Internet Safety guru and America’s Right contributor John Cardillo is scheduled to appear on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom program tomorrow morning at 10:50 a.m. to discuss controversial findings put forth in a report released this week by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force suggesting that the threat to children from online predators may not be as severe as originally thought.
John, as has been mentioned before here, is president and CEO of Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an Internet security company specializing in online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and the protection of Internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. John was also a member of the ISTTF.
According to an article at CNET News, the task force report essentially stated among other things that the stereotype of the shady, older male predator deceiving young children as perpetuated by the media and by popular culture may be misleading, that the “actual threats” encountered by children on the Internet “appear to be different than the threats most people imagine.” From the article:
The task force report will have its critics, including possibly some attorneys general and others who feel that it underestimates the risk of online predators. Indeed, sting operations from law enforcement (as well as the TV show To Catch a Predator) demonstrate that there are plenty of adults who, if given the chance, would engage in sex with youth they meet online. But, based on the research presented to the task force, it appears that the vast majority of young people are savvy enough to avoid such encounters.
Personally, while I may not be an expert on Internet security by any stretch of the imagination, I find it ridiculous that we should fall back and rely on the “savvy” nature of our nation’s children to keep them safe from sex offenders online. More and more, kids are turning to the Internet to maintain current friendships and make new ones. Whatever happened, after all, to our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us?
Next time you have a big family get-together, whether it be for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter Sunday or for Barack Obama’s inauguration, look around the dinner table and look at your teenage or pre-teen nieces and nephews, your little brothers or little sisters, your own sons and daughters, and decide which of them you’d rather have fend for themselves in an online–and offline, for that matter–world filled with people who wouldn’t think twice about causing them harm. We need to spare no expense, in terms of money, technology and ingenuity, when it comes to keeping them as safe as possible.
I’ll look forward to seeing John tomorrow morning (or at least will set my DVR), and hope all of you do the same. As a father, I am forever indebted to him for the great work he does to keep our nation’s kids safer. In the meantime, and in his limited spare time, I’m told that he is currently working on some other great material for these pages, and I look forward to bringing those materials to you.
UPDATE: Just heard from John that he’s rescheduled, as all time is devoted to the INCREDIBLE response to the crash of that USAirways Airbus 320 yesterday. My hat goes off to the pilot, to the crew, and to the first responders. Amazing.