Congress on stage

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This morning I visited Capitol Hill. Walked right in and sat behind where the speakers would normally be. This week, several members of the U.S. Congress spoke in Second Life and participated in discussions regarding the platform itself as well as their agenda. While this virtual Capitol Hill is on what is called the ‘adult or main grid’ in Second Life, which means anyone under 18 cannot log on legally (they can to the teen grid for 13-17 year olds)-there will probably be a lot of issues teens might be interested in. What affect does bringing political representatives into a virtual world have on participation? Will protests result? Would teens want to interact with representatives and on what issues?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Senate Hearing

Last Tuesday, there was a Senate Committee Hearing on “Online Child Pornography,” through the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Testimonies of those at the hearing are available here.

Those testifying were the CEO from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Assistant Attorney General from the U.S. Department of Justice, a Sheriff from Virginia, and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

There were some suggestions in their testimonies related to libraries and online content such as:

“A recommendation for family intervention in the prevention of child sexual exploitation would include mandates that federally funded public libraries provide one-on-one tutoring and assistance for any person requesting instruction on how to implement parental controls on their home computers, as well as information regarding filtering, blocking, and tracking software.”

“Pursue efforts to insure that taxpayer dollars are never used to fund
Internet access without appropriate transactional logging to allow the
location of individuals that use that access in the exploitation of
children. How can we in good conscience demand that corporate Internet service providers log transactions if our own government, be it municipal, state, federal, or educational institutions fail to do the same”

“Child pornography is distributed over the Internet in a variety of ways, including: online groups or communities, file servers, Internet Relay Chat, e-mail, peer-to-peer networks, and commercial web sites. The Department of Justice investigates and prosecutes offenses involving each of these technologies.”

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki