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Netscape Teams With EthicsBureau.com

Netscape Communications Corp. has added The Business Ethics Bureau's Safe Search to its Netscape Netcenter Net Search Page.

EthicsBureau.com is an online information resource, and a full function Search Engine Portal that is published by the Business Ethics Bureau (BEBI). BEBI is a consumer awareness agency that produces online reliability reports, profiles of companies and organizations, scam alerts, and works to mediate complaints between consumers and businesses.

"EthicsBureau.com Safe Search is a new service offered on the Netsearch Page. It is designed to promote e-commerce by highlighting ethical online businesses," said Dave Beckwith, director of search and navigation for Netscape Netcenter.

"The addition of EthicsBureau.com as a distinguished provider on the Netscape Netcenter Net Search page will enable consumers to educate themselves about an online business before making an online purchasing decision."

Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

EthicsBureau.com has developed a self-regulation code of ethics and standards, and a privacy initiative that registered companies are encouraged to meet.

When a search is conducted, the businesses with Web sites that have provided their profile information show up first. Search results include hyperlinks to the company's online profile and reliability report, and to its privacy statement. Free to consumers, the reliability reports include positive consumer feedback, as well as legitimate complaints that have been reported, and their resolution.

"Businesses are encouraged to register their sites online. These businesses agree to a published code of ethics and standards," said Mark Ismach, founder of EthicsBureau.com. "The business also agrees to provide truthful information. If we find that a business has supplied inaccurate information, we terminate their registration and bar them from our registered listing area."

Registered businesses are encouraged to display the EthicsBureau.com seal on their Web site with a hyperlink to their reliability report and profile.

EthicsBureau.com works to protect the ordinary citizen from scams and deceptive, non-reputable organizations, by publishing up-to-the-minute alerts. In addition, businesses that don't respond to mediation attempts will show up in the Buyer Beware section.

The EthicsBureau.com portal contains, 3,000 channels, chat, forums, a Safe Mall and Safe Auction (where the money is held in escrow until the product is delivered), free Web pages, free e-mail, a desktop search tool and nine categories of news.