19 March 2010
Egypt Contributes to 1st ITU Council Working Group Meeting on Child Cyber Security

The first meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council Working Group on Child Online Protection concluded yesterday.

More than 60 specialists in child protection and cybersecurity representing 30 countries took part in the meeting. 

The meeting discussed the ITU efforts in protecting children on the web and the most important criteria and requirements to guarantee their safety on the cyberspace. The meeting also tackled suggestions and future projects in this respect.

Egypt presented the agenda of child online protection within the knowledge-based community the country adopts. The agenda focuses on the participation of all concerned parties through a strategy that integrates different sectors and influential parties.

The presentation encompassed aspects related legal and legislative matters and efforts exerted to implement them in cooperation with several entities like National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

Other procedures were taken with this regard like the development of educational curricula, forming specialized groups of teachers to raise awareness about these vital issues, awareness raising campaigns, development of e-content, and other efforts exerted in collaboration with internet service providers (ISP)s and information emergency centers.

The Egyptian side suggested further collaboration between the ITU members and the working group in conducting periodical studies and publishing statistics and data about cyber protection in diverse geographical locations as well as facilitating several technological solutions.

The meeting was held after the ITU members unanimously agreed to support the Egyptian-Syrian draft resolution of forming a working group for child online protection.

A Council Working Group on Child Online Protection (WG-CP) was accordingly formed with a Syrian participation in October 2009 during the ITU 9th Plenary Meeting.

The ITU approved Resolution 1306 under the title: "ITU's role with regard to International Public Policy Issues concerning Creating a Safer Internet Environment for Children."

The Working Group was led by Dr. Sherif Hashim, Advisor to Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Cyber Affairs. Ms. Nevine Tawfik, Egypt's Internet Safety project Director, represented Egypt in the meeting.

The proposal depended on the Egyptian experience of the safe use of the internet and the Internet Safety Project, carried out in cooperation with Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and a number of international companies.

Based on the resolution, the missions of the working group will focus on: exchanging views and promoting and work on child online protection and reporting to the council annually on the group activities.

In addition, the working group will report to the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference on the activities undertaken and achievement on these subjects, including proposals for further consideration.

Last October, ITU had released guidelines on children protection in cyberspace during ITU Telecom World 2009 Conference.

About The Internet Safety Project
First of its kind in the region, the Internet Safety Project was launched in 2007 at the International Youth Forum in Sharm el Sheik. The project utilizes ICTs and internet-based tools with the chief aim of spreading a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue among youth through facilitating intercultural communication and understanding, empathy creation, skill development and internet safety awareness and knowledge among young people and other stakeholders.

About NTRA
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) acts as an independent and prudent arbiter among the different ICT sector stakeholders: the industry, the state and consumers. Founded in 2003 according to the Telecommunications Regulation law as a national authority to administer the telecommunication sector, the scope of its work, as a general outline, covers issues related to transparency, open competition, universal service and the protection of user rights.

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