NATIONAL INTERNET SAFETY MONTH
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A resolution (S. Res. 147) designating June 2005 as National Internet Safety Month.
There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.
Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I rise in support of the resolution designating June 2005 as National Internet Safety Month. I am pleased to have Mr. CRAPO, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. CRAIG, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mrs. LINCOLN, Mr. ALLEN, and Mrs. FEINSTEIN join me in submitting this resolution.
The Internet has become one of the most significant advances in the twentieth century and, as a result, it affects people's lives in a positive manner each day. However, this technology presents dangers that need to be brought to the attention of all Americans.
Never before has the problem of online predatory behavior been more of a concern. Consider the pervasiveness of Internet access by children and the rapid increase in Internet crime and predatory behavior. Never before have powerful educational solutions--like Internet safety curricula for grades kindergarten through 12, youth empowerment Internet safety campaigns and community-based Internet safety awareness presentations with the formation of community action teams--been more critical and readily at hand. It is imperative that every community in every State be made aware of the increase in Internet-based criminal activity so that all Americans may learn about the Internet safety strategies which will help them to keep their children safe from victimization.
Consider the facts: In the United States, more than 90 percent of children in grades 5 through 12 now use computers and have Internet access. Twenty-six percent of children in that age group are online for more than 5 hours a week and 12 percent spend more time online than they do with their friends.
An alarming statistic is that 39 percent of youths in grades 5 through 12 in the United States admit giving out their personal information, such as their name, age and gender over the Internet. Furthermore, 12 percent of students in the same age group have been asked by a stranger on the Internet to meet face to face. Unfortunately, 11.5 percent of students in this age group have actually met face to face with a stranger they met on the Internet.
Most disturbing are the patterns of Internet crim es against children. In 1996, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in 113 cases involving Internet crimes against children. In 2001, the FBI opened 1,541 cases against people suspected of using the Internet to commit crimes involving child pornography or abuse. The U.S. Customs Service now places the number of Web sites offering child pornography at more than 100,000. Moreover, there was a 345 percent increase in the production of these sites just between February 2001 and July 2001, according to a recent study.
Now is the time for America to focus its attention on supporting Internet safety, especially bearing in mind that children will soon be on summer vacation and will subsequently spend more time online. Recent Internet crime trends indicate a call to action as it pertains to national Internet safety awareness at all levels.