On the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2010, the Metamorphosis Foundation presented its official Position on the role of the state in the process of protecting children from the risks of using new technologies, by applying internet content filtering systems and systems for categorization of computer games.

Arguments based on experiences from the world and relevant research are presented in the announcement, indicating that the state mechanisms for blocking access under whatever excuse are actually threatening the fundamental human rights and mostly prove to be ineffective in achieving the projected goals for child protection. This is why they are actually a waste of the already limited budget resources, which would be more useful if invested in strengthening the public awareness, education and scientific studies.

All forms of risk prevention must be based on the balancing of needs for protection from criminal acts with an actual understanding of the advantages arising from new technologies.  At the same time, mechanisms for transparency and accountability must be established with which citizens will have the ability to directly prevent or mitigate the consequences from misuse by the competent institutions. 

The following public events will be organized on the occasion of the celebration of Safer Internet Day for 2010 in Skopje:

• “Think before you post”- an interactive lecture for students to be held by Metamorphosis and the Directorate for Personal Data Protection in the EU Infocentre, (9:30 – 10:30, February 9)
• Public debate on the topic of “Safer Internet” in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia organized by the Delegation of the Assembly of RM in the Joint Parliamentary Committee EU – Republic of Macedonia (11:00-13:30, February 9)
• Microsoft Forum for Children’s Safety on the Internet, (Holiday Inn hotel, 11:00-13:00, February 10)

The participation of Metamorphosis Foundation in the events in the Parliament and the EU Infocentre was part of the activities conducted within the “Online Privacy Made Easy” project.

Useful links:

Safe on the Internet / CRISP / Siguri në internet
Safer Internet
Facebook privacy (in Macedonian)
Think U Know?
EDRI Association – European Digital Rights
United Kingdom: Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Safer Internet in Greece
Children Online – Bulgarian website for safer internet use
Resources for teachers in several languages
EU Guide to your rights online (in 10 languages)
USA: Safe teens and Australia
Website of the Day: Recommended educational and entertainment content for children