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Monday, 21 March 2011 14:35

Facebook, NineMSN and Yahoo!7 join forces for Cyber-Safety Committee


Some of Australia's internet superpowers are combining to fight cyber bullying, in the form of a new cyber-safety committee that will be available for public observation.

The Chief Privacy Advisor of global social networking site Facebook, Mr Mozelle Thompson, will give evidence at a public hearing of the Australian Parliament Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety in Canberra on Monday, 21 March 2011.

The Chair of the Committee, Senator Dana Wortley, said Microsoft Australia Chief Security Officer Mr Stuart Strathdee and the Legal Director Asia Pacific for Yahoo!7 Ms Samantha Yorke will also give evidence at Monday's hearing.

Also appearing before the Committee are ninemsn Compliance Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Director Ms Jennifer Duxbury and the Chair of the Board of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Dr Roger Clarke. Dr Clarke is appearing in a private capacity and in 2009 was awarded the Australian Privacy Medal.  Mr Thompson and Ms Yorke will give evidence via teleconference.

'This public hearing will give the Committee an excellent opportunity to hear from experts with an in depth knowledge of the grassroots operations of social networking sites,' Senator Wortley said.

'More and more young people are communicating online and enjoying interacting instantly with their peers, however, we know there are potential risks that young people face including cyber-bullying, identity theft and privacy issues, illegal content and contact from online predators.

'The Committee has heard evidence from a number of witnesses on issues involving the use of social networking sites. We welcome representatives from these sites making themselves available to speak about some of the very important issues highlighted.'

The hearing comes among a swarm of recent controversy surrounding a high school bullying incident, and a girl hosting a party on Facebook with over 200,000 attendees.

The public hearing will take place between 10.15 am and 12 Noon in Committee Room 1R5, Parliament House, Canberra. Members of the public are welcome to observe the hearing.

The hearing will be audio-webcast live here.

The Committee continues to welcome submissions on all the terms of reference and will announce further hearings soon.

Further information on the inquiry is available from the Committee's website, https://www.aph.gov.au/jscc or from the Secretariat on (02) 6277 4202.

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