Internet Safety Technical Task Force Report Says Internet is Safe for Children Against On-Line Predators


The internet is not such a dangerous place for children and all the stories that we have heard regarding boogyman predators has been overstated. So says a reports from the Internet Safety Technical Task Force that concluded that the problem of bullying among children, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults.

That’s right parents, according to the Internet Safety Technical Task Force the internet is safe. Let your children run free on the web as on-line predators are not an issue. How foolish a conclusion could one possible come up with. It may be that bullying is up and phishing schemes against seniors are as well; however, to say that internet predators is an over blown issue is to be naive and a dangerous commentary on the safety of children in the 21st century. Do not think for one second that the internet is not full of pedophiles.

The panel, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that adults were using these popular Web sites to deceive and prey on children.

But the report concluded that the problem of bullying among children, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults.

“This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was part of the task force. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”

Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general, who has helped form the task force adamantly disagrees with the reports findings. The down playing of internet predators is as misguided and foolish as one can possible imagine. Obviously, these people have spent no time under cover in chat rooms pretending to be 12 year old girls. Because we all know that convicted sex offenders never use MySpace.

Mr. Blumenthal said it “downplayed the predator threat,” relied on outdated research and failed to provide a specific plan for improving the safety of social networking.

“Children are solicited every day online,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Some fall prey, and the results are tragic. That harsh reality defies the statistical academic research underlying the report.”

In what social networks may view as something of an exoneration after years of pressure from law enforcement, the report said sites like MySpace and Facebook “do not appear to have increased the overall risk of solicitation.”

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Welcome to the On-Line Internet Generation: 4 in 10 Children Are Addicted to the Internet
  • Jason Todd Burns Accused of Selling Children on the Internet
  • Scared Monkeys Radio Daily Commentary – Wednesday, January 2, 2008 – Australians Make Strides To Protect Children From Internet Predators
  • Two Rather Disturbing Stories of Assault involving the Internet & on-line Activities
  • “Glee” Actor Mark Salling was Arrested Tuesday on Suspicion of Possessing Child Pornography

  • Comments

    12 Responses to “Internet Safety Technical Task Force Report Says Internet is Safe for Children Against On-Line Predators”

    1. Michelle S in MS on January 14th, 2009 9:00 am

      Well I have to disagree that the internet is safe. It’s great for getting information quickly but there are plenty of predators lurking around in these social sites and chat rooms. It’s sickening to see what goes on in some of these sites.

    2. ANewGirl on January 14th, 2009 9:17 am

      Exactly, SM ! Any parent with half a brain in their head would pay no attention to the undermining that took place in this survey.

      My Husband and I have the passwords to our Teenage children’s MySpace pages and monitor them closely for content. Their pages are marked private (same w/my Daughter’s Youtube account, you can only share any dance videos she puts on there if you are approved & on her buddylist)–but one can never be too cautious about what lurks out there. The children also list their ages as 21 so as not to invite those looking for minors specifically.

      We also have parental controls on what websites they are allowed access to frequent when on line. There are easy ways you can block access to sites with adult content or anything questionable. But let’s not kid ourselves either, today’s youth are very computer savvy and know ways around things.

      They key is like any good Parenting expert will tell you- set limits, give them reasonable boundaries and MONITOR MONITOR MONITOR!! (This includes cell phones and occassionally going through their Text Messages, both sent & recieved) I still snoop through their rooms, I talk to their friends and if they complain that my nose is in their business—too bad. One day they will look back and have a better understanding why I was so involved.

    3. Michelle S in MS on January 14th, 2009 9:29 am

      Well said New Girl. I am the same with both of my kids. The computer is in the family room where I can monitor what they are doing. I check their backpacks everyday and I check their phones. They are still living in my house and I will do my best to know what they are doing. It’s for their safety and they will thank me for it one day when they have kids of their own.

      Pay attention to your kids…..

    4. Richard on January 14th, 2009 10:00 am

      Even if what they’re saying is true … that the fear of Internet predators is overblown and over-dramatized … it only takes one time for YOUR child. Parents should not let down their guard.

    5. Richard on January 14th, 2009 10:27 am

      Unfortunately, the dangers facing children are not limited to the Internet. Yesterday I read this story in an Alabama paper; I imagine that you, like me, will find it impossible to believe.

      But apparently it is true.

      A computer taken from the home of a former teacher charged with distributing child pornography had dozens of illicit images, as well as incest stories involving young boys, an investigator testified Monday.

