The anti-intellectuals have been in charge for eight long years, but 5 days before Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, the most heinous, cruel, reprehensible scam to be pulled on this country's citizens is finally revealed as a "moral panic" invented by politicians, law enforcement and the media.
The Internet Safety Task Force year long report--Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies--has America's Attorney Generals--including Florida AG Bill McCollum--scrambling to explain the findings of the inquiry the AGs themselves commissioned.
Our soon to be sworn in VP Joe Biden and Florida's very own Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz are themselves responsible for passage of the The PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738)
“We need to think of this as a war,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20). “A war we must wage against sex predators, a war for our children. I fought for the passage of this law so that we could train federal, state and local police forces to lift the digital fingerprints left by child sex predators so they can be put behind bars.”
"A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem."
Biden. Wasserman-Schultz. McCollum. John Walsh. Mark Lunsford. Mark Foley. George Bush.
All responsible for lawmaking that has ruined lives and families via the creation and perpetuation of the sex offender myth in this country.
Time for Congress to hold hearings to investigate this country's child protection laws.
Repeal The Adam Walsh Act.
Podcast: Harvard Law's John Palfrey on Internet Safety Task Force Report
Harvard Law Professor and former Berkman Center director John Palfrey has been a busy guy. For most of the past year he has chaired the Internet Safety Technical Task Force which, as I explain in this longer post, just released a report showing that predator danger for kids is not what a lot of people feared.
A recent report by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force says that child exploitation on the Net and elsewhere is worrisome but online social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, are not to blame for the bulk of it since most reported cases predated their existence.
Among other findings: children are unlikely to be propositioned by adults online unless they are willing participants and are already at risk because of poor home environments, substance abuse or other problems. And, despite some high-profile cases (for example, MySpace was sued in 2006 lawsuit by a 14-year-old girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man she met on the site, according to Reuters), "bullying and harassment, most often by peers, are the most frequent threats that minors face," both online and offline."
A report released Wednesday by a task force set up by MySpace Inc. paints a surprisingly benign picture of the online security and privacy threats faced by children. But the report's conclusion — that some of the common concerns about those threats may be overstated or misplaced — is drawing sharp criticism from some quarters.Eggs on Their Faces
Perhaps the most scathing critique came from South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who blasted the report for creating a "false sense of security" about online child safety. In a letter (download PDF) addressed to a working group of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), which commissioned the report early last year, McMaster asserted that the task force's findings are "as disturbing as they are wrong."
How many of these cases were cyber sting operations involving no actual children?In South Carolina, at least, Internet predators "pose a clear and present danger" to children, McMaster wrote. He noted that a task force of 43 state and local law enforcement agencies formed in South Carolina in 2004 has made 147 arrests for online child solicitation thus far. Sixty-six of the arrested individuals have been convicted to date, while the rest are awaiting trial, McMaster said.
From the periodical that ignited the fear with Cyber Porn, July 3, 19951. On the mistaken belief that sexual overtures on the Web come largely from older adults : "The actual threats that youth may face appear to be different than the threats most people imagine. More problematically, media coverage has regularly mischaracterized research in this area, thus contributing to inaccurate perceptions of what risks youth face. This problem was most visible in the public coverage of the Online Victimization studies done at the Crimes Against Children Research Center...These reports are frequently referenced to highlight that one in five or one in seven minors are sexually solicited online. Without context, this citation implies massive solicitation of minors by older adults. As discussed below, other peers and young adults account for 90%-94% of solicitations in which approximate age is known. Also, many acts of solicitation online are harassing or teasing communications that are not designed to seduce youth into offline sexual encounters; 69% of solicitations involve no attempt at offline contact. Misperception of these findings perpetuates myths that distract the public from solving the actual problems youth face."(...)
This extensive, yearlong study can be essentially summarized thusly: don't be overly reliant on technology to keep your kids safe from technology. There's no one quick answer — age verification, filtering, etc. — that will keep children from harm. And with few exceptions (exceptions that are usually latched on to and tarted up by the media), the perils children face online are no greater those they face in the real world every day. The song remains the same, moms and dads — it's your responsibility to make sure your kids aren't getting into something they can't handle. Don't blame the medium.