FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sydney Rubin or Carrie Blewitt
Ignition Strategic Communications
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 29, 1999) -- Nearly three dozen of the world's leading Internet companies and associations today announced the launch of GetNetWise, an unprecedented online resource for families that will deliver information, tools and tips to guide children to a safe, enriching experience online.
The GetNetWise resource will be available on all major Internet portals, through a broad range of Internet Service Providers and family-oriented Web sites, as well as at www.GetNetWise.org. More than 95 percent of Internet users will find this resource only one click away.
"There has never before been anything like GetNetWise," said Rick White, a former U.S. Representative from Washington State and co-founder of the Congressional Internet Caucus, who announced the new resource at a news conference here today. White was joined by top executives from industry, leaders of non-profits, members of Congress, top Administration officials and others.
"GetNetWise finally puts smart, aggregated resources right in front of parents across the Internet," White said. "GetNetWise is comprehensive and Web-wide. It will guide parents to the tools they need to help children use the Net safely."
"From today forward and from anywhere on the Internet, parents will never be far from the resources they need to protect their children online," said Jerry Berman, President of the Internet Education Foundation, which managed the project and built the site. IEF, AT&T and America Online served as co-chairs of the project.
Functioning as an interactive directory, GetNetWise contains aggregated and syndicated content that can be found by clicking on the blue-and-white GetNetWise logo showing a little hand resting on a large hand guiding a computer mouse. The content, demonstrated at the news conference and available live today across the Net, is divided into four themes:
White was joined by executives from GetNetWise organizing partners, including America Online, AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Commercial Internet eXchange, Disney Online/Buena Vista Internet Group, Excite@Home, Lycos, Inc., MCI WorldCom, Microsoft Corporation, MindSpring Enterprises, Inc., Network Solutions, Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.
There were also executives from supporting companies, including AltaVista, Ameritech, Association of American Publishers, Cyber Patrol/The Learning Company, Dell, IBM Corporation, Information Technology Association of America, Internet Alliance, Internet Content Coalition, Internet Content Rating Association, N2H2, Inc., Net Nanny Software, Inc., Prodigy Communications Corporation, PSINet, Inc., Road Runner, SurfWatch Software, United States Chamber of Commerce, and United States Internet Council.
Non-profit advisors to GetNetWise include American Library Association, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Media Education, The Children's Partnership, Consortium for School Networking, Cyberangels, Larry Magid, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, National Urban League, NetFamilyNews, People for the American Way Foundation, Jean Armour Polly, and Progress & Freedom Foundation.
"Aggregating the digital toolbox with good content and information about what to do when you run into trouble is the most effective way to protect kids online. This will be the first time a resource is available with so much aggregated information and so much support from the Internet industry, Congress and the Administration," White said.
GetNetWise is the culmination of industry's commitment to create an online environment where families are empowered with the tools and information to safeguard children while providing access to an unprecedented wealth of global resources, information and contacts available on the Internet. GetNetWise is based on the belief that the most effective way to guide children is through the efforts of informed, involved parents.
"Parents and educators should be the ones to guide children in the development of values, beliefs and their experience of the world -- whether that world is on the street or on a screen," Berman said. "Information and technological tools can empower users to manage the online world in ways that national laws can never achieve, especially when so much of the material on the Internet comes from places beyond the reach of our laws."
"The goal is to empower American families, and GetNetWise does just that," he said.
The idea to place GetNetWise resources "one click away" from parents originated in discussions with Congressional and Administration leaders. Both Congress and the Administration have worked with industry leaders and well-known family groups in the 1997 Internet Online Summit and the 1998 America Links Up campaign to address childrens' safety online. Since then, industry leaders have focused creating a collection of digital resources that could be accessible from virtually all entry points to the Internet and which would provide families with information on how to guide their kids online.
GetNetWise is available to companies and non-profit organizations, and can be found at www.GetNetWise.org or by looking for the logo on portals, ISPs, search engines and Web sites. To learn more, contact Tim Lordan at the Internet Education Foundation, 202/638-4370.