The European Commission is to fund the creation of telephone hotlines to field complaints about harmful and obscene content on the Internet. The EC is putting aside about $8m (seven million ecus) for 1998 and between seven and ten million ecus for the following three years. The actual amount will have to be agreed between EU ministers and the European Parliament. The EC says the money will also go in part to support project promoting an Internet content ratings system to shield minors from certain content. The EC recently suggested to the online and Internet services industry that it should draw up codes of conduct. The commission hopes that by pushing this initiative it can help get the existing embryonic ratings systems to reach critical mass and thus acceptance among Internet content providers.
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