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Brussels, 15 June 2000

Commission promotes Safer Internet

Ten projects are being financed under the European Commission's Action Plan on promoting safer use of the Internet. This Action Plan runs for four years (1999 - 2002) and provides euro 25 million funding for measures to deal with illegal and harmful content on the global network. A new call for proposals for awareness actions and hotlines is also under way

The projects under way cover the three action lines of the Action Plan:

1. European network of hotlines

Hotlines allow members of the public to report illegal content on the Internet. The hotlines then deal with the reports by passing them on to the appropriate body (Internet Service Providers, the police, hotlines in other countries) in accordance with their operating rules. This helps to reduce the flow of illegal content and contributes to the effective protection of Internet users. Hotlines in 8 countries grouped together in the INHOPE association will co-operate in Europe and internationally. Proposals for new hotlines are invited for 7 July 2000.

2. Rating and filtering

Parental control mechanisms (rating and filtering) are a means of empowering parents to improve safer use of the Internet by their children. Five projects with a number of different technical approaches are being supported.

3. Awareness

Parents, teachers and children need to be made aware of the potential of the Internet and its drawbacks and do not always have sufficient knowledge about the means to protect children from undesirable content. Awareness actions contribute to the trust and confidence of parents and teachers in safer use of the Internet by children. Two projects are currently being funded. A new call for proposals for awareness actions is under way with a closing date of 7 July 2000.

Details of the projects and calls are available from the Website

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