One of the outcomes of the United Nations' recent Internet governance conference in Rio de Janeiro was a call to protect young Net users from predation. "The meeting, which was attended by more than 1300 representatives of governments, the private sector and the internet from 109 countries, centered on keeping children safe from pedophiles lurking on the internet," Australian IT reports. Participants said that there were disagreements on a lot of topics at the meeting, but not on this one. The Council of Europe's representative called on countries to join a convention toward greater international cooperation on catching online predators. Another principal topic of discussion was the digital divide, since only about 1 billion, or 20% of the world's population have Net access," the Associated Press reports. Less than 4% of Africans have access, for example. But the AP cites figures from conference organizers showing that, in the past decade, Net use has risen from 5% to 35% in "the less-well-off nations that hold nearly three-fourths of the world's population." Later this week, Stephen Balkam, head of the London- and Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute, offered his perspective on the Rio conference at the Huffington Post (see also his "The politics of fear" here in ConnectSafely.org).
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