Child Protection&Online Safety

19 March 2008

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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16 March 2008

Ban junk food advertising on internet, say UK campaigners The Guardian

Food and drink companies should be banned from marketing unhealthy snacks and drinks to young children via new media such as social networking sites and text messaging, a coalition of international consumer groups and health bodies recommends today.

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12 March 2008

Japan to outlaw possession of child pornography The Guardian

Japan is to bow to international pressure and ban the possession of child pornography, although the new law is expected to anger child welfare groups by exempting manga comics and animated films.

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11 March 2008

'Swirl' abuse suspect trial due BBC

A suspected paedophile known as Mr Swirl because of the way he allegedly disguised his face in photographs is set to go on trial in Thailand. Christopher Neil, a Canadian, denies charges of abusing two underage boys.

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Operation Koala: face haunts pedophile-busters The Australian

It's a face that haunts police around the world. A young girl, probably now nine, who has grown up from infancy on film - thousands of pictures and movies shot of her being molested by an abuser who then shared the images with a network of like-minded internet pedophiles. As a two-year Queensland-led investigation culminated last weekend with the arrest of 22 people in eight countries, the relief and celebration at busting one of the world's longest-running and most sophisticated internet pedophile rings was muted by the knowledge that the girl was still out of reach of protection.

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Australian study targets 'toxic' cyber-bullying The Australian

The West Australian Government will spend $400,000 on a world-first five-year study into cyber-bullying, amid growing concern about the damaging effect on children being targeted by abusive text messages, emails and degrading digital photos.

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07 March 2008

International Child Porn Ring Uncovered The Guardian

Detectives in three continents believe they have broken one of the most sophisticated paedophile rings ever. Eight British children between six and 14 years old have been rescued and arrests made in the UK, Australia and the US. The ring used advanced techniques to avoid detection and one member boasted of belonging to the "greatest group of paedos ever to gather in one place".

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Australian govt sticks to guns on internet porn filters ABC

Porn on the net is a massive industry, with a very high request rate across all search engines. But while it may be legal for adults, children are accessing porn on the net and in large measures, and very little is being done to stop it.

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02 March 2008

EU extends net safety programme for children BBC

The European Commission is spending 55m euros (£42m) on making the net a safer place for children. The money will be spent over four years on educational efforts and ways to protect children from inappropriate content and cyber bullying. It will also research the ways that children use the net on computers and other devices such as mobile phones.

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01 March 2008

How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children? New York Times

A few years ago, a parenting magazine asked me to write an article about the dangers that children face when they go online. As it turns out, I was the wrong author for the article they had in mind. The editor was deeply disappointed by my initial draft. Its chief message was this: "Sure, there are dangers. But they're hugely overhyped by the media. The tales of pedophiles luring children out of their homes are like plane crashes: they happen extremely rarely, but when they do, they make headlines everywhere. The Internet is just another facet of socialization for the new generation; as always, common sense and a level head are the best safeguards."

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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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