WASHINGTON – March 18, 2009 – The Family Online Safety Institute today hosted the first of a series of online safety panels on Capitol Hill to educate policy makers, legislators, educators and Industry representatives on pressing online safety issues. The panels, titled 'Online on Wednesday', will be held monthly and will address a different online safety topic affecting today’s youth.
"As the president has stated, we are entering a new era of responsibility, especially when it comes to protecting children online," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "Every member of our society plays an important role in protecting kids on the Internet from government leaders to teachers to the kids themselves. We are hosting these monthly panels with the hope that Congressional offices become more aware of the issues their young constituents are facing back in their home districts in order to better educate children on how to make wise choices online."
'Online on Wednesday' panels will be hour-long discussions moderated by Stephen Balkam that address a timely and relevant aspect of online safety. Panelists will include industry representatives, social networking site representatives, virtual world creators, online safety nonprofit leaders, school administrators and teachers, and others.
'Online on Wednesday' topics will range in issues from what Congress and the Obama Administration should do, to online safety educational programs in schools, online safety and privacy and also online safety from an international perspective.
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, 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. For more information, please visit www.fosi.org.
At the Second Annual FOSI Conference, a new report on online safety education titled Making Wise Choices Online was issued, for more information on this report go to www.fosi.org.