THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW STEPS TO MAKE THE INTERNET SAFER FOR CHILDREN
Vice President Al Gore today (12/2) announced a series of steps designed to make the Internet safer for children. The announcements were made at a speech to the Internet Online Summit for Kids in Washington, DC.
"These steps promote a family friendly Internet by giving parents the tools they need to provide their children with a safe, educational and entertaining experience online," the Vice President said.
The Vice President and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley announced the release of the U.S. Department of Education's Parents Guide to the Internet, a manual designed to help parents make the best educational use of the online world. This guide suggests how parents can allow their children to tap into the wonders of the Internet while safeguarding them from its potential hazards.
"This guide is intended to help parents -- regardless of their level of technological know how -- make use of the on-line world as an important educational tool," said U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.
The Vice President also announced a new commitment for a "zero tolerance" policy for child pornography on the Internet. This commitment has been agreed to by leading Internet service provider associations representing 95 percent of home Internet users and is backed up by a new partnership between the leading ISP associations and law enforcement authorities.
In addition, the Vice President announced "CyberTip line" -- an emergency hotline where parents can report suspicious or illegal activity on the Internet related to child pornography and predation. This includes a toll-free number (1-800-843-5678) and a Website (www.missingkids.com/cybertip) to report illegal activity or get information about what to do. This effort is sponsored by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which received a grant from Department of Justice for this purpose.
The Vice President also announced a new national public awareness campaign -- Think Then Link -- that includes: an Internet Teach-In next fall, a series of PSAs, and a national mailing to parents all designed to help parents, teachers, and kids have a safe, educational and entertaining experience online.
Since there is more to making the Internet a good place for children than just protecting them from objectionable material, the Vice President announced follow-on conferences to deal with other aspects of the Internet. The Department of Commerce will convene a conference in February to examine how we can make sure that kids don't face a digital divide between information haves and have nots. Commerce will also convene other conferences in the Spring to focus on issues of quality content, privacy, marketing, and advertising for children.
Free copies of the Parents Guide to the Internet are available on the Internet at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/internet/ or by calling the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-USA-LEARN.