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Protecting Children from Internet Predators is Focus of Presidential Initiative Summit

Protecting Children from Internet Predators is Focus of Presidential Initiative Summit

Attorneys General, corporate and association representatives, and other stakeholders convened Feb. 8 – 10 for the NAAG Presidential Initiative Summit, “Virtual World – Real Crime” to discuss strategies to protect children from Internet predators and consumers from online fraud. One critical role of Attorneys General is pursuing and arresting sexual predators who use new technologies to prey on children.

“Predators and scam artists know how to utilize the latest technology. Real crime runs rampant in the virtual world,” said NAAG President and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who made this topic the focus of his one-year presidential term.

As noted during the summit, law enforcement faces challenges in keeping up with technology. New communications devices and services have made Internet access more portable.

“Unfortunately, as technology advances, online sexual predators find new ways to prey on our children,” President Bruning said. “As Internet access becomes more and more ‘wireless’ and allows people to move around, it becomes harder to track down and prosecute these offenders.”

Over the past year as part of this Initiative, Attorneys General have been working towards two goals: streamlining the law enforcement subpoena process and removing child pornography from the Internet.

The summit agenda included a demonstration of the latest technology to identify online child predators. Topics of discussion covered social networking sites, piracy issues, privacy and the First Amendment, online video gaming, behavioral advertising, and the psychology of the online offender. John Walsh, television host of America’s Most Wanted, served as a guest speaker.

“Together, we can bring emerging trends to the forefront, be diligent in our efforts to harness new technology and limit the crime and corruption that come with it,” said President Bruning.

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NAAG President Jon Bruning, left, with former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore