In the wake of the 'Trench Coat Mafia' school massacre in Colorado, Internet companies have agreed to provide parents with the tools to restrict and monitor children's Internet usage.
The programme was announced yesterday vice president of the US, Al Gore who said it will "honour the lives" of the victims of the Colorado shootings last month. The tools will enable parents to keep their children away from "inapproproate" material on the Internet, he explained.
Internet companies will include links on their home pages to a site featuring a long list of tools for parentsto restrict their children's Internet access and check on the sites they have been surfing.
The site will also provide safety tips for parents and ways of limiting childrens time spent online. The changes will take effect from July.
Gore acknowledge the fact that the Internet is a stunning technology for children and famillies, but said their are "some dark corners" and "fire zones" that children need to be kept away from.
Violence on the Internet has been a hotly debated topic in the US since it emerged that the two killers, part of a gang that called themselves "The Trench Coat Mafia", had contacted hate groups on the Internet and actively played violent computer games.
While many Internet sites promote child safety, industry watchers believe the push by the US government and Internet companies will make the the practice more widely use.
The companies involved in the agreement are: America Online, AT&T, @Home Network, Bell Atlantic, Commercial Internet eXchange, Disney Online, Excite, Lycos, MCI Worldcom, Microsoft, Mindspring Enterprises, Netscape Communications, Network Solutions, Prodigy Communications and Yahoo.
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