Director of the Office for Internet Safety appointed


The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., today launched a parents’ guide to social-networking websites. The Minister also announced the appointment of Mr John Laffan as the new Director of the Office for Internet Safety (OIS). 

The parents’ guide to social-networking websites was produced by the Internet Advisory Board (IAB), and is the third in the GET with IT! series.  A Parents’ Guide to social-networking websites explains what social-networking websites are and how they operate in a simple user-friendly format. 

Minister Lenihan expressed the hope that the booklet will be of help to parents in ensuring that their children use and enjoy the wonders of technology wisely.  The Minister said:  "Parents should get to grips with the new technology their children are using, so that they can learn with them and be aware of what their children are doing online. It is good and responsible parenthood, not prying, for parents to know what websites their children have visited, and if they are suitable or not".

The message, said the Minister, is simple, "Get involved: GET with IT!"

Minister Lenihan announced that Mr. John Laffan has been appointed as the new Director of the Office for Internet Safety (OIS). Mr Laffan will take up duty with the OIS at the beginning of March. 

Making the announcement, the Minister said: "The challenge for the Director will be to move quickly to develop programmes and policies designed to make the Internet a safer place.  The Director will engage with all stakeholders – private sector and public authorities – with the simple message that our young people deserve the best possible protection against the risk of internet exploitation and crime.  The OIS will build on the very successful cooperative relationship with the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland, pioneered by the IAB, which champions the model of self-regulation through adherence to a strong code of practice and ethics".

The OIS will present proposals for an Internet Safety Advisory Council as the successor to the IAB.  The Council will be drawn from representatives of the key stakeholders in the statutory, industry and community sectors, and will support the work of the OIS.

 

18 February 2008


Note for Editors
The launch of A Parents’ Guide to social-networking websites takes place against the backdrop of a major internet safety awareness campaign – makeITsecure - launched last week by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

The booklets are being distributed from today and will be available free of charge through libraries, community information centres and credit unions. The booklet can also be got directly from the Office for Internet Safety through a freefone number 1800 24 25 95, and on the websites of the IAB (www.iab.ie) the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (www.justice.ie) and the makeITsecure website (www.makeitsecure.org).  In addition the Minister also welcomed the fact that mobile phone operators O2, Vodafone and 3 will make the booklet available in their retail outlets.