FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Digital and NewView will join PICS founding member organizations which comprise: Adobe Systems, Inc.; Apple; America Online; AT&T; Center for Democracy and Technology; CompuServe; Delphi Internet Services; Digital Equipment Corporation; IBM; First Floor, First Virtual Holdings Incorporated; France Telecom; FTP Software; Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan; Information Technology Association of America; INRIA; Interactive Services Association; MCI; Microsoft; MIT/LCS/World Wide Web Consortium; NCD; NEC; Netscape Communications Corporation; NewView; OReilly and Associates; Open Market; Prodigy Services Company; Progressive Networks; Providence Systems/Parental Guidance; Recreational Software Advisory Council; SafeSurf; SoftQuad, Inc.; Songline Studios; Spyglass; SurfWatch Software; Telequip Corp.; Time Warner Pathfinder; and Nickelodeon. The PICS platform being developed by the group is expected to be widely available through the Internet early next year.
PICS will support the open and diverse Internet culture, while letting people make intelligent choices about what they wish to see, said Rose Ann Giordano, vice president of Digitals Internet Business Group. This self-regulating approach is an excellent way to deal with a difficult problem.
With more families and schools assessing the Internet and World Wide Web, it is imperative for parents to guide their children in the selection of online content that matches their family values, said Woodson Hobbs, president and CEO of NewView, Inc. NewView strongly supports the PICS industry-wide initiative to help parents better manage their childrens access to these important cyberspace destinations. Further, NewView is committed to making it easy for parents to provide their children with a completely safe Internet environment.
PICS is very excited to have Digital and NewView join our effort, said Albert Vezza, associate director of MITs Laboratory for Computer Science and PICS Steering Committee member. Their experience and expertise will be very valuable assets as the project moves forward.
PICS is the result of a merger of independent efforts by the W3C and IHPEG. The cross-industry group is working on the development of standards that facilitate:
First-Party Rating: PICS standards will empower content providers to voluntarily label the content they create and distribute on the Internet.
Third-Party Rating: PICS standards will empower multiple independent labeling services to associate additional labels with content created and distributed by others. Services may devise their own labeling systems, and the same content may receive different labels from different services.
Ease-of-Use: PICS standards will empower parents and teachers to use ratings and labels from a diversity of sources to control the information their children receive.
PICS members believe that an open labeling platform that incorporates these features provides the best way to preserve and enhance the vibrancy and diversity of the Internet. Easy access to technology which enables first- and third-party rating of content will give users maximum control over the content they receive without requiring new restrictions on content providers.
The W3C exists to develop common protocols and reference codes for the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium hosted by MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and INRIA. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; a reference code implementation to embody and promote protocols; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. Membership is open to any organization. To date, the Consortium comprises more than 90 organizations.
For more information about the Consortium and its members visit the Consortium homepage at: http://www.w3.org/.