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6/3/2008
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Verizon Offers Free Tools To Improve Child Safety On Internet

The parental controls can block objectionable content, filter applications, and limit time spent on Internet activities.

Verizon broadband customers will have free access to parental controls for the Internet.

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon Communications chairman and CEO, announced plans for the free service Tuesday. He spoke during WiredSafety's Stop Cyberbullying Conference at Pace University in New York City.

The company will provide content blockers that allow parents to prevent their children from accessing certain content. It will offer application filters to keep children from using software. Finally, Verizon will empower parents to limit time spent on various Internet activities.

"Broadband technology presents a tremendous opportunity," Seidenberg said. "But we know that people will only fully utilize broadband networks if they trust that their personal information will remain private, and that parents will not feel comfortable with their children's embrace of technology unless they know their children are safe. Verizon has tried to stay ahead of the curve on both fronts, and that's why we've decided to make even more tools available to our customers for free."

Parry Aftab, founder of WiredSafety.org, praised Verizon for supporting issues that help customers, "not just the issues that are good for the bottom line."

"Leading the pack, Verizon takes the hard position and takes it first," Aftab said.

Seidenberg was one of several technology leaders speaking during the conference, which covered the role of youngsters, parents, educators, government, and technology companies in fighting cyberbullying. He received WiredSafety's Internet Superhero Award for commitment to Internet safety.

Previous winners include: John Carr, a United Kingdom cybersafety pioneer; Paul Gillespie, a Toronto police officer who helped develop technology to fight child pornography; and Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, for his leadership on the issue.

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