Wireless Carrier Content Classification and Internet Access

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To provide consumers with the information and tools they need to make informed choices when accessing content using a wireless handset, CTIA and the participating wireless carriers have voluntarily adopted the following Guidelines for Carrier Content Classification and Internet Access (“Guidelines”).

The Wireless Carriers that are Signatories to these Guidelines Will:

  • Develop voluntary content classification standards for Carrier Content and an implementation policy.
    The participating wireless carriers agree to classify Carrier Content in a minimum of two classifications: (1) Generally Accessible Carrier Content that is available to consumers of all ages; and (2) Restricted Carrier Content accessible only to consumers age 18 years and older or to a consumer less than 18 years of age when specifically authorized by a parent or guardian.

    “Carrier Content” shall mean any content made available to consumers by the participating carriers in the following content categories: video and images, music and audio, games, adult-oriented text-based entertainment services, and lotteries and gambling. “Carrier Content” does not include content that is: 1) generated, owned, or provided by the end users, including message boards, chat rooms, blogs, etc., or 2) accessed by the user via the public Internet (or other public data networks). “Carrier Content” shall be designated as either generally accessible or restricted to consumers age 18 years and older.

    “Restricted Carrier Content” shall mean Carrier Content that is generally recognized as appropriate only for, or that is legally restricted to, persons at least 18 years of age, e.g., lotteries, gambling, or material that is excessively violent or sexually explicit.

    The content classification standards will be applied to Carrier Content, and will be based on, or use, existing classification criteria established and maintained by third party entities not affiliated with the carriers.
  • Not provide Restricted Carrier Content until access controls are deployed.
    A participating wireless carrier will not provide Restricted Carrier Content until the carrier has deployed controls that can restrict access to such content.
  • Provide controls that restrict access to Carrier Content based on content classifications.
    If a participating wireless carrier offers Restricted Carrier Content, the carrier will restrict, or provide controls that restrict the consumer’s access to such content based on the content classification standard.Implementations of access controls shall be at the sole discretion of the individual carriers.
  • Provide Internet access controls.
    Participating wireless carriers will make available to consumers filters or other tools that are designed to restrict access to content on the public Internet or other public data networks upon the development of reasonably effective, commercially available tools for wireless handsets. Implementation of Internet content access controls will vary according to each carrier’s unique business plans and technological capabilities.
  • Comply with applicable laws.
    The participating wireless carriers will comply with applicable laws regarding the protection of minors and cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies as required by law on reported and known illegal content.
  • Educate consumers about our commitment to give our customers information and tools to manage wireless content.
    CTIA and the participating wireless carriers will launch a communication and education effort regarding consumer management of wireless content.
  • Define content rating standards.
    The participating wireless carriers will define content rating standards to more fully inform consumers as to the characteristics of Carrier Content and its suitability for particular audiences. The content rating standards may be created, maintained and updated by third party entities not affiliated with the carriers and, to the furthest extent reasonably practicable, will leverage existing rating systems familiar to consumers. Implementation of content rating standards shall be at the sole discretion of the individual carriers.
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