MySpace Bringing Child Safety Czar On Board

News Corporation, parent company to Fox, announced today that it is hiring Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam, currently MIcrosoft’s director of Consumer Security Outreach & Child Safe Computing, to head up online safety, education, and privacy programs on as well as other Fox Interactive Media properties.

“Hemu is a proven leader in online safety and security. We are fortunate to have him join MySpace, help us educate the public and protect our members’ safety and privacy,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace. “MySpace has always been committed to an industry leading role in internet safety and will continue to partner with all stakeholders including parents, educators, law enforcement and safety groups.”

At Microsoft, Nigam has been spearheading consumer safety outreach programs and safe computing initiatives aimed at children, as well as overseeing relationships with non-governmental organizations and watchdog groups. He also served as a spokesperson on virus, hacking, and spam enforcement efforts, as well as online child protection and law enforcement outreach.

Prior to Microsoft, Nigam oversaw the Motion Picture Association of America’s anti-piracy efforts; prior to that, Nigam served for 15 years as a federal prosecutor in cases of Internet child exploitation. He also advised the White House on cyberstalking and a Congressional commission concerned with online child safety.

MySpace currently claims nearly 70 million members, and has been harshly criticized in recent months by parents’ groups, politicians, and law enforcement agencies for failing to curtail incidents of cyber-stalking and online exploitation of children. MySpace has been rolling out new services and features designed to protect members, and currently requires members be at least 14 years of age. Since inception, MySpace claims to have deleted more than a quarter million underage profiles.