FOSI Co-Hosts the Middle East's First Online Safety Conference

WASHINGTON - The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) today commenced the first conference dedicated to online safety in the Middle East in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In partnership with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA), FOSI is helping to ignite an online safety initiative across the Gulf region. The conference, titled "Creating a National Consensus for Online Safety" is the first of its kind and brought together Internet experts from around the world.

The conference provides an opportunity for the Bahraini Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to launch their initiative to create a 'National Consensus for Online Safety' with other high-level stakeholders in the country. This blueprint will spur others in the region to develop their own internet safety initiatives. Representatives from governments, policymakers, head-teachers, legislators, law enforcement, Internet experts and child advocates will be at the conference and will collaborate during afternoon workshops to establish the best ways of promoting the 'National Consensus for Online Safety,' using a self-regulatory environment that encourages responsible and safe internet use, preparing Bahrain and the surrounding countries for 21st century citizenship.

"Internet safety is a global issue and co-hosting an international conference in Bahrain to promote online safety is an exciting step for FOSI," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "We hope that this event brings about a heightened awareness for the many issues that families face online and provides a backdrop for an online safety initiative to spread throughout the Middle East."

"The TRA is dedicated to protecting our citizens on the Internet. By inviting FOSI to co-host this conference, we are hoping there is a new interest among our ISPs to make Internet safety a priority and that a subsequent campaign is launched that puts our ideas in place," said Dr. Mohammed Al Amer, Chairman and acting General Director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain. "This conference is a crucial first step and we hope it sparks an online safety revolution across the Gulf."

For further details and to see the agenda, please visit conference website at http://www.tra.org.bh/onlinesafety/. For more information on FOSI, visit www.fosi.org, the FOSI YouTube Channel, Facebook and Twitter.

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safer 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 Systems, BT Retail, Comcast, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, GSM Association, Kingston Communications, Loopt, Microsoft, MySpace, NCTA, Ning, Nominum, Optenet, RuleSpace, Sprint, StreamShield, Symantec, Time Warner Cable, Telefónica, TELMEX, The Wireless Foundation, Verizon, 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. For more information, please visit www.fosi.org.