Canada, April 18, 2013: Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews announced the release of the Action Plan 2010-2015 for Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy in Ottawa. The action plan demonstrates the accomplishments to date under Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy and describes the Harper Government’s ongoing efforts to make cyberspace more secure for all Canadians.
USA, April 18, 2013: Facebook and partners Mozilla, the MacArthur Foundation and the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) launched their upcoming New York Hackathon, as part of their Project:Connect programme. Judged by a panel of specialists, the Hackathon takes place in New York on May 9, 2013, with three prizes of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 for apps or content in each of three categories: social tools that promote a culture of kindness, social tools that facilitate managing privacy and security, and social tools that encourage web literacy. Winners’ tools will be featured on FOSI’s A Platform For Good. The Project:Connect partnership is specifically designed to support teens, along with their parents and teachers.
USA, April 18, 2013: Under current legislation, teens can face felony child pornography charges for “sexting” in Georgia, US, even though the age of consent is 16. Under a bill sponsored by state representative Jay Neal, children over 14 would instead be committing a misdemeanor if they willingly sent a sexually explicit photo to someone aged 18 or younger. “We don’t want to criminalize stupid teenage behavior,” said Neal. Under the bill, it still would be a felony for a teen to distribute the explicit photos to harass, intimidate or embarrass another teen, or for commercial purposes. Neal’s House Bill 156 passed the state House and Senate without a single vote in opposition and is expected to be signed by Governor Nathan Deal.
Canada, April 22, 2013: A new website, NeedHelpNow.ca has been launched in Canada to help teens regain control of their lives in the aftermath of “sexting” or cyber bullying. Supported by Laureen Harper, wife of the Canadian Prime Minister and developed by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the website was created in response to increasing numbers of reports about sexual images and videos online. “This website prepares you, teaches you things you never even knew or thought of because, remember when we were teenagers, none of this was a concern to us or our parents,” Harper told CTV’s Canada AM Monday. “You might end up being the safe adult that needs to know the answers.”
USA, April 22, 2013: In contrast to its previous Don’t Get Scroogled campaign, Microsoft today announced a lower-key online privacy awareness campaign, which includes an online safety and security resource centre, privacy quiz and TV ad proclaiming that “your privacy is [Microsoft’s] priority.” The campaign aims to help people learn more about Microsoft tools and technologies that give them have greater control over personal information. For Microsoft, of course, this is also an opportunity to highlight features like the default “Do Not Track” settings in Internet Explorer 10, its Personal Data Dashboard and Bing’s privacy settings.
USA, April 23, 2013: As part of his Detroit online safety workshop for parents, Glenn Clark of the Cyber Safety Initiative shared his top twenty acronyms that parents must know if they are to keep their children safe online:
- ADR -Address
- ASL- Age/Sex/Location
- GYPO – Get Your Pants Off
- IWSN – I want sex now
- KFY – Kiss For You
- KPC – Keeping Parents Clueless
- LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
- M OR F- Male or Female
- MOOS – Member(s) of the opposite sex
- MOSS or MOTSS – Member(s) of the same sex
- NALOPKT – Not a lot of people know that
- NIFOC -Nude in front of computer
- P911 – Parent alert!
- PAL – Parents are listening
- PAW – Parents are watching
- PIR – Parent in room
- POS – Parent over shoulder
- S OR g – Straight or Gay
- TDTM – Talk dirty to me
- WYCM – Will you call me?
USA, April 23, 2013: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane today became the 19th state attorney general to join Facebook’s online safety campaign. The campaign provides parents and teenagers with resources and tips to better manage the information they share and who they share it with on the internet and Facebook. Kane joined with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to tape a public service announcement called “What Can You Do to Control Your Information”. Kane and Sandberg used the announcement to address chief concerns about general internet safety, privacy and bullying prevention. While the campaign targets young people, the online privacy resources provided by the campaign may be utilized by all consumers. The campaign includes a privacy tip sheet and a video series in which Facebook employees will answer user questions.
UK, April 24, 2013: Nearly 3,000 children placed in care repeatedly ran away last year, with one able to go missing a total of 67 times in twelve months, figures released today reveal. The news raises fears about the vulnerability of children to child sex grooming gangs preying on the care system, such as those which operated in Rotherham and Rochdale. According to the NSPCC, which collected the data under the Freedom of Information Act, police forces in England and Wales recorded more than 28,000 individual incidents involving children who are recorded as having absconded more than once. The charity found that 7,885 children in total went missing, including those who only absconded once. Most were aged 13-17 years old; the youngest was only six.
USA, April 24, 2013: Business and ad groups are stepping up their efforts to persuade the Federal Trade Commission to push back the effective date of new children’s privacy rules, currently slated to take effect on July 1. Last week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Application Developers Alliance also asked the FTC to push back the rules’ effective date. But 19 advocacy groups are telling the FTC that the new regulations should take effect in July, as scheduled. “Delay in implementing these already overdue reforms is unwarranted, would be harmful to children, and would undermine the goals of both Congress and the FTC,” the groups argue. “The revisions to COPPA are necessary to protect children and assist parents in light of the growing use of computers, mobile phones, and tablets, the increasing amount of data that is collected through these devices, and the sophisticated methods used to target and market to consumers.” Organizations to sign the letter include the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumers Union, Public Health Advocacy Institute, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
USA, April 24, 2013: Actress, comedian, author and talk show host Aisha Tyler offered advice to gamers on how to stop sexual violence online, in an interview by website PolicyMic. In the interview, which formed part of PolicyMic’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Aisha answered questions about her first-hand experience with internet trolls, online sexual harassment, and her thoughts on modern-day feminism.