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Transcript PFF Online Child Safety Privacy Hill Event (7-27-2009)

Transcript PFF Online Child Safety Privacy Hill Event (7-27-2009)

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Published by Adam Thierer
This is transcript of a program that took place on July 27, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation (www.PFF.org). The audio for this event can be heard here: http://www.pff.org/events/pastevents/072709-online-child-safety-privacy-free-speech.asp. Here is the full event description:
Online child safety, privacy, and free speech remain hotly debated issues at both the federal and state level. Bills introduced in Congress to address cyberbullying concerns propose either educational initiatives or a criminalization approach. Access to objectionable content also remains a concern and a new, government-mandated task force is looking into those issues. Meanwhile, state officials, including many state attorneys general, continue to explore age verification mandates for social networking sites and some have considered building on the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to expand "parental notification" mandates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently announced an expedited review of COPPA to see if it is keeping up with new developments. The FTC is also exploring child safety in virtual worlds. New concerns about "sexting," or the sending of sexual explicit images over mobile devices, has also raised new concerns led some lawmakers to ponder penalties.
How serious are these concerns? Is legislation or regulation needed to address them? What free speech issues are at stake? Should Congress take the lead or leave it to the States to experiment with different models? These and other issues were discussed by a panel of leading experts in the field of online safety and privacy policy.
This is transcript of a program that took place on July 27, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation (www.PFF.org). The audio for this event can be heard here: http://www.pff.org/events/pastevents/072709-online-child-safety-privacy-free-speech.asp. Here is the full event description:
Online child safety, privacy, and free speech remain hotly debated issues at both the federal and state level. Bills introduced in Congress to address cyberbullying concerns propose either educational initiatives or a criminalization approach. Access to objectionable content also remains a concern and a new, government-mandated task force is looking into those issues. Meanwhile, state officials, including many state attorneys general, continue to explore age verification mandates for social networking sites and some have considered building on the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to expand "parental notification" mandates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently announced an expedited review of COPPA to see if it is keeping up with new developments. The FTC is also exploring child safety in virtual worlds. New concerns about "sexting," or the sending of sexual explicit images over mobile devices, has also raised new concerns led some lawmakers to ponder penalties.
How serious are these concerns? Is legislation or regulation needed to address them? What free speech issues are at stake? Should Congress take the lead or leave it to the States to experiment with different models? These and other issues were discussed by a panel of leading experts in the field of online safety and privacy policy.

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Published by: Adam Thierer on Aug 18, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Progress on Point 
Volume 16, Issue 20 August 2009
1444 EYE STREET, NW
SUITE 500
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20005202-289-8928
 mail@pff.org 
 www.pff.org 
Online Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech:An Overview of Challenges in Congress & the States
*
 
Moderated Panel DiscussionAdam Thierer, ModeratorParry AftabTodd HaikenJim HalpertBerin Szoka
Table of Contents
I.
 
Purpose of Discussion
Adam Thierer,
Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Digital Media Freedom,
 
The Progress &Freedom Foundation
: Welcome. My name is Adam Thierer.
I’m a Senior Fellow with
TheProgress & Freedom Foundation here in Washington.
Welcome to today’s hill event
 
on “OnlineChild Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech: An Overview of Challenges in Congress and the States.”
 
The purpose of today’s event, as that title implies, is to have a discussion about the intersection
of the ongoing debates over online child safety,
privacy, kids’ privacy, free speech, First
Amendment issues and so on, at the federal and state level.
*
This is an edited transcript of a PFF Congressional Seminar that took place on July 27, 2009 in Washington,DC. The edited transcript has not been reviewed by the program participants. Speaker biographies areavailable at the end of this transcript. The views expressed in this report are their own.
 
