suggest both that the extent of the problem may depend on how cyberbullying is defined and that the term may actually encompass more than one phenomenon.

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29 November 2007

Spanish woman seeking baby info breaks child porn ring ZDNet

A woman who stumbled on evidence of child abuse while looking for information about babies on the Internet helped Spanish police break a child pornography ring. Police made 13 arrests in different parts of Spain after detecting thousands of images of child pornography following the woman's tip-off, the interior ministry said Tuesday.

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