Hilary Clinton declares support for online child safety

There is a human dynamo in Washington DC called Donna Rice Hughes. She is the woman who has persuaded a number of big American Corporations to restrict access to porn on WiFi that they provide in public places. Donna was gracious enough to acknowledge the UK origins of this idea but now she has gone a huge step further.

Earlier this week Donna announced that Hilary Clinton has given her support to the Child Internet Safety Pledge. Much of what is contained in the Pledge will be very familiar to UK, European and some other national audiences but within the US  this is verging on revolutionary, so Donna’s achievement is all the more remarkable for that.

It has long been my view that, in terms of the online child safety, the single most important jurisdiction in the world is the USA, but it is also one of the toughest because of the highly specific  (and for us  very unusual) prevailing political and legal context.

Almost any steps forward for online child safety in the USA will have a huge multiplier effect and redound to the benefit of youngsters across the globe. Clinton signing up may be a harbinger of just such a development. Fingers crossed.

I am not going to dwell on the fact that Donald Trump has also signed the same pledge. I am just going to shrug my shoulders and say it’s not my fault he got this right. However, part of Donna’s point is that for the first time ever the Presidential candidates of both major parties have signed up to the same agenda in relation to online child safety.  That’s quite a coup and perhaps only a DC insider such as Donna could have pulled it off.

Watch this space.


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 and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised. http://johncarrcv.blogspot.com
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