EU Lawmakers Approve Online Child Safety Program

    October 24, 2008

The vote’s been tallied, and the European Union’s new Safer Internet program turned out to be roughly as controversial as claiming that water’s wet.  While almost three percent of members abstained, a full 96 percent of the European Parliament agreed to spend 55 million to protect children online.

The EU will coordinate actions to empower children and protect them
Viviane Reding,
EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media

The 55 million (or $70.5 million) would be doled out between 2009 and 2013.  Part of it would go towards awareness initiatives and research.  Labels proclaiming some sites safe for children would also be established, and contact points and hotlines for reporting illegal and objectionable content are in the works.

Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, explained these steps by stating, "Today’s children and teenagers face new challenges when they use Web 2.0 services."

She then continued, "The EU will coordinate actions to empower children and protect them. . . .  I am convinced that the new Safer Internet programme will play an important role in our understanding of the challenges regarding online risks for young people and children, and will provide concrete help to many young internet users and their parents."

The program will next go in front of the Council of the European Union, but no hang-ups are expected to occur there.  It should be passed sometime before the end of the year.