Skip to the main content
ISTTF: Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

ISTTF: Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

John Palfrey, danah boyd, Dena Sacco, Laura DeBonis

Tuesday, February 3, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor

RSVP required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET.

Many youth in the United States have fully integrated the Internet into their daily lives. For them, the Internet is a positive and  powerful space for socializing, learning, and engaging in public  life. Along with the positive aspects of Internet use come risks to  safety, including the dangers of sexual solicitation, online  harassment, and bullying, and exposure to problematic and illegal  content. Last January, The Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking, comprising 50 state Attorneys General, called upon  MySpace to assemble an Internet Safety Technical Task Force to determine the extent to which today's technologies could help to  address these online safety risks, with a primary focus on social  network sites in the United States. Led by the Berkman Center, the  Task Force completed its year-long inquiry in December, and recently released its Final Report to the Attorneys General,  sparking a lively public debate about what kinds of risks youth are  really facing online, and what can and should be done to make the  Internet safer for them. On Febuary 3, Task Force chair John  Palfrey, along with project co-directors danah boyd and Dena Sacco and Technical Advisory Board Chair Laura DeBonis, will present the report's findings, discuss its major recommendations and answer any questions.

John Palfrey is Henry N. Ess Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of "Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives" (Basic Books, 2008) and "Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Internet Filtering" (MIT Press, 2008). His research and teaching is focused on Internet law, intellectual property, and international law. He practiced intellectual property and corporate law at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Outside of Harvard Law School, he is a Venture Executive at Highland Capital Partners and serves on the board of several technology companies and non-profits. John served as a special assistant at the US EPA during the Clinton Administration. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.

danah boyd is a graduate of the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Her dissertation focuses on how American youth engage in networked publics like MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Xanga, etc. In particular, she is interested in how teens formulate a presentation of self and negotiate socialization in mediated contexts amidst invisible audiences. This work is funded by the MacArthur Foundation as part of a broader grant on digital youth and informal learning.

Dena T. Sacco is an Assistant Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Center and a Lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. In 2008-09, Dena will co-teach Child Exploitation, Pornography & the Internet. In past years, she has taught in the Graduate Program and in the First Year Legal Research and Writing Program. From 1999-2005, Dena was an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, where she was the federal prosecutor with primary responsibility for all child exploitation cases in the District of Massachusetts. From 1997-1999, Dena was a Counsel in the Office of Policy Development at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC. There, she handled a variety of policy matters, including sex offender registration and community notification and vetting candidates for positions as judges in federal District Courts. Prior to working for the federal government, Dena was an associate in the employment and labor law department of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Washington, DC. Dena received her B.A., cum laude, from Yale College in 1990, her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1993, and an LL.M. in European Union law from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium in 1994.

Laura DeBonis, Technology Advisory Board Chair. Laura recently left Google where she worked for 6 years on a variety of products and projects. Most recently, she was the Director for Library Partnerships for Google Book Search; she also worked on the launch teams for AdSense Online and Froogle as well as managed global operations in the early days of Book Search. Prior to Google, Laura worked at Organic Online, consulting for a variety of companies on their web strategies and design. Before attending graduate school, Laura spent a number of years working in documentary film, video and interactive multimedia, creating content for PBS, cable channels, and museums. Laura is a graduate of Harvard College and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Download media from this event here.

Past Event
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

You might also like

Projects & Tools 01


Internet Safety Technical Task Force

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…

Publications 01

Jan 14, 2009

Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was created in February 2008 in accordance with the "Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety" announced in January…