|Official Hearing Notice
Request for Comments In Preparation For Third Field Hearing
ACTION: Request for submission of comments regarding the subjects to be addressed in the August hearing of the Commission on Online Child Protection.
SUMMARY: The Commission on Child Online Protection is directed by Congress to consider methods and technologies to help reduce access by minors to material that is "harmful to minors" (as defined in the Child Online Protection Act ("COPA"). As part of this review, the Commission has scheduled three public hearings to consider these methods and technologies. On August 3-4, 2000, the COPA Commission will hold its third public hearing at the San Jose State University in San Jose, California. This third hearing will cover child-protective technologies and techniques not covered at the first two hearings; how pornography is marketed on the Internet; and the likely impact of technological advances on both the delivery of information and efforts to protect children from harmful material. Today's notice seeks comments on the subjects to be addressed at that hearing.
DATES: Comments are requested by Wednesday, July 26, 2000, to permit consideration by the Commissioners in advance of the hearing. However, the record will remain open for receipt of comments until after the last hearing is completed.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Kristin Hogarth Litterst, Dittus Communications Inc., 1000 Thomas Jefferson St., NW #311, Washington, D.C. 20007. If feasible, nineteen copies of the written comments should be submitted. Alternatively, the Commission will accept comments submitted to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. General submissions should be captioned: "Comments on Third Hearing Subjects."
The Child Online Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 231 note, ("COPA"), as amended, established a temporary, 19-person Commission to study methods to help reduce access by minors to material that is harmful to minors on the World Wide Web. The COPA Commission is directed to submit a report to Congress, no later than October 21, 2000, on the results of this study, including:
- a description of the available technologies and methods to reduce minorsŐ access to harmful materials (including filtering, rating, age verification systems, and others),
- conclusions regarding such technologies and methods,
- recommendations for legislative or administrative actions to implement the conclusions of the Commission, and
- a description of the technologies or methods that may meet the requirements for use as affirmative defenses to liability under COPA, 47 U.S.C. ¤ 231, for unlawfully permitting minors to access harmful material.
The COPA Commission will hold 3 public hearings. On June 8-9, 2000, it held a hearing in Washington, D.C. on "one-click-away" resources, age verification systems, and creation of a top-level adult domain. On July 20-21, 2000, it will hold a hearing on filtering, labeling, and rating systems, at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. On August 3-4, 2000, it will hold a hearing on child-protective technologies and techniques not covered at the first two hearings; how pornography is marketed; and the likely impact of technological advances on both the delivery of information and efforts to protect children from harmful material. This third hearing will be held at San Jose State University, in San Jose, California.
- Information solicited by this notice:
In connection with the third public hearing, the COPA Commission requests comments on all issues of fact, law, and policy regarding the protective technologies and techniques not addressed at the first two field hearings, marketing of pornography, and the likely impact of technological advances on the delivery of information and efforts to protect children from harmful material. The following are questions that may be considered at the August 3-4 hearing:
Additional protective technologies and techniques
- Identify sources providing child-protective technologies not discussed at the prior hearings, including child-safe spaces on the Internet, search engines, subscription services for kids, and Internet monitoring and time-limiting tools.
- To what extent are these technologies available and used by the public?
- Are these technologies effective to protect children from harmful material?
- What steps can or should be taken by business or government to increase use of these technologies?
- Identify non-technological techniques to protect children from harmful material on the Internet, including acceptable use policies, contracts with children, and education.
- To what extent does the public use these techniques?
- Are these techniques effective to protect children from harmful material?
- What steps can or should be taken by business or government to increase use of these techniques?
Globalization and the international dimension
- How does the international nature of the Internet impact on the efforts to protect children from potentially harmful material?
- What lessons can the Commission learn from experiences, proposed legislation or self-regulatory efforts that have been developed abroad?
- How can the U.S. combine its efforts with initiatives around the world to make the Internet a safer place for children?
- What effect will future U.S. legislation have on the development of efforts and initiatives abroad?
- From an international viewpoint, what actions would you most like to see the U.S. take in this area?
Marketing of sexually explicit material
- Identify and describe the various technologies and techniques are used to market and deliver pornographic material on the Internet, including teasers, spam, metatags, push, whisper, etc.
- How widespread is the use of these various technologies and techniques?
- To what extent do current child-protective technologies and techniques attempt to address the various means used to market and deliver sexually explicit material?
- In light of the response to question 11, what additional techniques and technologies need to be developed to improve protect children from sexually explicit material on the Internet?
- What additional steps can marketers of sexually explicit material take, to prevent delivery of that material to children?
Advances in technology and implications for protection of children
- How will anticipated advances in technology, including convergence of the Internet and broadband, wraparound, push technologies, and other changes, affect the delivery of harmful material to children?
- What additional child-protective technologies are being developed?
- What efforts can or should be taken by business and government to ensure that children are protected from "harmful to minors" material despite advances in technology?
Comments filed with the COPA Commission will be made available to the public.
- Public hearing
In an upcoming notice, the COPA Commission will make public the agenda and witness list for the August 3-4 hearing.