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September 12, 1995

US INDUSTRY GETS TOGETHER ON INTERNET PATROL SOFTWARE

By CBR Staff Writer

A group of 22 software and on-line service companies and publishers is developing a technical standard for labelling information distributed on computer networks so that it can be tagged according to its nature and suitability for particular groups such as children. The system will enable unwanted material to be screened out, and would also enable content to be tagged for pay-per-view. The standards initiative, called the Platform for Internet Content Selection, or PICS, brings together America Online Inc, Apple Computer Inc, AT&T Corp, the Center for Democracy & Technology, CompuServe Inc, IBM Corp, Information Highway Parental Empowerment Group; Information Technology Association of America; Interactive Services Association; MCI Communications Corp; Microsoft Corp; Massachusetts Institute of Technology World Wide Web Consortium; Netscape Communications Corp; Prodigy Services Co; Surfwatch Software Inc; Time Warner Inc and Viacom Inc. The PICS group is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s World Wide Web Consortium, which develops technical specifications for the multimedia portion of the Internet, and it hopes to have developed software tools that achieve the desired end by next year, and will distribute the accepted standards free. The initiative is intended to head off the Draconian legislation in bills in Congress.

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