AG Cooper offers new plan to help parents protect kids online
Release date: 4/22/2005
Greensboro: New resources for North Carolina parents will allow children to learn from the Internet while helping to protect them from online threats, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“With the click of a mouse our children have information we would’ve spent days to find when we were in school. But with the same ease our kids can find pornography and violence, and worse yet, a child predator cruising the Internet instead of the playground,” said Cooper. “Today, we have help for parents who want to provide their children the wonders of the Internet but who also want to keep their kids safe.”
To give North Carolina parents the tools they need to protect their children online, Cooper partnered with law enforcement and child safety experts including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to develop a video and resource guide for parents.
The video and guide, entitled “Internet Safety: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Child,” are available to parents along with other resources at www.ncdoj.com (select “Internet Safety” from the Jump To menu at the top of the page). The video and guide will also be available through local PTAs and other organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the YMCA, 4-H clubs and Boys and Girls Clubs.
A survey of North Carolina parents conducted by the N.C. Department of Justice found that 80 percent of parents are concerned about their children being exposed to explicit material online and 75 percent of parents want to learn more about helping their children surf the Internet safely.
The State Bureau of Investigation, a part of Cooper’s N.C. Department of Justice, houses the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. These SBI agents are asked by local law enforcement agencies to investigate dozens of cases each year where predators befriend children online for elicit purposes. To help track more predators who use the Internet to exploit children, Cooper is asking legislators for more agents who can retrieve information from computers to help find lost children and put criminals behind bars.
Cooper is also asking legislators to make it a felony for a predator to solicit anyone online he or she believes to be a child, even if it turns out to be an undercover officer posing as a child.
“We’ll never be able to fully protect our children from everyone and everything,” said Cooper. “But what we hope is that this information will encourage parents to talk frankly with their children about risks, and then take advantage of safeguards that allow in a world of information but shut out threats.”