AT&T Joins Forces with the Family Online Safety Institute to Protect Children from Inappropriate Content
Company Broadens Efforts to Educate Families About the Importance of Internet Safety
San Antonio, Texas, February 13, 2007
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced today its support of the new Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), which was born out of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) with an enhanced mission of protecting children from potentially harmful materials while preserving free expression on the Internet. AT&T, previously a member of the ICRA, will continue its leadership role in FOSI working with other companies and organizations on this global cooperative effort to increase the safety of children when they are online.
"The rapid evolution of the Internet and entertainment technology and the increasing availability of inappropriate content that can be accessed over multiple devices reinforce the importance of effectively educating parents and children to promote safe experiences online," said Dorothy Attwood, senior vice president of Regulatory Planning and Policy for AT&T. "AT&T applauds FOSI's leadership role in these education efforts and looks forward to continuing its active participation in this unique forum that encourages leaders in technology, public policy and government to collaborate on online safety issues."
The FOSI launch event today in Washington, D.C., features executives from technology and communications companies, academics, government officials and leaders from nongovernment organizations discussing how to best protect children online in a post-convergence world. Attwood is participating in a roundtable discussion titled, "The Chicken or the Egg — Which Comes First: Technology or Policy?" The launch event also includes remarks from FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate, Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Internet and American Life Project and other leaders in this arena.
"Having the support of a company like AT&T, which places the same importance on protecting children online as we do, is invaluable," said Stephen Balkam, CEO for FOSI. "AT&T and the other FOSI participants recognize the benefits of industry collaboration as a means to identify the best practices and tools to keep families safe online. We look forward to continuing our partnership with AT&T and are eager to see what solutions we can develop together."
FOSI's primary vision is to increase the safety, decrease the fear and expand the benefits of the digitally connected society, particularly for children, while protecting freedom of speech and expression. The institute will incorporate the work and mission of ICRA, becoming an umbrella body that promotes dialogue and discussion among leaders in government and technology on issues concerning family online safety.
Online Safety Initiatives
AT&T has a long-standing commitment to protecting children online and safeguarding their Internet experience. The company continues to implement important measures to reduce the potential threats posed by Internet predators and help establish sensible boundaries around the technology children use on a daily basis.
Last week, AT&T announced a comprehensive Web site of parental controls designed to educate and empower parents. AT&T Smart Limits™ brings together information for parental-control features for the full suite of AT&T services — wireless, wireline, high speed Internet access and video — into one online portal. The site (www.att.com/smartlimits) provides information and directions on how to use parental controls for wireless, Internet, video and home phone services from AT&T.
Additionally, AT&T announced its collaboration with a broad array of technology companies, media organizations, trade and nonprofits in launching Project Online Safety, an educational campaign focused on promoting Internet safety for children. The initiative provides parents and children with a centralized online resource (www.projectonlinesafety.com) of Internet-safety tools and educational materials and supports and encourages the broadcast of a series of related national public service announcements.
AT&T plans to continue its customer education program on how to keep children safe when using online, voice and data technology. Fact sheets regarding Internet, phone and wireless safety are available at www.att.com/safety.
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The Family Online Safety Institute is an international non-profit organization that exists to identify and promote best practices, tools and methods in the field of online safety. FOSI is supported by many of the leading Internet industry players: AOL, AT&T, British Telecom, Cisco, CompTIA, GSM Association, IMSafer, Kingston Communications, Microsoft, Mpower Media, RuleSpace, Solarsoft, StreamShield, Telmex and Verizon. For more information, please visit www.fosi.org.
AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company in the United States and around the world, with operating subsidiaries providing services under the AT&T brand. AT&T is the recognized world leader in providing IP-based communications services to businesses and the U.S. leader in providing wireless, high speed Internet access, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising through its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding video entertainment offerings to include such next-generation television services as AT&T U-verseSM TV. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at www.att.com.
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