Digital Citizenship and Responsible Online Use Key Components to Kids Online Safety

September 15, 2009

Washington DC – August 16, 2009 - The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) today hosted a conference in Paris sponsored by AT&T and France Telecom with online safety experts from across the globe to discuss Global Digital Citizenship: Encouraging Safe and Responsible Online Use. The conference’s timing was critical: As universal broadband access expands, industry and Internet users alike must adapt to meet new needs, especially those of developing countries.

The conference was well attended by prominent voices from Egypt, Lebanon, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, the U.K. and the U.S. Sessions focused on the most critical aspects of keeping kids safe online: digital citizenship, media literacy, privacy, technology solutions, location-based services and wireless safety efforts.

“The average age of a European child with a cell phone is eight and a half years old, and this trend is becoming more common around the world,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. “We need to emphasize a ‘Culture of Responsibility Online’ where government, industry, law enforcement, teachers, parents and kids themselves all share the responsibility to make the Web safer.”

“FOSI has done a wonderful job of bringing together Internet leaders to discuss a pressing topic that affects many families,” said Dorothy Attwood, AT&T’s senior vice president of public policy and chief privacy officer. “At AT&T we work to ensure that our users, regardless of age, have the necessary tools to be good cybercitizens. We’re pleased that FOSI continues to push the conversation and encourage responsible use.”

“Orange is very concerned about safe and responsible online use, and we have already launched several initiatives to deploy content filtering solutions, but also to raise awareness among parents and children,” said Marc Fossier, Orange Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer. “We are very honored to host the FOSI conference in Paris, and we look forward to learning from new experiences.”

Giuseppe de Martino, senior vice president, general counsel & head of public affairs for DailyMotion, gave the keynote speech.

“As broadband is deployed into new homes, we see increased user content worldwide, from developed counties to developing nations,” said de Martino. “The people of France and around the globe must realize the importance of digital and media literacy, and they must learn to navigate the Internet safely.”

The European Conference was held in conjunction with the upcoming FOSI Annual Conference, held November 4-5, 2009 in Washington, D.C. For more information on the conference, visit

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safe for kids and their families by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods that also respect free speech. FOSI’s members include: AOL, AT&T, Blue Coat, BT Retail, Cisco, Comcast, Computing Technology Industry Association, Crisp Thinking, France Telecom/Orange, Google, GSMA, Loopt, Microsoft, Mpower Media, MySpace, Ning, Nominum, Optenet, Privo, Rulespace, Sentinel, Sprint, StreamShield, Symantec, Telefónica, Telmex, The Wireless Foundation, Verizon and Yahoo!. FOSI hosts an annual international conference to bring together Internet safety advocates from a variety of sectors, including global corporations, government, non-profits, academia and the media, to discuss the current pulse of online safety and emerging solutions that will enhance it.