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Report Calls Online Threats to Children Overblown

January 13, 2009 Comments off

New York Times (Jan. 13, 2009) : Report Calls Online Threats to Children Overblown.

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.
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.

The findings ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media like NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series. One attorney general was quick to criticize the group’s report.

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.”

The 278-page report, released Tuesday, was the result of a year of meetings between dozens of academics, experts in childhood safety and executives of 30 companies, including Yahoo, AOL, MySpace and Facebook.
The task force, led by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, looked at scientific data on online sexual predators and found that children and teenagers were unlikely to be propositioned by adults online. In the cases that do exist, the report said, teenagers are typically willing participants and are already at risk because of poor home environments, substance abuse or other problems.

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.”

Attorneys general like Mr. Blumenthal and Roy Cooper of North Carolina publicly accused the social networks of facilitating the activities of pedophiles and pushed them to adopt measures to protect their youngest users. Citing studies that showed tens of thousands of convicted sex offenders were using MySpace, they pressured the networks to purge those people from their membership databases.

Adam Walsh Act Laws Destroy Families

January 13, 2009 Comments off

Below is just one example of the many comments received by Constitutionalfights.org.
Those with blind hatred of anyone associated with any sex-related offense should read carefully and understand that destroying families is not good for anyone in our society:

(From name withheld):
“My husband was convicted on one count of possession of child pornography. The judge classified him as a “violent” offender even though he had no prior arrest for anything, which made it impossible to get out on bond until sentencing which in over 3 months later . We have 3 children 2 of which are under 18 so they can’t visit him or anything. He has worked hard his whole life rarely missed work took vacation days for court believing he wouldn’t be convicted since he was out of town due to work … but was still found guilty and incarcerated immediately after the verdict. Our family has been destroyed by this dhr (sic) went to the school to talk to our kids about this we live in a small town where everybody knows everybody’s business our kids are embarrassed about this and picked on continuously they have serious emotional problems and significantly lost a lot of weight (one 25 pounds in less than a month shes since been put on antidepressant).

From daughter (name withheld):
“I want my dad to come home but they wont let him I want to see him but cant”

From other daughter (name withheld):
“My step-dad is a good man who never hurt anyone he was found guilty of poss. one porn and classified as violent I cant even see him. He was our sole support we’ve lost our insurance and everything please help me.”

Since I cannot contact them directly, if you are the woman who wrote this note and wish for this post to be removed, please contact us at Constitutionalfights@yahoo.com and we will immediately remove it from our blog. We post this as a powerful testimony to the damage these laws are doing to families across the nation. We urge you to contact your elected officials to urge them to change these abhorrent laws.

More Change?

January 13, 2009 Comments off

Another opportunity for us to voice our concern to the incoming Obama administration regarding the Adam Walsh Act laws:

“Share your ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will rise to the top — and be gathered into a Citizen’s Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama after he is sworn in. ”
http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov

Log-in and write your own comment, or vote on ours at http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004nKNAAY