Stephen Balkam, Closing Remarks, May 27, 2010
Let’s return to the title: Putting the Pieces Together and Building a Comprehensive Online Safety Plan. What is a plan? A course of action with a goal in mind. What is our goal? A safe and secure Internet, where we have control over our information, data, and reputation.
Not just to be safe from the bad stuff, but safe to fully participate as 21st Century citizens or digital citizens. What are the pieces we need to put together?
First, government: To create a context, an atmosphere of cooperation with all stakeholders, to fund research and educational efforts. To use the “bully pulpit” to encourage greater effort; to create cross sector bodies like UKCCIS in the UK or working groups like OSTWG in the U.S.
Law enforcement: We need the tools and training to keep up with the rise in cybercrimes, greater co-operation across borders and across industry, to be able to move quickly and decisively to apprehend and prosecute.
Industry: There is an absolute need for ISPs, search engines, social networking sites and others to provide easy-to-use tools and the means to keep users safe, secure, and their data private. We need to work cooperatively with others, including competitors, to continually raise the bar.
Teachers: We must provide better technology training for teachers, librarians and youth club leaders. We must enable them to infuse their curriculum with online safety messages and practices as well as incorporating the technology kids bring to school.
Parental Outreach: It is vital to reach parents in a new way. To teach them that they must get online with their kids, set family rules, use sanctions and utilize controls.
And finally, we must listen and learn from our children. By getting involved with their online lives, adults can help to foster resiliency and encourage them to look out for each other, allowing them to grow responsibly beyond the protective grasp of their parents.
Let’s move beyond the old dichotomies of regulation vs. self regulation and fear-based messaging. We can go forward using safety as a foundation for media and digital literacy to develop a sense of online citizenship. Let’s use the tools, rules and schools to create a culture of responsibility and ensure a brilliant digital future for our kids.
Thank you to Telefonica, our hosts for this event, especially Sofia Fernandez de Mesa and Maria Jose Cantarino de Frias. And also thank you to our sponsors AT&T, Nominum, and Rulespace, and all of our speakers, moderators and panelists.
And also to the hardworking FOSI staff, particularly Dave Miles, Jen Hanley, Emma Morris and someone who could not join us today, Samantha Woolfe. And finally, thank you for coming, for your participation, and your commitment to the cause.
And now it’s my great pleasure to introduce our final speaker today, Francisco Ros, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Trade.