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IQUA to Represent ICRA in Spain

IQUA: The Internet Quality Agency

Internet Quality Agency To Raise Profile of Labelling and Filtering To Spanish-Speaking Internet Users

Barcelona and Brighton 7th April 2005

IQUA, the Internet Quality Agency and the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) have signed an agreement that IQUA will now act as ICRA's representative in Spain. From today, IQUA is the contact point for Spanish-speaking webmasters, users and politicians for all enquiries about protecting children from potentially harmful content whilst preserving free speech on the internet using the ICRA system.

ICRA promotes the concept of self-labelling to provide youth protection on the Internet. Answering a questionnaire on topics like nudity, violence, language, tobacco or alcohol, the operator of a website describes the content of his/her website. These descriptions are embedded in the source code of the website and can be read by a variety of software, including ICRA’s own free filter, ICRAplus.

IQUA operates a quality seal programme that allows internet users to see at a glance that a particular website adheres to IQUA’s code of conduct. This covers areas such as legality, honour, responsibility and confidentiality, as well as the protection of minors.

The agreement comes at an exciting time for both organisations who are among the partners in the QUATRO project. When complete, the project will see both organisations’ labels carried on a common technological platform that will be interpreted by a variety of software. For example, a single tool will be able to show that a website has an IQUA Quality Seal and an ICRA label describing the content. Such labels are machine readable and may be recognised by portals and search engines as well as software on the user’s computer.

By participating in the QUATRO project and working together to promote self-regulation in Spain, both IQUA and ICRA are contributing to a worldwide effort to build what is known as the Semantic Web. This builds relationships between web resources and web users, allowing people to find what they’re looking for, trust what they find and avoid content they prefer their children not to see.

"It’s a pleasure working with IQUA on the QUATRO project and we are delighted to have them as a point of presence in Spain to support ICRA's approach. I am confident that together we offer the best possible service for webmasters and users," says Stephen Balkam, CEO of ICRA.

Carles Martín, Secretari General of IQUA, added "IQUA has invested a great deal of expertise in developing codes of conduct for different sectors of the online community. We believe there are certain standards that internet users should expect from content providers and the ICRA system is a perfect complement to our work."


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