FOSI CEO Issues Recommendations for Next Administration

WASHINGTON D.C. - December 11, 2008 - Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) CEO Stephen Balkam released a new online safety education report titled, Making Wise Choices Online, at the Second Annual Online Safety Conference held at the Newseum Knight Conference Center in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

The report gives a comprehensive look at the online safety efforts of government, industry and nonprofits in the U.S. and issues four new recommendations for the new Administration.

  • • To hold an annual White House Online Safety Summit
  • • To create a United States Council for Internet Safety
  • • To create an Online Safety Program to fund a range of research, educational and awareness-raising projects
  • • To create the post of a National Safety Officer within the new office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the United States

“We need a paradigm shift in what we do, say and teach about online safety,” said Stephen Balkam. “We look to the next Administration to provide leadership and support at the highest levels to help make the online world a safer place for children.”Brent Olson, the current FOSI Chair and Assistant Vice President - Regulatory Policy for AT&T opened the conference with welcoming remarks.

“We are thrilled with the remarkable turnout we’ve had from all stakeholders in the online safety community,” said Olson. “FOSI holds this conference each year to bring together the best and the brightest leaders in online safety to discuss the latest concepts and ideas for ensuring a safer Internet for families. The discussions and panels held today will help us turn these concepts and ideas into best practices and policies for online safety education initiatives. We look forward to sharing them with the new administration and the new Congress in the coming year.

Hemanshu Nigam, the MySpace Chief Security Officer also spoke at the conference with a keynote speech.

“The Family Online Safety Institute has been an unprecedented leader dedicated to working with those in the industry, government and nonprofit sectors to get at the heart of the online safety issues,” said Nigam. “FOSI’s call to action is opportune with new leadership taking charge of the online safety for our nation’s children in a Web 2.0 world.”

In addition to releasing the new Making Wise Choices Online report, FOSI will give out the first FOSI Awards for Outstanding Achievement to individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to advancing the goal of a safer Internet.

For more information on the conference, the speakers, Making Wise Choices Online or the award recipients, visit www.fosi.org.

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, Privo, Rulespace, Sentinel, Symantec, Telefónica, Telmex, The Wireless Foundation, and Verizon. 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. For more information, please visit www.fosi.org.