EU backs Safer Internet program

$83 mil plan aims to protect children

BRUSSELS -- European Union audiovisual ministers meeting here on Wednesday backed a 55 million euro ($83 million), five-year plan to protect children from illegal Internet content and online bullying.

The Safer Internet program, which will run 2009-13, will cover social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and online multiplayer gaming.

The program has four major strands: reducing illegal content and harmful content online; promoting a safer online environment; raising public awareness; and setting up a database on new technologies for children.