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Promoting Online Safety: The Home-School Partnership


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Dot Kids Gains Momentum

At a recent hearing in the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, project leaders on the “kids.us” Internet domain delivered a status report on the domain following its launch last September. The domain, which Subcommittee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) likens to “the children’s section of the library,” is intended as a child-friendly space with pre-approved, filtered content that is appropriate for minors. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), along with NeuStar, Inc., has been tasked with establishing this child-friendly space, filtering Internet content from registered sites, publicizing the domain, and educating potential user groups such as parents and schools.

NTIA Acting Chief Michael Gallagher reported that the domain is up and running, and is currently hosting thirteen live sites, including sites sponsored by Disney, PBS, Crayola, and the Smithsonian. The NTIA has faced some obstacles, however, in advertising the site and getting organizations to register their domains. Since the September launch, 1,700 domain names have been registered, but the NTIA is looking for ways to dramatically increase that number over the next few months.

“Kids.us” operates on a voluntary system in which interested content providers submit their material for review by registering their site under the “kids.us” domain using one of 12 accredited registrars. NeuStar, Inc., which is in charge of launching the domain, activates the site once the material is screened for inappropriate web content, and Cyveillance, which is in charge of content management, continues to review material on a regular basis to ensure safety for minors. Following activation, registrants that post inappropriate content on their “kids.us” site face potential zone removal if they do not remove harmful content immediately.

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