Michigan targets Internet crimes against kids

The state has a hotline people can call to report suspicious Internet activities, as well as a campaign to educate people about cybercrime

In Michigan, people can now call a hotline if they see potential crimes

against children on the Internet.

With a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice Internet Crimes

Against Children program, the attorney general's office and the state police

are undertaking a large public relations campaign, teaching officers how

to preserve computer records for trials and creating a task force composed

of one federal and three state officers who will specialize in those cases.

"The most important thing in fighting cybercrime against children is

telling the parents about the problem so they can watch their kids," said

Terry Beng, assistant attorney general and chief of the High-tech Crime

Unit, which covers all Internet crimes. "Then, you have to give them those

tools so they know what to do."

In addition to the 24-hour, toll-free hotline, the attorney general's

office and the state police have begun an advertising campaign. On billboards

throughout the state, and on mouse pads to be delivered to every school,

the Big Bad Wolf sits at a computer with the words "I'm a little pig too"

written across the screen.

The ads then warn parents: "Do you know who your kids are talking to?

You should," and gives the hotline number. The mouse pads include the three

little pigs reading the words of the wolf.

The state police will also distribute informational brochures about

cybercrime against children.

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