The Week in Online Safety, June 27, 2011
A weekly global view of online safety news, policy developments, research, and influence

 News
As Internet Safety Month continued in the U.S., major media outlets published broader online safety stories.  ABC News published 15 Steps to Safer Social Networking for Your Child, as well an interview with Reputation.com CEO Fertik on How to Protect Your Online Reputation. 

The ACLU continued its “Do Not Filter Me” campaign to persuade public schools to drop filtering of LGBT websites.  In an article in eSchool News, several filtering Companies respond to ACLU’s ‘Don’t Filter Me’ campaign.  The article quotes several filtering companies that offer categories to filter LGBT speech.  

In an effort to fight cyberbullying, The Star-Ledger reports a  N.J. school board to consider policy to discourage posting photos, videos of students online

Policy – Legislative, Regulatory, and Legal Developments
This morning, the Supreme Court struck down a California law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors, The Washington Post reports.  The ruling is here. A full round-up of reactions from advocates next week. 

In Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports on what appears to be a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, where a father is suing middle school girls for defamation over a cyberbullying video aimed at his daughter

The Federal Trade Commission released a new 16-page online safety booklet tilted Living Life Online: Staying Safe.  The booklet will be distributed to schools. 

Two more states enacted legislation easing penalties for minors who engage in ‘sexting.’ Florida enacted HB 75, which the Tampa Bay Tribune reports will “shield children who send risque texts from being prosecuted for big-time offenses, like child-pornography distribution. Under the law, first-time violations come with a $60 fine or eight hours of community service.”  Texas enacted SB 407, which the  AP says will “allow prosecutors to pursue less draconian criminal charges against minors." 

Research
Both the European Union and Australia published new reports on online safety.  The EU Kids Online Project released Social Networking, Age and Privacy, and in Australia the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety released Cyber-Safety and the Young, which the Courier Mail reports suggests cyber-safety education should start at kindergarten after a fifth of teen girls admit to 'sexting' 

In India, Daji released a study of Indian children that found Cyber Bullying Highest on Children in Bangalore, and in the U.S., security software vendor GFI released What are Teenagers Really Doing Online. 

Influencers
In area of online content restriction, Analyst firm GigaOM released an opinion on The downside of social networks as a public space: Censorship, while U.S. advocacy group EFF expressed concern that Australia Heads Down the Slippery Slope, Authorizes ISPs to Filter. 

In the  U.S., Judi Westberg-Warren of  Web Wise Kids posted on Being Digitally Safe during the Summer, and Anne Collier described how On social networks, ‘kids don’t want to be friends with their parents’. 

Compiled by David Burt.