News and Press Releases

TAKE 25 EVENT: Take 25 Minutes to talk to your child about internet safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2010

Spokane – Today, James A. McDevitt, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that on May 25, 2010, the United States Attorney’s Office, in partnership with NorthEast Washington Educational Service District ESD 101, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), NetSmartz and Microsoft are providing a number of free resources for parents, children and educators regarding Internet safety, as part of the Take 25 Event sponsored by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department at the Spokane Valley Mall, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"The Internet and new online technologies are increasingly part of our everyday lives, and offer a wealth of opportunities to communicate, socialize, and explore the world, but these benefits come with certain risks. Parents, educators, and youth need to work together in order to maximize their digital opportunities while managing risks." said James McDevitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

One of the free resources which will be provided on May 25, 2010 is a new guide from the FTC called Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online. Net Cetera explains to parents and their children how to deal with issues such as social networking, cyberbullying, using mobile phones safely, and protecting the family computer from badware. The booklet is practical, plain-language, and value-neutral, so all parents – regardless of whether they are technologically savvy – can use it to help their kids make better decisions about online behavior. It is the most recent addition to the OnGuardOnline.gov consumer education campaign, which helps people guard against Internet fraud, secure their computers, and protect their privacy.

The FTC is also partnering with NorthEast Washington Educational Service District (ESD) 101 and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on a pilot program for Washington schools that will begin in the summer of 2010 using the Net Cetera guide. Over the past few years, ESD 101's Ed Tech Support Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office has been providing resources, presentations and train-the-trainer sessions for educators. Now, in conjunction with the FTC, we will be facilitating the distribution of Net Cetera to schools throughout Washington.

The partnership with the FTC is part of the many online safety efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Project Safe Childhood (PSC) coordinator Stephanie Lister said, “Equipping our families with the information they need to help keep students safe online is a major priority for us. Teaming with the FTC and Northwest Service District ESD 101 to provide the Net Cetera booklet to parents in Washington schools is to help parents start the dialogue with their children about online safety.”

Additionally, on May 25, 2010, NetSmartz is providing free brochures on Internet Safety. NetSmartz® is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) for children ages 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement. Microsoft and ESD 101 will also be providing free Internet Safety materials.

Participation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in February 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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