Tuesday, September 23, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Wednesday, September 24, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Ropes Gray Room, Pound Hall, Harvard Law School Free and open to the public; seating is first-come-first-served. This event was webcast live on 9/23-24.
The Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) is a group of Internet businesses, non-profit organizations, academics, and technology companies that have joined together to identify effective tools and technologies to create a safer environment on the Internet for youth. It was created in February 2008 in accordance with the "Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety" announced by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace in January 2008. The scope of the ISTTF’s inquiry is to consider those technologies that industry and end users can utilize to keep children and youth safe on the Internet, with a focus on preventing harmful contact with adults and with other minors. [January 14, 2009 update: the final report of the Task Force is now available.]
On September 23-24, 2008, at Harvard Law School, the Berkman Center hosted a day and a half-long public meeting of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. The purpose of this meeting was to give members of the public an opportunity to learn about the work of the Task Force, to explore the different technology-related problems and solutions under consideration, and to raise questions and share ideas about the complex reality of youth online behavior.
The agenda for Tuesday, September 23, included remarks by Attorneys General Martha Coakley (MA) and Richard Blumenthal (CT), followed by 15 presentations of internet safety tools utilizing a variety of technologies, including age verification, biometrics, filtering and auditing, text analysis, and combinations thereof. The 15 presenters were selected from the 38 companies that submitted technologies for consideration by the Task Force. Selection of companies to present was geared towards providing a cross-section of the current technology landscape in the context of the problem at hand, including the practical limitations and potential social/policy implications of different kinds of solutions, so as to facilitate public discourse and collective learning. The presentations were intended to help illuminate important aspects of the whole problem of youth online safety, and what makes it a difficult and elusive problem to solve. Selection to present was in no way intended as an endorsement of any one technology or company over any other that participated in the process. All 38 companies that submitted to the Task Force were invited to participate in an open poster session during the public meeting.
On Wednesday, September 24, participants heard presentations by two leading social network sites regarding recent measures they have undertaken to make their sites safer for youth, followed by a first-hand youth perspective on how teens currently use and experience such sites. The public meeting concluded with an open discussion session.
The full agenda follows, with links to videos, presentation slides, and technology submissions.
Internet Safety Technical Task Force Public Meeting Day, September 23, 2008 Ropes Gray Room, Pound Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
9:00-10:00 -- Poster Session
10:00-10:30 -- Welcome: John Palfrey, ISTTF Chair Attorney General Martha Coakley Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Attorney General Roy Cooper (invited)
Technology presentations were strictly limited to 15 minutes per company: 5 minutes of overview using a specified template of 3 slides and 10 minutes for questions from the Task Force, Technology Advisory Board, and the public.
Internet Safety Technical Task Force Public Meeting Day, September 24, 2008 Ropes Gray Room, Pound Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts