May 17, 2007

CRAPO SUPPORTS AWARENESS OF INTERNET SAFETY

June Internet Safety Month passes Senate

Washington, DC - In an annual effort to raise awareness of the dangers of Internet predation, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring June "National Internet Safety Month," Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who supports the effort, said. "Cyber criminal behavior has taken many forms, including sexual predation, intellectual property theft, cyber terrorism, plagiary, viruses and cyber-bullying. As the Internet continues to expand and reach more people, especially youth and the elderly, awareness and prevention of these crimes is paramount. National statistics show that 35 million children from kindergarten to grade 12 have Internet access. One in seven youth ages 10 to 17 received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet. While the Internet is becoming almost invaluable for many communication, business and research functions, it's imperative that children, teens and parents realize and prepare for the dangers that exist online." "Efforts are already underway in Idaho and seven other states to decrease the threat of online sexual predation," continued Crapo. "Earlier this week, eight states, including Idaho, sent a letter to the online social networking giant, MySpace, asking that it turn over the information of known sex offenders who use the site. I applaud these efforts which will help safeguard our children's Internet use, but also reiterate that the parents are absolutely the first line of defense."S. Res. 205, declaring June National Internet Safety Month, calls attention to the need for awareness about threats posed by the Internet. The resolution encourages safe and responsible Internet usage and calls on law enforcement, parents, educators, community leaders and volunteers to continue their good efforts in this area and encourages expanded prevention and awareness training. National statistics on children's use of the Internet and Internet sexual predation show that:â?¢ Sixty-one percent of students admit to using the Internet unsafely or inappropriately.â?¢ Twenty percent of middle and high school students have met face-to-face with someone they first met online.â?¢ Thirty-one percent of those age K - 12 who use the Internet have the skill to circumvent Internet filtering software. â?¢ Thirty-four percent of youth ages 10 - 17 had an unwanted exposure to sexual materialâ??nudity and sexual acts.â?¢ Only 27 percent of the youth who encountered unwanted sexual material told a parent or guardian. â?¢ Thirty-six percent of "dual offenders," defined as those who had both sexually victimized children and were in possession of child pornography, sent child pornography to law enforcement posing as children online. â?¢ Pedophiles operate more than 10,000 web sites, and hundreds more are created monthly.For more information on Internet safety and Internet Safety Month, please go to my website: http://crapo.senate.gov.