Wireless Online Safety Conference Says Education is Key in Keeping Kids Safe in a Mobile Environment

April 21, 2009

Washington DC. – April 22, 2009 – Child safety experts, policymakers, leaders in the nonprofit sector and the wireless industry joined together today at the Wireless Online Safety Conference, co-hosted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and The Wireless Foundation, to discuss the challenges kids face in a mobile online environment and the vital role education plays in keeping them safe. The conference took place at Wilmer Hale in Washington, D.C.

Throughout the day, expert panelists discussed topics ranging from tools and strategies parents can use to talk to their kids to wireless privacy and legal issues. Keynote remarks were given by Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler and The Wireless Foundation President and CTIA-The Wireless Association President and CEO Steve Largent.

“The Federal Trade Commission is dedicated to protecting children online, on their home computers and on their wireless devices,” said Commissioner Harbour. “We thank FOSI and The Wireless Foundation for their leadership to put this conference together to talk about the risks our children are taking online.”

“FOSI believes in creating a culture of responsibility where kids understand the consequences of what they post and how they communicate on the web,” said FOSI CEO Stephen Balkam. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity with The Wireless Foundation to discuss the various challenges we are seeing and determine how we can best teach kids to make wise choices online.”

"Almost every day brings another technology that connects us to the Internet and to each other faster and easier than ever before," said Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. "As a member of the law enforcement community, we are focused on public safety and making sure that kids and their parents have the tools they need to be safe on the Internet."

“Wireless technology is an invaluable tool for millions of Americans to stay connected to friends and family,” said Steve Largent, President of The Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. “As more and more of our nation’s youth are using wireless devices, it’s important to make the mobile environment as safe as possible. I’m pleased that the wireless industry has voluntarily provided parents with the tools and information needed to encourage responsible and safe use of cell phones.”

To download materials to help parents talk with their kids about online safety, please visit: www.wirelessfoundation.com/GetWise.

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, France Telecom/Orange, Google, GSMA, Loopt, Microsoft, Motion Picture Association of America, Mpower Media, MySpace, Ning, Nominum, 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.

About The Wireless Foundation

Founded by the members of CTIA–The Wireless Association in 1991, The Wireless Foundation offers programs that harness the power of wireless technology to benefit American communities. The Foundation’s mission includes making parents aware of the tools available from their wireless carriers that can help keep their children’s mobile experience safe, as well as helping kids understand the importance of responsible wireless use. The Get Wise About Wireless curriculum has been distributed to over 6 million schoolchildren in the United States since 2005 and is available without charge on the Foundation’s website at www.wirelessfoundation.org.