Stevens, Inouye Introduce Online Protection Bill

As Congress prepares to head out the door for its August recess, legislators are introducing bills right and left, including one on online safety and blocking technologies.

 From the right and left were Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) ranking minority member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who want the government to increase education programs about the risks to children of surfing the 'net.

 They have introduced the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act (S.1965), which, among other things, will require schools receiving government funds for telecommunications to offer "age-appropriate" education about social networking, chat rooms and "cyberbullying," and will look into technologies "to help parents protect their children from unwanted content."

 The Commerce Committee just this week passed a bill from Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) that would call on the FCC to research technologies to help parents control content across multiple platforms, including TV, set-top boxes, and wireless devices.