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For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2000

For Additional Information:
Kristin Litterst/Jennifer Moire,

Washington, D.C. (October 20, 2000) - At a press conference today on Capitol Hill, the Commission on Child Online Protection (COPA) delivered a unanimously-approved report to Congress that analyzes technologies and methods that will help reduce access by minors to sexually explicit material on the Internet, and makes recommendations for actions by government, industry and parents.

"The Commission has concluded that no single technology or method will completely protect children from harmful material online," said Don Telage, chairman of the COPA Commission. "After hearing from numerous witnesses and reading thousands of pages of information and testimony, the Commission believes it will take a combination of aggressive efforts toward public education, consumer empowerment technologies and methods, increased enforcement of existing laws, and industry action to address this concern."

According to Telage, the mission of the COPA Commission was to evaluate potential solutions to the problem of restricting childrenŐs access to inappropriate material on the Internet.

"This Commission came together and approved recommendations based on its assessment of the most effective technologies and methods for protecting children online," said Telage. "This report should serve as a blueprint for future action and is a first step in what we hope will be a continuing dialogue among Congress, the federal government, law enforcement and the Internet community."

The COPA Commission is a congressionally-appointed Commission made up of 18 representatives from the private sector, the federal government and non-profit organizations. The Commission was mandated by the Child Online Protection Act, which was approved by Congress in October 1998.

Telage said the Commission has recommended that the ISP industry voluntarily adopt "best practices" to protect minors such as offering user empowerment technologies.

"We also believe there needs to be a national conversation about next generation rating techniques and technologies," Telage said.

Telage said the Commission also has recommended that the online commercial adult industry voluntarily take steps to self-regulate.

Finally, the report recommends that the government allocate increased resources to law enforcement at the federal, state and local level for training, staffing and equipment so that existing laws against child pornography and obscenity are more effectively enforced.

By statute, the COPA Commission will cease to exist at the end of November.

A copy of the full report and recommendations can be downloaded at

The COPA Commissioners include: Stephen Balkam, Internet Content Rating Association; John Bastian, Security Software Systems; Jerry Berman, Center for Democracy & Technology; Arthur H. DeRosier, Jr., Rocky Mountain College; J. Robert Flores, National Law Center for Children and Families; Albert F. Ganier III, Education Networks of America; Michael E. Horowitz, Department of Justice; Donna Rice Hughes, Author, Kids Online/Founder,; C. Lee Peeler, Federal Trade Commission; William M. Parker,; Gregory L. Rohde, Department of Commerce/NTIA; C. James Schmidt, San Jose State University; William L. Schrader, PSINet; Larry Shapiro, Walt Disney Internet Group; Srinija Srinivasan, Yahoo! Inc.; Karen Talbert, Nortel Networks; Donald Telage, Network Solutions; and George Vradenburg III, America Online, Inc.


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