Web safety pork: House offers $25m to Hollywood-linked group

Web safety pork: House offers $25m to Hollywood-linked group

Summary: The House has passed a bill that would direct $25 million to a single nonprofit organization that provides information about online child safety, the National Journal reports. (Via News.

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The House has passed a bill that would direct $25 million to a single nonprofit organization that provides information about online child safety, the National Journal reports. (Via News.com).

HR 4134, sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) (pictured) would pay i-Safe, based in Carlsbad, CA, $5 million a year. The group's web site says its "goal is to educate students on how to avoid dangerous, inappropriate, or unlawful online behavior. i-SAFE accomplishes this through dynamic K-12 curriculum and community outreach programs to parents, law enforcement, and community leaders. It is the only Internet safety foundation to combine these elements."

But other online safety groups are complaining about i-Safe getting the whole pie. To mollify the critics, House members added a provision to send another $5 million a year to the Justice Dept for a competitive grant program for other groups to apply for funding.

"Authorizing i-Safe ensures that this program, which has already helped over 3 million children in all 50 states, will be able to continue its work," Sanchez said Wednesday. The group has a "proven track record for teaching kids how to be safe on the Internet."

A look at the group's supporters indicate that it is very strongly linked to the entertainment industry. Besides $1 million in funding from the Justice Dept., i-Safe received $250K from Verizon, as well as support from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Microsoft; the Recording Industry Association of America; and VeriSign.

"Representative Sanchez has recognized the need for Internet safety education, and her leadership has led to a commitment to cyber-safe schools, homes and communities," i-Safe President Teri Schroeder said in a press release.

But Nancy Willard, executive director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, said the legislation is "a very bad bill that, if passed in its current form, will ensure mediocrity in the delivery of Internet safety education for years."

She argued that i-Safe delivers "Web 1.0-style Internet safety education -- fear-based, simplistic rules with a 'just say no' approach that is doomed to failure with today's totally wired kids and teens." Investing so much in one group would eliminate benefits derived from competition and diversity, undermine collaboration, and stifle innovation, she said.

"All organizations should have an equal opportunity to receive funding through an open and transparent grant process," added Judi Westberg Warren, of the group Web Wise Kids.

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7 comments
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  • Excelent political move

    The Industry is using the right stuff when it comes to political moves.
    Altotus
  • what do they need $5million for.. each year?!

    What on earth do they need $5 million for, every single year? Do people realize how
    much money that is?

    Programs like this don't require this kind of funding. I could start up several new
    dot.com companies every year for that kind of cash.
    Htalk
    • Politicans need it and more

      Yea total slick its fed money that is going to go for political action (back to politicians) Talk about YOUR tax money at work. For political action this is just so good you go to the politician and say benefit your self by appearing to give $25 million to Kids but the recipients of lobbying is politicians. This is so good I had no Idea you could make politicians give tax money for giving out to politicians. This means no one needs cash to Lobby congress if you can talk them into self funding and that cant be to difficult.
      Altotus
      • $$$

        Yet one more example of why goobermint needs to be put back in it's box.

        If the fed, particularly, were held to the constitution they allege is the foundation of all their authority, there would be NO such "pork."

        The US "dollar" is on the verge of collapse because the spendthrift government has gotten away with this kind of political graft for far too long. Worst culprit is the military, which is really all about pork for the contractors. (owned in large part by the politicians "granting" them that pork)

        Our dalliances abroad have nothing to do with anything other than life support for the military-industrial complex.

        Burt in this specific example, yes, it's brilliant. "For the children" still sells...

        I guess that makes the problem the American people, who fail to participate in their own governance, much to their own peril, I add.

        When will this garbage end? Lord knows I've been doing my part, for 30+ years.
        catseverywhere@...
  • Think about the children

    You can never give enough money to your friends when children are involved. :-)
    roaming
    • children

      No children will have benefit of cash, its a war chest for political action! Paid for by politicans for politicians and if you don't like that your some kind of out in the cold even if it a pragmatic political monster that uses children as as excuse for money for political action.
      Altotus
  • RE: Web safety pork: House offers $25m to Hollywood-linked group

    i-SAFE is just a piece of the puzzle in internet prevention education. And because they are merely a piece (not the entire pie), they should not be the only benefactors. And just because they "helped" 3 million (could we elaborate on that?), doesn't mean it helped/reached them effectively. There are a lot of other great programs available like Web Wise's Missing Game (as well as Mirror Image and AirDogs) and NetSmartz. In addition, this money needs to be distributed to the outlets that utilize all of these programs: Nonprofit agencies, school districts, and other non-commercial entities.
    agonzalezCQI