Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

EC combats illicit material on Internet

An action plan will promote safer use of the Internet by combating illegal and harmful content on global networks, following the Decision by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, which was published recently (No 276/1999/EC).

The legislation aims to s...
An action plan will promote safer use of the Internet by combating illegal and harmful content on global networks, following the Decision by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, which was published recently (No 276/1999/EC).

The legislation aims to stem the flow of material appearing on the Internet, which could undermine the medium's potential as a valuable platform for the exchange of ideas where new initiatives could flourish.

To make for a safer virtual environment, the Decision calls for the promotion of industry self-regulation and content-monitoring schemes, as well as the development of filtering tools and rating systems, to be provided by the industry. This rating system is currently envisaged as being similar to the "Platform for Internet Selection" (PICS) standard, launched by the international World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with Community support. Such tools enable parents or teachers to select content appropriate for children in their care, while allowing adults to decide what legal content they wish to access. A call for proposals will be released for projects to validate rating systems in relation to European content, to encourage integration of rating into content creation and to demonstrate the benefits of these technical solutions

A second call for proposals will particularly target the validation and demonstration of third-party rating systems. Evaluation of the demonstration projects and dissemination of results will also be the subject of a call for tenders.

The action plan for the new legislation also aims to increase users' awareness of services provided by industry, to enable them to take advantage of opportunities on the Internet. The MIDAS-NET project established under the EC INFO 2000 programme will take advantage of this part of the Decision.

The Decision calls for the creation of a network of "hotlines", or call centres, to which illegal content can be reported. It also includes plans to assess the legal implications of imposing regional restrictions on an international network, and for activities to foster international cooperation in these areas.

The action plan will cover a period of four years, from 1999 to 2002. The financial provision for implementation is 25 million euro.

Source: Official Journal of the European Communities

Related information

Programmes

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top