Irish Govt forms new internet safety group to protect children

29 Nov 2013

A new Internet Content Governance Advisory Group has been established by Ireland’s Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte TD to focus on online content and its impact on the lives of children and young people.

The Advisory Group, which will be chaired by Dr Brian O’Neill of the Dublin Institute of Technology, will have regard to international best practice, including recent European Commission Reports and Council Conclusions in this area, and will also be asked to comment specifically on the recent report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee titled ‘Addressing the Growth of Social Media and tackling Cyberbullying’.

Other members of the group include cyber psychologist Mary Aiken, director of the UCD Centre for Cyber Security Professor Joe Carthy, CEO of the National Parents Council Aine Lynch, UPC’s head of regulatory and public policy Kate O’Sullivan and telecoms law barrister Ronan Lupton.

The Group will be asked to produce specific recommendations on the appropriateness of existing regulatory and legislative frameworks around electronic communications, internet governance and the sharing of material online and as to the most appropriate relationship should be between ISPs, online service providers, the State and citizens in relation to access to legal material and bullying and harassment online.

“Fundamental to their work is the question of striking an appropriate balance in policy terms that ensures the protection of children and young people but does not limit their opportunities and rights online,” Minister Rabbitte said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years