Awareness key for cybercrime prevention

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"E-lusive"

The biggest challenges law enforcement officials face when combating child

pornography and stalking is public awareness and informing citizens about

how to report crimes, officials said Wednesday at the E-Gov 2000 conference

in Washington, D.C.

Despite statistics that show 20 percent of children have been solicited

online and 25 percent have received unwanted pornography online, less than

10 percent of solicitations and three percent of unwanted pornography was

reported, according to Ruben Rodriguez, director of the Exploited Children's

Division of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"The No. 1 thing parents can do is to get involved, supervise their

children, and report anything illegal," Rodriguez said, warning parents

of the dangers.

"The same guy you heard about on the playground with the trench coat

and candy is now online," he said. "And unfortunately, kids are very trusting

creatures."

Because illegal activity covers many jurisdictions — from local law

enforcement to the U.S. Postal Service, the two speakers suggested citizens

report any illegal activity online at the CyberTipline (www.missingkids.com).

Government officials and parents must also be aware of news groups and

Internet Relay Chat, from which stalking and child pornography distribution

occur.

Rich Cesarini, special agent for the CyberSmuggling division of the

U.S. Customs Service, said the criminals can be caught.

"The perpetrator has a false sense of security because it is online,

but he's wrong," he said.

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