A task force charged with assessing technologies for protecting children from unwanted contact online has concluded that no single approach is foolproof and that parent and teacher oversight is vital.

The Harvard-led panel, in a report released Jan. 14, dismissed prospects for age-verification technologies, the approach favored by many law-enforcement officials who had pushed for the creation of the task force.

The yearlong Internet Safety Technical Task Force also played down fears of internet sexual predators who target children on social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Although citing other dangers such as online bullying, the panel said cases of predators typically


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