DENVER, May 12, 2005 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) recognizes the increasing risks that children and families face while using the Internet. Child victimization, cyber bullying, and exposure to inappropriate content are rapidly increasing in venues such as chat rooms, E-mail and instant messaging. Qwest Communications and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) are working together to reduce these online threats and are launching an Internet safety campaign to give parents and guardians the resources they need to establish safer online practices for their families.
The new Parents Safety-Net Test provides parents and guardians with an instant tool to check their knowledge of Internet safety. Located at www.incredibleinternet.com, the interactive test also provides parents with immediate feedback and tangible steps they can take to protect their children.
?Studies have shown that many parents are not aware of their children?s online behavior or the potential dangers they could confront via the Internet,? said Paula Kruger, executive vice president of Qwest mass markets. ?We designed the Parents Safety-Net Test to help improve communications between parents and their children which is the first essential step toward making the Internet safer for families across the country.?
According to recent research by Pew Internet & American Life Project, 62 percent of teens believe that most teens do things online that they?d rather their parents not see and 63 percent of parents agree.
?We believe that the Internet holds tremendous potential for our nation?s youth,? said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. ?Qwest and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children want parents and guardians to understand that the Internet can also pose serious dangers. We need to empower kids with the same safety skills to the Internet that help prevent child victimization in the real world.?
In addition to the Parents Safety-Net Test, parents and guardians can download Qwest?s Connected Family Kit from the Incredible Internet Web site. The kit includes online safety tips, family internet rules, and additional resources that promote safer and fun Internet usage for families. Both the Parents Safety-Net Test and the Connected Family Kit are available in English and Spanish.
As part of the Qwest Spirit of Service, Qwest is committed to helping keep families safer. The following are program highlights of upcoming Qwest youth initiatives that will be featured on its Internet resource Web site, www.incredibleinternet.com:
Teen Identity Theft Awareness - The Web site provides links to Qwest?s comprehensive identity theft resources guide, which provides a free video and information for youth, parents and businesses on how to minimize their risk of becoming victims of identity theft.
Tools for Teachers - Qwest has partnered with Dr. Judith Collins, an associate professor at Michigan State?s school of criminal justice, to develop an online resource to educate teens and parents about the dangers of identity theft. The online resource, which is scheduled for completion early this summer, will also include an identity theft prevention curriculum for teachers. The Teacher Resource Center is another tool that was developed by the Public Education & Business Coalition (PBEC) to provide teachers with the information they need to get the most out of the Internet and technology in the classroom.
To take the Parents Safety-Net Test or for more information, please visit www.IncredibleInternet.com.
About The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 313,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 106,000 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 92,000 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST of visit its Web site at www.missingkids.com.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services. With more than 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
Forward Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors consolidating with other providers or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure to more effectively compete against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies; our ability to utilize net operating losses in projected amounts; our inability to provide any assurance as to whether we will be successful in our effort to acquire MCI, Inc.; and whether in the event of an acquisition we realize synergies in the amounts, at the times and at the related costs projected and whether regulatory approvals will be received within the timeframe projected and that such approvals will not be materially adverse to the projected operations of the combined company following the merger.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.
Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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