Verizon offers online shield

With the requirement to safeguard kids' use of the Web mandated by the Children's

Internet Protection Act of 2000, telecommunications giant Verizon Communications

thinks now is a good time to extend managed security services to schools

and libraries.

Called the Circle of Trust Education Network, the Verizon suite of products

and services basically offers the industrial-strength security that commercial

businesses are demanding, but with a nod to the particular requirements

of children's security.

The act requires that children be shielded from "inappropriate" material

available on the Web, such as pornography. However, school and library representatives

worry that if security shields are too stringent, they will also keep out

appropriate and valuable educational information.

It's not an easy thing to deliver, admitted Jason Summers, director

of security services for the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group.

"We offer different classes of security service, and basically the customer

has to decide what they want [security policies to be] for each class,"

he said. "People can go to the Internet, but each class will determine what

things you cannot do on the Web. We find we get very different reactions

at each of the different locations we've been to."

As a part of the integrated solution, Verizon supplies and manages all

of the Internet connections for a school or library, including providing

a virtual private network and the necessary firewalls for both on-site and

remote access. It also provides whatever consultant services are needed

to help a school or library get up and running with the package best suited

for them.

Verizon is making presentations to potential customers, Summers said.

He expects sales to begin ramping up in the late third quarter or fourth

quarter of this year.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached

at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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