FOSI and ictQATAR Collaborate to Promote Online Safety in the Middle East

January 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and ictQATAR today announced that they will convene a regional online safety conference in Doha, Qatar. The two-day event, "Promoting Online Safety and Cyber Ethics in the Middle East," will focus on a wide range of issues including social media, mobile use, and the latest research in the Gulf region.

The conference, to be held March 6 and 7, 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Center, will examine how Arab youth use digital media. This subject is particularly important given the tremendous impact social media and the Internet have had on the region. Distinguished panelists will explore the latest research on how youth in the Middle East use the Internet and the state of online safety in the region. Discussions will include mobile technology usage and the emergence of mobile learning, highlighting effective methods of cyber ethics education and safety. Panels will particularly focus on the role of ICT in education and ictQATAR will unveil their new national cyber safety strategy.

"Digital technology offers incredible educational opportunities for youth across the globe, and serves as an effective platform for the exchange of ideas," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "It is important to remain cognizant, though, that the state of online safety, cyber ethics and freedom of expression on these platforms is in drastically different stages in different parts of the world. The Middle East Conference we are hosting in partnership with ictQATAR enables us to discuss these issues and promote online safety in the appropriate regional context."

"We are pleased to host this important conference in partnership with FOSI. Cyber safety is a priority area for ictQATAR as we work to ensure all of our citizens enjoy the benefits of the Internet and technology in a safe, secure manner," said Robin Blake, Executive Director ICT & Society.

The Conference will run alongside the 2012 QITCOM Conference & Exhibition, one of the leading ICT conferences and exhibitions in the Middle East.

For more information please visit the Middle East Conference 2012 page on the FOSI Web site.

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 is a trusted, international convener, bringing together leaders in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions in child safety in a Web 2.0 world. FOSI’s members include: AOL, AT&T, BAE Systems Detica, BT Retail, Comcast, Disney, Eclipse Internet, Entertainment Software Association, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, GSM Association, Microsoft, Motion Picture Association of America, NCTA, Nominum, Optenet, RuleSpace, Sprint, Symantec, Time Warner Cable, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, TELMEX, USTelecom, The Wireless Foundation, Verizon and Yahoo!.

About ictQATAR

The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) connects people to the technologies that enrich their lives, drive economic development and inspire confidence in the future. ictQATAR is entrusted with two primary authorities: as the country's independent and fair regulator of the telecommunications market, and as the government body that nurtures innovative technologies to benefit those who live and work in Qatar. For more information, visit