To secure the internet for children, just remove all the content

Family Online Safety Institute European Conference 2010

The theme of FOSI's European conference was Putting the Pieces Together: Building a Comprehensive Online Safety Plan.  Topics included securing your online information while engaging in social networking, supervising your kids online and privacy policy topics.

Spokesmen for AT&T and Telefónica, both companies had sponsored the event, commended FOSI for their hard work and dedication.

"As one of the world's largest telecommunications companies with a presence in 25 nations, Telefónica understands the importance of promoting safe and responsible online use, especially for young people," said Julio Linares, CEO of Telefónica. "We commend FOSI's continued dedication to promoting this pressing topic at an international level."

The idea of creating a safe place online for children is something we can all agree on. But when the sponsers are all large ISPs who want to charge for the use of content, things may not always be how they seem.  Cesar Alierta (Telefónica CEO) said that their company had to start to charge google to and other search engines to be used on their networks.  AT&T has also expressed it's desire to create a revenue stream in a similar fashion.  In October of 2009, Jim Cicconi urged families and friends of the company to help them fight the FCC.

We all like the idea of children being safe, but we should also like the idea of having a free and open internet for all.  Large organizations like AT&T and Telefónica certainly can be supportive, but we have to be careful about their influence.  Most people do not want to secure the internet by charging for content that would be characterized as 'unsafe' by large ISPs.

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