Thursday, September 25, 2008

CADNA's Atlanta Forum: Global Brands Come Together at CNN Center

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) held its eighth educational forum on online Brand Abuses and Internet Governance on Tuesday, September 23. Hosted by CADNA, Turner Broadcasting System, and Alston & Bird at the CNN Center in Atlanta, the event featured expert advice on proactive, preventative and reactive online domain name strategies available to brand owners and provided a forum for frank discussion.

The event opened with remarks from Jeanene Jobst, Counsel to Turner Broadcasting, who gave a brand owner's point of view on one of the most pressing issues affecting brand domain strategies -- the imminent launch of an unlimited number of new top level domains (TLDs). As counsel to Turner, Ms. Jobst manages the international trademark portfolio of the Cartoon Network, as well as its worldwide domain name portfolio. With firsthand knowledge of how daunting the task of policing a brand online can be, she expressed her concern that the new TLD launches will make it that much harder.

John Hambrick, Unit Chief of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in West Virginia, gave the keynote presentation on the evolution of cybercrime and the efforts of the cyber division of IC3 to combat this growing problem. The key, according to Mr. Hambrick, is collaboration -- progress will come about much faster if groups work together. Featured speaker Paul Martino, a partner at Alston & Bird's Washington office, outlined the role of US legislation in deterring cybersquatting and likewise emphasized the importance of collective action. Brand owners need to get involved and meet with members of Congress and administration policymakers to educate them on cybercrime, how it harms consumers and businesses, and the need for legislation to address it.

CADNA members are prominent brand owners with a wealth of collective knowledge on and experience in dealing with the practice of cybersquatting. Attendees at the event benefited from a panel discussion featuring CADNA's representatives from DIRECTV, Inc. and American International Group, Inc. It is CADNA's hope that with this conclusion of its 2008 Educational Forum Series will come a renewed effort on the part of brand owners to get involved in the fight against cybersquatting.

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the systemic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today. For more information, please visit www.cadna.org.

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Help Kids Get More Out Of That New Computer This Holiday Season

(StatePoint) This holiday season will bring more than good cheer, as many parents will be buying new computers and other Internet-enabled gadgets for themselves and their children.

It's more important than ever for parents to keep track of how children are using this new technology. They need to make sure kids stay safe online and also learn to use technology for more than just video games and music downloads.

"The nation cannot speed down the information highway if parents aren't teaching kids how to use technology responsibly," said Sharon Darling, president & founder of the National Center for Family Literacy.

Unfortunately, many have no idea what their children are doing on their computers. According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of software maker Symantec, parents in the U.S. think their kids are online two hours a month, but kids report spending 20 hours a month online. And, 41 percent of teens ages 13-17 agree that parents don't know what they are looking at online - from shopping sites to social networking services to more dangerous destinations.

"Today's generation of so-called digital natives need to be prepared for the future by their parents and their teachers -- many of whom are digital immigrants who need to quickly familiarize themselves with new technologies," said Darling.

To help parents learn more about technology, the NCFL teamed up with the Verizon Foundation to create "The Verizon Tech Savvy Awards," a national program designed to help parents learn to use technology to build kids' learning skills.

Here are some tips gleaned from this teamwork:

* Technology doesn't just happen on a computer! Take inventory of the technology your child comes in contact with at home, at school, and in the community. Encourage young kids to help you scan items at the supermarket. Ask your librarian to help you find books together on the electronic card catalogue. Show children how to type in the correct cooking time on the microwave.

* Show your work. When your child is doing research using the Internet, ask him to show you the sites he used. Review them together and talk about how your child knows the information is reliable and accurate. Can you tell who the author of the information is? What are the author's qualifications? Can you find the date the information was written or posted?

* What is your child doing when she blogs or uses peer-to-peer social networking sites? She's offering opinions on things that are important to her. To ensure healthy behavior, first teach your child safe Internet practices (visit Thinkfinity.org and search on "Internet Safety" for tips). Then, ask what she's writing about or ask to join her social networking "circle" so you can see when she updates her messages.

* Knowledge builds knowledge. Having background knowledge helps children as they're learning to read. An Internet search on a keyword that's of interest to your child -- dinosaurs, cars, fashion -- will get him or her started on a journey of discovery. If you use the free "Good Search" search engine at www.goodsearch.com, you can help raise money for nonprofit organizations like the NCFL.

"Parents and children must learn about technology together, so parents can be effective teachers to ensure their children are literate in technology and prepared for the 21st century workforce," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston.

Indeed, employment in professional, scientific and technical services will grow by 28.8 percent or 2.1 million new jobs by 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more tips from the NCFL on teaching kids to safely use technology to help build their skills, visit www.famlit.org.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coast Guard Embraces 'Social Media' to Tell Its Story

The Coast Guard's top officer discussed plans to adopt social-media practices to modernize the Coast Guard and increase the organization's transparency in a teleconference yesterday with bloggers and online journalists.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen spoke about ways the Coast Guard plans to use social-media tools to get the broadest representation of the Coast Guard to the public.

"We're going to be moving from (Web) 1.0 to 1.2 to 2.0 to 2.5, and ... the challenge and the problem is we shouldn't take the status quo as an acceptable position," Allen said. "We need to keep improving wherever we can, whether it's my presence inside or outside the Coast Guard, how we deal with the American public, but more importantly, how we deal with the folks in the Coast Guard."

Making the organization more transparent comes at a crucial time, especially during hurricane season, when communication is extremely vital.

"If you look at the recent coordination in our response to Hurricane Ike, I knew from my own experience as the principal federal official in Hurricane Katrina that we can only be effective to the extent that we empower our leaders on scene and make what they are doing visible to senior leaders without endless routing of information through echelons," Allen said. "[And] what they are doing has to be visible to us, and using things like chat rooms among senior leaders at the same time we're using conference calls, to using all the modern [information technology] tools we have within the Coast Guard suite to simultaneously make all senior leaders aware of the situation and the operational picture down there is what we've got to do."

While the Coast Guard won't constrain itself to any particular social media platform, Allen said, officials initially will use one tool he has been experimenting with personally for the past few months.

"We will be standing up what I would call a semi-official Facebook site for me to be able to communicate and make available content to the folks that are working online," Allen said. "I have been working a personal Facebook account for a couple of months just to experiment myself with the dynamics associated with dealing with the Facebook community. It's been a very rich and rewarding experience for me."

Allen added that the need for institutionalizing this tool and others is important to allow for equal access for everybody. While the Coast Guard's current push is to become more intertwined in the social-media realm, Allen said, this initiative isn't about recruiting, but rather providing new recruits access to the tools they already are using.

"Young kids coming into the Coast Guard today demand parity with what they've been using all their lives and growing up with," he said. "And to the extent they enter an organization that's not evolving and upgrading the technology and the access and the social networks that they're used to, there's no incentive for them to join."

Allen said he encourages everyone in the Coast Guard community who is interested in blogging to remember that interacting in the blogosphere should be seen as no different from operating on a Coast Guard base.

"Whether you're a civilian, auxilarist, reservist, active duty, contractor or retiree, to understand that when you're blogging, that's no different than operating in a social environment on a Coast Guard base or anyplace else," he said. "We have a duty to the American public; we have a duty to each other to be guardians of each other. And to the extent that we have core values, I think we need to demonstrate that as we operate on a daily basis in the blogosphere."

Author Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg works in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.
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