      Spencer Traywick, an Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent, testified that Melissa B. Gray’s computer had at least 30 to 40 images of child pornography. Traywick said experts from the Department of Public Safety in Montgomery were still analyzing the hard drive.

      Gray, 29, also had a small amount of marijuana and a prescription for Percocet when law enforcement officials searched her home in Chickasaw last week, Traywick said.

      Authorities accuse Gray of planning to use Percocet, a prescription painkiller that can cause drowsiness and confusion, to drug two children in her house so they would offer no resistance while a man Gray met on the Internet molested them. Officers who showed up at her house on Tuesday tried unsuccessfully to wake up Gray’s 7-year-old male relative before taking him to a hospital, Traywick said.

      U.S. Magistrate Judge William Cassady decided after Monday’s hearing in U.S. District Court that prosecutors had offered enough evidence to send the case against Gray to a federal grand jury in Mobile.

      Cassady did not rule on a prosecution request to detain Gray until trial, and the judge asked for more information about a recent law that shifts the burden of proof in such matters to the defendant.

      Gray will remain in jail at least for the time being.

      Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Costello told Cassady that pretrial detention was “appropriate and necessary in this case.”

      In addition to the threat Gray poses, Costello said, she also has virtually no family ties in southwest Alabama. Most of her relatives live in Indiana, the prosecutor said.

      “In this case, the weight of the evidence is overwhelming,” Costello said. “The danger posed by the defendant is both general and specific. This is someone who appears to have gone beyond idle chat on the Internet.”

      Defense attorney James Scroggins countered that his client has lived in the community for 10 years and does not have a passport.

      “She’s not going anywhere,” he said.

      As far as the marijuana, Scroggins said, the quantity in the home suggests that Gray is a casual user.

      “That can be addressed in a home confinement, house arrest situation,” he said.

      Scroggins also said that authorities can protect the public by putting Gray on electronic monitoring and forbidding her from having a computer.

      But the mother of an 8-year-old girl who Gray allegedly tried to offer up to her Internet friend testified that she would feel unsafe if the defendant were not in jail.

      “I’m very afraid for (my daughter) and her (relative) if she were to be released,” the woman testified. “I don’t even know how to describe it.”

      The woman said that Gray had been a teacher at her daughter’s school, Little Flower Catholic School in Mobile. The woman said her daughter and a male relative of Gray’s were best friends and that her daughter had slept at the defendant’s house three to five nights since last summer.

      The woman said her daughter had tentative plans to sleep over again on Saturday night, which investigators have said was the date of a planned sexual rendezvous Gray set up with the Milton, Fla., man, Jonathan Daniel Bervig.

      The woman said her daughter told her that Gray gave her medicine, which the woman found odd since her daughter had not been sick and since the defendant did not tell her about it.

    6. Richard on January 14th, 2009 11:57 am

      (Forgot that I posted that story yesterday. Sorry.)

      YIKES! Folks, go back to the Vernon Seitz story … I believe that he lived in Racine, Wis.

      Today a story came out … the mayor of Racine, Wis., has been arrested for child porn. I posted that story under the Vernon Seitz thread.

      No proof of any connection … but it’s scary!

    7. Michelle S in MS on January 14th, 2009 11:59 am

      #5 There are some really sick people in this world and sadly they are in positions that give them access to our children. Very disturbing indeed.

      She and her accomplice should be locked away forever. Wonder if there are more victims that we don’t know about?

    8. Rusty Bridges on January 14th, 2009 1:40 pm

      #6 Richard, that might explain why the police are either quick to close the Seitz case or are they just keeping quit about the investigation. Maybe they discovered links to high profile officials and don’t want to be submarined.

    9. Richard on January 14th, 2009 4:52 pm

      Rusty Bridges, that’s what I was thinking.

      It’s possible that there is no correlation between the two cases, but that seems awfully unlikely.

      Could the investigation into this Vernon Seitz character have turned up leads to the mayor?

      Is there some kind of political sting going on?

      Will we get more clarification on how the police managed so quickly to decide that Seitz had no ties with any missing children or other people?

      Let’s keep our eyes peeled for the news….

    10. Tim on January 15th, 2009 11:10 am

      Here’s a webpage where kids can share tips about being bullied via text or online:

    11. Richard on January 15th, 2009 9:05 pm

      The mayor of Racine was arrested today, and at least one member of the city council has called on him to resign.

    12. Ray on January 16th, 2009 12:56 am

      What kind of creepy predator wrote that report???? No sane person would make such a claim.

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