The Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG) was established by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act to evaluate the data retention practices of electronic communication service providers and remote computing service providers, among other things. Section 214 of the Act, which was signed into law on October 10, 2008, mandated the NTIA to create the OSTWG to focus on four different components of online safety. Specifically, the OSTWG was established to review and evaluate:
- The status of industry efforts to promote online safety through educational efforts, parental control technology, blocking and filtering software, age-appropriate labels for content or other technologies or initiatives designed to promote a safe online environment for children;
- The status of industry efforts to promote online safety among providers of electronic communications services and remote computing services by reporting apparent child pornography, including any obstacles to such reporting;
- The practices of electronic communications service providers and remote computing service providers related to record retention in connection with crimes against children; and
- The development of technologies to help parents shield their children from inappropriate material on the Internet.
The Act specifies that the OSTWG must be comprised of up to 30 members who are "representatives of relevant sectors of the business community, public interest groups, and other appropriate groups and Federal agencies." This business community includes, at a minimum, Internet service providers, Internet content providers (especially providers of content for children), producers of blocking and filtering software, operators of social networking sites, search engines, Web portals, and domain name service (DNS) providers. Public interest groups may include organizations that work on behalf of children or study children’s issues, Internet safety groups, and education and academic entities. The NTIA sought representatives from a broad spectrum of organizations to obtain the best information available on the state of online safety. The OSTWG would also include representatives from various federal agencies.
- ↑ Pub. L. No. 110-385 §214, 122 Stat. 4096, 4103-04 (2008).