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Experts Gather for Global Summit on Internet Hate: New Legal and Legislative Approaches Explored

New York, NY, November 20, 2008 Many of the world's foremost experts on hate on the Internet gathered this week in Washington, D.C. for a global summit on Internet hate as part of the annual conference of the International Network Against Cyber-Hate (INACH).

"Online hate speech is an infectious disease. Nobody has a cure, but we all have a responsibility to keep the infection from spreading, especially to children," said James W. Cicconi, Senior Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs at AT&T Inc., in the keynote address.  "So at AT&T, we're looking into the possibility of expanding our Internet Safety Education program to deal specifically with Internet hate speech."

Representatives of 18 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, gathered to hear reports on the status of cyberhate and to discuss new legal and legislative approaches that are working to confront hate on the Internet.

At a press conference kicking off the summit, Chris Wolf, Chair of INACH and Chair of ADL's Internet Task Force, a prominent expert on Internet law, was joined by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Co-Chair of the Helsinki Commission, Ambassador David A. Gross, the U.S. State Department's Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

Presenters included industry representatives, U.S. government officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations fighting online hate, and legal and technical experts specializing on the spread of hate, prejudice and bigotry on the Internet.  Among the presenters were:

 Dennis Shaw, Chief Operations Officer, i-SAFE Inc. (USA)
 John Shehan, Director, Exploited Children Services, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
 Frederick M. Lawrence, Dean, The George Washington University Law School
 Charles Cosson, Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft Corp.
 Linda Singer, counsel and co-chair of the State Attorney General and Public Client Practice, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, and former Attorney General of the District of Columbia
 Danielle Citron, Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Law.

Presentations and workshops included The Internet, Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial, The Role of the Internet Industry in the Fight Against Online Hate Speech, Protecting Children from Online Hate Speech & Cyberbullying, What Can Governments Do?, The State of Hate Online, and International Cooperation in the Fight Against Online Hate.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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2008 Anti-Defamation League