Internet Industry to Assist Smut Fight

Article excerpt

America's leading Internet companies, with support from the Clinton administration and members of Congress, introduced an industry effort to help parents block pornography, violence and hate on the Internet from their children.

The new $1 million Web site, www.getnetwise.org, will direct parents to tools for filtering Internet content, allow them to limit the time their child spends surfing the Web and provide links to law-enforcement agencies. The site, announced yesterday at the National Press Club, comes as more Internet sites are established to protect children from explicit content.

"It's safe to say that never before in the history of a new industry have so many companies that compete in the boardroom come together to ensure our children's safety in the living room," Vice President Al Gore said.

Organizers include America Online, Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., AT&T Corp., Bell Atlantic Corp., Walt Disney Co., Lycos, MCI WorldCom and several more Internet and telecommunications companies.

"It's so easy to use even parents can get Netwise," said George Vrandenburg, vice president for America Online, based in Sterling, Va.

Its logo, showing a small hand on a large guiding hand on a mouse, will be available to 95 percent of all Internet users, said Rick White, former Republican member of Congress from Washington. Mr. White is co-founder of the Congressional Internet Caucus, which examined Internet issues like pornography and violence on the Web.

The site will include details about 80 commercial software options parents can use to block Web sites they don't want. It will include ways to monitor Net use, and provide links to educational, children-entertainment sites. …