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BizReport : Law & Regulation : February 04, 2009

British government formulates new law to protect children online

The British government has taken further steps to protect children online. A new law will require that anyone employed by an interactive website aimed at children must not be on any lists banning them from working with youngsters.

by Helen Leggatt

Much has been put in place to help protect children from online predators, but much more can be done and government and independent bodies are constantly reviewing legislation and putting in place preventative measures.

The British government, which already has comprehensive guidelines and laws surrounding the protection of youngsters, has announced it is bringing into force a new directive aimed at vetting employees of online interactive children's websites. The new law will further the protection of children online by ensuring those running interactive children's websites aren't registered on any lists that preclude them from working with children.

The new law covers certain roles, such as moderators of message boards, or any in which the person in the role has an opportunity for two-way interaction with a child frequenting the site. This could conceivably also cover those employees who have access to email addresses.

Organizations whose online activity comes under the definition of the new law must, from October 12, 2009, register staff with relevant government bodies such as the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), so they can be vetted. It will be a criminal offense for any organization to knowingly employ a banned person in a regulated role.

Tags: British, child protection, childrens website, Government, Independent Safeguarding Authority, law, moderators, online predators

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