Parry Aftab : biography
Parry Aftab is an American lawyer specializing in Internet privacy and security law, and is considered "one of the founders of the field of cyberlaw". She is the Executive Director of WiredSafety.org, a volunteer organization dedicated to online safety. She was featured in Chris Hansen's book, To Catch a Predator. She created the StopCyberbullying Coalition to help address cyberbullying and digital abuse issues.
She was appointed to the federal NTIA Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG) and the Berkman Center's Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF). Facebook appointed her to its Safety Advisory Board. She advises MTV as well.
Awards and honors
In June 2009, Aftab contributed to the United Nations "" entitled, "Cyberhate: Danger in Cyber Space."
In November 2010, "Mrs. Aftab [became] the 2010 New Jersey recipient of the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA)".
Aftab began working in the area of online safety in 1997. Her work expanded to helping educators.
Parry is married to a Canadian child advocate, Allan McCullough. She has two children.
Aftab assisted the UN at its recent Cyberhate Conference.
Aftab was one of 24 experts and industry leaders appointed to the Congressionally created NTIA Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG) in 2009. She was one of the 29 members of the Berkman Center's Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF). On April 15, 2009 Parry joined Diane Sawyer in the first town meeting on morning TV, on the topic of sexting. She keynoted the Children and ICT event held in Gijón, Spain as part of the EU Safer Internet initiative.
In 2009, Parry Aftab created the StopCyberbullying Coalition to help address cyberbullying and digital abuse issues. The StopCyberbullying Coalition members include Facebook, AOL, Microsoft, Build-A-Bear, Procter & Gamble, Google, Yahoo!, Disney, Webkinz, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Buzz Marketing Group, MTV and others. Her work on sexting issues began in 1998 when a teenaged girl sent nude and sexual videos to a boy she liked. She is working with the families of the girls who took their own lives after their sexting images were used to harass them and were broadcast to their communities.
Facebook appointed Aftab to its Safety Advisory Board. She advises MTV as well.
Parry Aftab told the Minnesota School Board Association at their annual meeting in August 2009 that they need to address cyberbullying. She warned that they have to adopt a cell phone policy and enforce it.
Following September 11, Parry Aftab's charity, WiredSafety, helped protect the families of those killed at the World Trade Center. She worked to help children worldwide get past the fear they felt following the attacks. She found a rescue worker who had worked at Ground Zero with his search and rescue dog, Servous. To help children understand the rescue dogs issue better, she wrote a children's story published on WiredKids.org.
- Child Abuse on the Internet. Ending the Silence, Carlos A. Arnaldo, Ed., Chapter 21: "The Technical Response: Blocking, Filtering and Rating the Internet", pp. 135–140 (2001) ISBN 92-3-103728-5 ISBN 978-9231037283
- Inocencia en Peligro : Conviva con sus Hijos y Protéjalos Cuando Naveguen por Internet (2001) ISBN 970-10-3297-7 ISBN 978-9701032978
- The Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace (1999) ISBN 0-07-135752-1 ISBN 978-0071357524
- Parents Guide to the Internet: And How to Protect Your Children in Cyberspace (1997) ISBN 0-9660491-0-1 ISBN 978-0966049107
- Servous The Rescue Dog (online, undated)
Aftab was involved in a dispute surrounding the domain katie.com. In 2000, Penguin Putnam published a book titled Katie.com. Internet domain www.katie.com was owned by Katie Jones, and a dispute arose between the publisher and Jones. In 2004 Aftab contacted Jones and, in an effort to address concerns relating to young people visiting Jones's site thinking it was the official book site of the story of a victim of an Internet sexual predator, asked Jones to donate the site to a cybersafety charity or redirect traffic from the young readers to the charity site. Jones refused. Aftab accused her of having a hidden agenda, which Jones considered to be cyberbullying. In an interview, Jones stated that she was being emotionally blackmailed and that Aftab told her that "things would 'only get worse' for me" if she did not transfer the domain. Jones received support from the online community, and eventually Penguin renamed the book A Girl's Life Online.
On July 22, 2011 an anonymous internet user called a SWAT team to her New Jersey home.
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