FCC broods over illicit wireless content to kids

MUMBAI: Over the past several months in the US the use of wireless technology has grown. This has enabled consumers to access an increasing amount and variety of information through their mobile connections.

With the benefits of this also comes the danger that children might access content that is not suitable for them. An issue that US media watchdog the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking to address.

In this regard FCC chief, wireless telecom John Muleta wrote a letter to CTIA - The Wireless Association president Steve Largent. In the letter Muleta pointed out that mobile devices have become more ubiquitous, they are increasingly used for work, entertainment, and perhaps most importantly, personal safety. As a result of the development of new mobile data technologies and applications, as well as the growing use of wireless devices by children, the issue of access to adult content by minors on mobile devices has come to the forefront.

He has put forth the following recommendations:

- Help educate parents about their options with regard to content access by minors. Let parents know that they can block access to pay-per-call voice services and access to the mobile Internet through their childrens handsets.

- The CTIA should inform parents of the types of content that children will have access to through download services. Ensure that parents are aware of the different types of services to which their children will have access.

- The CTIA ought to consider whether the availability of adult content via mobile devices warrants changes to CTIAs carrier code of conduct to promote industry self-regulation.Muleta maintains that this social goal could be achieved without government intervention and without interference to the provision of content to adults.

- Muleta finally says,"I encourage you to examine the efforts that are being made by both government and industry in other countries to address the issue of access to adult content by minors.

For example, the UK, Australia, and Israel have each recently confronted this subject with differing results in each case. This issue is not confined to our borders and we should be mindful that other parts of the international telecommunications industry are facing similar circumstances.

By encouraging independent initiatives by your members and giving parents access to the tools needed to protect their children from inappropriate content you can encourage the continued growth of wireless services as an integral part of every Americans daily life."


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