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Aug. 17, 2004

New Microsoft Front Page Add-In Helps Website Authors Make The Internet Safer For Children

Tool Links with ICRA System So Authors Can Add Content Labels to Web Sites

Microsoft Corp. and the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) today released a new free add-in for Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, the premier Web site creation and management application. This new tool helps web site authors more easily add ICRA content labels to their web pages. The ICRA labelling system works with a variety of content filtering tools to help protect children from potentially harmful content on the Web by giving parents a way to assess which sites are safe for young people to visit.

Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 users can download the free ICRA Content Rating Add-in from Microsoft. Once installed, the add-on takes the Web site author to the ICRA Web site where the author can fill in a short questionnaire about the content of their site. The ICRA site then generates a content label (a short piece of code) which the web site author can affix to the page using the FrontPage add-on, ensuring that browser filters recognize the site's content label, and can automatically block out inappropriate content. In this way, parents are empowered to make choices about what their children do and don't see on the internet.

"Microsoft's leadership in adding child protection tools to its Web authoring software and encouraging content providers to label their sites will enhance parents' ability to protect their children online," said Stephen Balkam, chief executive officer, ICRA. "We have long believed that the best way to accommodate the global diversity of individual and family values and preserve the vibrancy of Internet content is to empower families to tailor their own Internet experience. That is why we are committed to working with vendors like Microsoft to create technologies that will result in a safer internet environment for all."

Microsoft and other Internet industry leaders founded ICRA in 1999 as part of their efforts to create an internationally acceptable online content labelling system that protects both children and free speech on the Web. By providing direct access from FrontPage to ICRA resources that encourage Web administrators to self-rate their pages, Microsoft and ICRA are strengthening their commitment to making the Internet safer for children while also respecting the rights of content providers.

"FrontPage has long been a powerful and popular tool for Web site authors and designers thanks to its intuitive WYSIWYG interface," stated Erik Rucker, group product manager for FrontPage at Microsoft. "With the new add-in, FrontPage users can label their sites quickly and easily using ICRA's labelling system. This enables Web authors to have their FrontPage sites be viewed and recognized by Internet browsers that have been set to block unlabeled sites, while still respecting people's right to choose what kind of content they want to see when they go online."

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