WASHINGTON - The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) applauds today's final report of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG) for recognizing that there is no single solution to keeping kids safe online and finding that all stakeholders including parents, industry, educators, and government must work to improve online safety.
FOSI also welcomes OSTWG's inclusion of information about the Global Resource and Information Directory (GRID), an effort by FOSI to bring together information, initiatives and best practices in the field of online safety from every country into one website. The report recommends the creation of a web-based clearinghouse to make online safety research available and after a public launch on July 26th, GRID will act as a similar resource.
"I'm pleased to see that OSTWG emphasizes the vital role that education can play to help reduce online risks and understands that for many kids, the real world and virtual world are not separate spaces," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "This report acknowledges the dynamic nature of the Internet and suggests practical solutions to help the government, schools, and families deal with the challenges that children face online."
"Online risks have now become fully meshed with real-world risks," said OSTWG co-chair and FOSI Board Member Hemanshu Nigam. "Each member of society that helps raise a child must combine online and physical world safety lessons, one can no longer occur without the other."
One of the recommendations of this report is to improve inter-agency coordination and public awareness-raising at the federal level. FOSI strongly believes that this is needed and has called for the Federal Government to create an inter-agency council to develop and implement an online safety strategy at the national level since 2008.
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, Entertainment Software Association, 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.