AG Coakley to address Internet safety forum

Drew Smith Sep. 23, 2008, 1:32pm

Martha Coakley (D)

BOSTON (Legal Newsline)-- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will give opening remarks at the Internet Safety Technical Task Force meeting Wednesday at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

In her remarks, Coakley will focus on the shortcoming of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The task force, which was formed as the result of an agreement between MySpace and 49 states, will be meeting Sept. 23-24. The meeting will include over a dozen presentations of youth online safety solutions, based on technologies including age verification, biometrics and filtering.

Facebook and MySpace have a history of working with attorneys general. Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reached an agreement to overhaul its safeguards in order to protect the company's 47 million users, particularly children and adolescents.

The agreement required Facebook to respond to user complaints about nudity, pornography, harassment or unwelcome contact within 24 hours and allow an Independent Safety and Security Examiner to report on its compliance for two years.

MySpace took similar action in May 2007 when it agreed to hand over information on its members who are convicted sex offenders. Under that agreement, the company supplied information on some 5,000 registered sex offenders to the Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Coakley, in addition to her involvement with the Internet Task Force, has also created a Cyber Crime Division within the office's Criminal Bureau.

Last Fall, she unveiled "The Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Cyber Crime," designed to help the Commonwealth develop a statewide capacity to prevent, investigate and prosecute cyber crime.

Also expected to attend the Safety Technical Task Force meeting is Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. A list of other companies participating in the task force is available here.

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