Page 2 Progress on Point 16.20
Over the past couple of years there’s been a flurry of legislative and regulatory activity at
various levels of government related to these issues. Spec
ifically, of course, we’ve seen efforts
to legislate on the front of adult-oriented content and access to it; online cyber-bullying, onlineharassment, hate speech, things like that; age verification requirements for social networkingsites or restrictions on social networking sites directly in publicly funded institutions; expansion
of the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA; and the issue of sexting,
which most recently has been in the news of youngsters sending sexually explicit images of themselves over mobile devices.
So, these are just some of the many issues we’re going to be discussing and debating here
today with you.
We’re going to try to answer the question of how serious these concerns are,
whether legislation or regulation is the wise way to address these concerns, what free speechand privacy corresponding values or issues are there to be balanced against, and shouldcongress take the lead in addressing these things, or should it be left to potentially the state orlocal officials to do so?
These are just some of the issues we’ll be addressing today and that our
expert panelists will be discussing.So, before I introduce our all-star panelists to you, let me just do a shameful plug for somethingthe PFF has just come out with, which is the version 4.0 of our big
Parental Controls and OnlineChild Protection
report, which is a survey of the tools and methods that are available forparents and policymakers to consider when thinking about how to best protect kids online.This is, as I said, version 4.0, the fourth major edition, although we come out with two or threemajor tweaks to each edition during the year.
I’m already hard at work on version 4.1
correcting the things I missed in 4.0.
Let me assure you that it’s a littl
e bit thicker than this. Onthe back is the table of contents for the entire document. You can find it online atwww.PFF.org/parentalcontrols. 
It’s 250 pages long, with over 70 exhibits, 700 and some
references, and plenty of additional reading material to bore you to death.
I wish I could say we didn’t print it out because we’re being environmentally conscious andwant to save the earth, but it’s more because it’s really expensive and PFF is broke
! So, if 
anybody would like to give a charitable donation to print copies, I’m all for it.
 
II.
 
Introducing the Speakers
Anyway, let me introduce the panel. In the interest of time, I usually dispense withlong-winded bios. We passed them out for you as you walked in the door. As I always say,
these are smart folks, or else I wouldn’t have invited them to be here today
!
I’m just going to
get the conversation started pretty quickly after I give just one or two lines of description abouteach of our panelists.
First, it’s my pleasure to be joined here today by Parry Aftab, who is well known to everyone in
this field and in the online safety community in general as the Executive Director of WiredSafety.org as well as several other related online safety organizations. She has been areal pioneer in the field of online child safety and is a frequent voice and face on many Capitol
 
Progress on Point 16.20 Page 3
Hill panels and debates, online safety task forces, in the press, on television, she’s everywhere,and we’re happy to have her at today’s event, so welcome Parry.
 
Parry Aftab,
Executive Director, WiredSafety.org
: So much for short introductions![laughter]
Mr. Thierer:
Jim Halpert is here with us today as well. He is a partner in the communications,e-commerce, and privacy practice at the law firm of DLA Piper. Jim was doing cyberlaw backbefore cyberlaw was cool.
He’s been doing it a long time, and he probably knows more about
the legal issues surrounding new technologies and the First Amendment and privacy than justabout anybody I know.
So it’s a real pleasure that Jim joins us here today
. Welcome, Jim.Down at the end there is Todd Haiken, who is Senior Manager of Policy for Common SenseMedia, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families. Todd brings to the table years of experience in working on these issues, bothbecause of his background on Capitol Hill and the time he spent as Manager of Policy for theNational PTA.Finally, we have my colleague, Berin Szoka, who is
a Senior Fellow at PFF and Director of PFF’s
Center for Internet Freedom. Berin was previously an associate in a communications practicegroup at Latham and Watkins, where he dealt with many different cyber law issues, beforecoming to PFF.Berin has been a real asset to us at PFF if for no other reason than I have forced him toco-author endless papers with me, a process which basically consists of me going to his officeand ranting for hours on end until he relents and writes a really good paper and lets me put myname on it as co-author. Then when something goes wrong I put all the blame on hisshoulders.
So, that’s been a great relationship for me!
 [laughter]And let me just take the opportunity to thoroughly embarrass Berin by saying it is birthdaytoday, so Happy Birthday, Berin.OK, so now in terms of organization, our conversation is going to be very freewheeling and
colloquial, and I’m going to direct it here from the podium by throwing out some questions and
some issues for discussion. There won
’t be any prepared formal remarks to open things
. It willrather be, like I said, a very freewheeling discussion.So, before we get started, one final thing
please mute your cell phones as a courtesy to ourparticipants. OK.
So let’s get rolling.
 

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