Online safety advocates are urging President-elect Barack Obama to put more resources toward protecting children from crime, harassment, and predators on the web, reports the Washington Post. In a report to be released Dec. 11, the Family Online Safety Institute, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, is urging the new administration to appoint a national safety officer to serve under the chief technology officer, a position Obama has promised to create. The group is also asking for $100 million a year to fund education and research, an annual White House summit on safety issues, as well as the creation of a national council to coordinate efforts among federal agencies and advocacy groups. "We need to react more swiftly to the challenges new technology brings," said the institute’s chief executive, Stephen Balkam. "We see a lot of activity in the industry and some agencies, but I don’t see overall coordination we can work off of." Protecting children and teens from the new dangers presented by the proliferation of social networks, blogs, instant messaging, and cell phones is seen as a growing challenge. Currently, much of the federal funding for raising safety awareness has been focused on law enforcement, Balkam said. The Family Online Safety Institute’s recommendations are a step in the right direction but might not go far enough, said Nancy Willard, executive director for the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. She said a national effort has to include teachers and behavioral specialists, rather than focusing solely on technology policy…

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