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Report: Technology No Substitute for Parental and Law Enforcement Efforts



January 15, 2009 By

A report to be released by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force finds that when it comes to protecting children online, there is no technological substitute for the role of law enforcement and parents in keeping society safe, according to the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), a member of the Task Force and contributor to the report.

"The research shows while technology may be part of the solution, the key to keeping kids safe online is a multilayered approach combining technology, law enforcement, caregiver oversight and private educational efforts on Internet safety," said Bartlett Cleland, director of the IPI Center for Technology Freedom.

After an extensive review of current technological tools available, the Task Force has concluded there is no reliable solution in the form of technology mandates that will mitigate Internet safety threats.

"IPI hopes that one result of the report's findings will be to make clear that no technology can replace parental supervision and law enforcement. Training and education in promoting Internet safety should be provided to both groups to limit the incidence and severity of these tragedies," said Cleland.

IPI was named in March of 2008 to serve alongside other organizations and Internet companies to research effective Internet safety technologies for protecting children online.

"IPI has been honored to serve as a member of the Task Force to help protect this country's most precious resource --- our children. However, there is still plenty of work left to be done by law enforcement, caregivers, teachers and Internet companies, and IPI looks forward to working with the attorneys general and federal officials in addressing these challenges," said Cleland.

Cleland has spent a decade working towards empowering parents with real tools and real solutions for protecting their children through his membership on the board of the Internet Education Foundation and its Web site GetNetWise.org.


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