Task force to investigate safety of Facebook, MySpace

原创 2007年09月13日 16:00:00

The Federal Government has announced a new working group which will investigate the safety of social networking sites and the danger they pose to Australian children.

The task force will look at sites like MySpace and Facebook and see how paedophiles can infiltrate them and use the internet to get closer to young people.

The Social Network Consultative Group is part of the Government's $189 million NetAlert program.

Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan says the group will examine different strategies designed to make social networking sites safer including making laws to ensure convicted paedophiles are not able to communicate with kids.

"But it needs to be very carefully done and it's all part of why we've got both industry and social workers, government and all stakeholders to have a view in this the consultative working group precisely for that reason," she said.

"Internet grooming offences are primarily overseas victims, but with arrests in Brisbane last week the task group couldn't be more timely than to have the group to work critically with the police criminal law branch of the Attorney-General's department, Assistant Commissioner of AFP and many others who can actually make this contribution."

Senator Helen Coonan says it is critical that the Government and families work together to identify new and emerging dangers online.

"Social networking sites are of course very popular with children, usually the information on them is innocent," she said.

"But we all know that it only takes someone to put their photograph and a site together with a list of their friends, where they're playing netball on the weekend and bingo you've got the potential for stranger contact and danger."


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