A great new, global resource


I have the honour to be a member of the Advisory Council of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). Its HQ is and always been in Washington DC, where it is led by online child safety veteran CEO Stephen Balkam, but there is also an office in London which handles Europe and the Middle East. It is headed up by the inestimable David Miles.

FOSI was established and is wholly funded by the internet industry. Most of the US internet industry’s big players are members and an increasing number of non-American companies are also part of it as well e.g. Telecom Italia, Telefonica, BT and T Mobile. This year’s Chairman of FOSI is Richard Allan, a senior executive of Facebook but a Brit based in London.

Every November these companies and many others gather at FOSI’s conference in DC along with a growing number of representatives from NGOs and Governments. It has become a staple must go event for the global online child safety community because, uniquely, it brings together an unequalled number of industry leaders to debate not just what’s happening today, but what is going to be happening tomorrow.

Several years ago FOSI embarked on a hugely ambitious project. It succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. FOSI set about to construct an online database – called the FOSI Global Resource and Information Directory, “Grid” for short – detailing the laws and policies in the field of online child protection that are being pursued in every country of the world. This is a mammoth task requiring not only a major effort at translation, but an even larger one in terms of keeping it up to date.

Originally Grid was only available to FOSI members but the Board recently decided to make it available to anyone. It’s a veritable cornucopia of stats and pointers to more stats as well as the substantive, translated texts.

Go get it.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International, Technical Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online, which is administered by Save the Children Italy and an Advisory Council Member of Beyond Borders (Canada). Amongst other things John is or has been an Adviser to the United Nations, ITU, the European Union, the Council of Europe and European Union Agency for Network and Information Security and is a former Executive Board Member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. He is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John has advised many of the world's largest internet companies on online child safety. In June, 2012, John was appointed a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This was renewed in 2018. More: http://johncarrcv.blogspot.com
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