Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FC: FCC chief calls for e-rate filtering; report say

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 04 May 1999 19:21:41 -0400
From:          Declan McCullagh <>
Subject:       FC: FCC chief calls for e-rate filtering; report says parents


Date: Tue, 04 May 1999 19:11:01 -0400
From: "Christopher D. Hunter" <>
Organization: Annenberg School for Communication, University of
Pennsylvania To: Subject: APPC Conference

Declan, (for politech readers)

The Annenberg Public Policy Center released the results of "The
Internet and the Family: The View from Parents, The View from the
Press" survey and content analysis of family attitudes towards the
Internet.  Results show that 78% of parents are "strongly" or
"somewhat" concerned that their children might give away personal
information on the Internet, and an equal percentage fear children
might view sexually explicit material.

The results are based on 1,102 interviews with parents of 8-17
year-olds with computers in the home. The survey has a margin of error
of +/- 3%. The survey was conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide. 

The report also outlines a content analysis of newspaper coverage of
the Internet which found that journalists cover net issues in a
polarizing way, focusing only on the positive nature of the net, or
solely on negative aspects.

The full report can be found at  .

But the most interesting thing to come out of today's conference was a
speech by FCC Chairman, William Kennard.  Sparked by the outcry over
Columbine, Kennard is now supporting the idea that schools and
libraries receiving e-rate funding should be required to file an
"acceptable use plan."  Kennard also announced the "FCC Parents
Information  Web Page" at ,
devoted to informing parents about media filtering options. 
Unfortunately, the site uncritically recommends several infamous net
filters which have been shown to block far more than porn and bomb
making sites.  In a way, the FCC's page gives a government seal of
approval to these products.  This site clearly needs to balanced with
a section regarding the problems with filtering software, such as
EPIC's faulty filter report.

Christopher D. Hunter
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania

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