Monday, July 13, 2009 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Upcoming July 27th Event on Online Safety, Privacy & Free Speech

Just a heads up for those of you in the DC-area... On Monday, July 27th, PFF will be hosting a Hill event on "Online Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech: An Overview of Challenges in Congress & the States." I will be moderating the discussion and we will be joined by Parry Aftab, Executive Director of, Jim Halpert a Partner with the law firm of DLA Piper, and my colleague Berin Szoka also of PFF.

The event will focus on the intersection of online child safety, privacy, and free speech issues at both the federal and state level. Bills introduced in Congress to address cyberbullying concerns propose either educational initiatives or a criminalization approach. Access to objectionable content also remains a concern and a new, government-mandated task force is looking into those issues. Meanwhile, state officials, including many state attorneys general, continue to explore age verification mandates for social networking sites and some have considered building on the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to expand "parental notification" mandates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently announced an expedited review of COPPA to see if it is keeping up with new developments. The FTC is also exploring child safety in virtual worlds. New concerns about "sexting," or the sending of sexual explicit images over mobile devices, has also raised new concerns led some lawmakers to ponder penalties.

How serious are these concerns? Is legislation or regulation needed to address them? What free speech issues are at stake? Should Congress take the lead or leave it to the States to experiment with different models? These and other issues will be discussed by the panelists at our July 27th event.

The logistical details are below and you RSVP here.


"Online Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech: An Overview of Challenges in Congress & the States"
July 27, 2009
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Room SVC-208
Capitol Visitor Center
1st Street and East Capitol Street, NE (entrance across from Supreme Court)

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:31 AM | Events , Free Speech , Online Safety & Parental Controls , Privacy