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Commission wants awareness actions for safer use of the Internet

The European Commission has published an open call, under the Action Plan on promoting safer use of the Internet, to demonstrate content filtering and rating systems and to prepare awareness actions. The Action Plan is a multiannual Community programme covering the period 199...

The European Commission has published an open call, under the Action Plan on promoting safer use of the Internet, to demonstrate content filtering and rating systems and to prepare awareness actions. The Action Plan is a multiannual Community programme covering the period 1999-2002, under which several calls for proposals are envisaged. In the framework of the Action Plan, the Commission calls for proposals covering either of the following two areas: - The application of filtering and rating systems for Internet content (demonstration projects); - To promote awareness of safe use of the Internet (preparatory actions). The objective of actions in the first area is to permit Internet users (parents, teachers) who have a responsibility for other users to decide what content they wish the persons for whom they are responsible to be able to access. To realise this goal, proposals may be considered that give the user control over the use to which an Internet connection is put. Such proposals may include technologies based on metadata-content labels, or characteristics of online content to create "filtering and rating systems" to improve access to appropriate information. Classification of information content may be done by content providers, third-party experts, local administrators, a survey or vote, or by automated tools. Mechanisms may be located on the user's personal computer, on a Local Area Network (LAN) or local proxy server, at an Internet Service Provider, on a remote proxy server, or as part of a search engine or website. The demonstration projects should involve self-regulatory bodies, industry users, consumer and citizens rights groups and government bodies involved in industry regulation and protection of minors. The call will take place in two stages. The first is intended for the development of prototypes, which will then be evaluated for selection for further funding in a second stage. The objectives of actions in the second area are to promote awareness actions directed at users, in particular children, parents and teachers, to allow them to use Internet resources provided by industry safely and with confidence. They will stimulate use in the home and schools of Internet services by reducing the cause for concern that may be felt by parents and teachers about the availability of illegal and harmful content. Awareness actions will contribute to the success of the first area by stimulating the application and take-up of filtering and rating systems to guide or control access to Internet services. The actions in this second area will be carried out in two stages. In the first, the best means of achieving the objectives will be identified and pilot projects will be launched. In the second, multiplier organisations in the Member States - such as consumer bodies and other relevant associations - will be assisted to implement actions nationally. The present call for proposals is for the first stage. The call for proposals is open to entities, whether private of public, within the European Union. All projects must be trans-national in scope and include cooperation between independent organisations established in different Member States. Participation may be open to entities in third countries under the conditions set out in the technical background documents. Information about the call is available on the Commission's website at: URL: http://www.echo.lu/iap For further information, please contact: Calls Central Office European Commission DG XIII-E/5 L-2920 Luxembourg Fax +352 -4301-38099 E-mail: iap@cec.be