Congress Hears Testimony On Internet Predators

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

October 18, 2007

October is cyber security awareness month and for many parents keeping your kids safe online is one of your biggest concerns.

At a hearing Wednesday on internet predators the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from a girl who was abducted six years ago when she was just 13-years-old after agreeing to meet with who she thought was a friend from the internet.

"The authorities told my parents that the odds were a million to one against my recovery but I was the exception" said Alicia Kozakiewicz, who was abducted by an internet predator.

The man, who is now in jail, took her to his home in Virginia where she was chained, raped, and tortured for days before the FBI found her off a tip.

And predators are getting creative. Using more than just social networking sites to get to kids, with online games like World of Warcraft.

"So this is another way to get to kids without having the parents get alerted and the parents don't have a clue what's going on" said Detective Dan Jackman of Metro Crimes Against Children.

It's a problem that some in Congress say is a national crisis.

"77 million children in this country use the internet daily and one out of every seven children in America between the ages of 10 and 17 are sexually solicited online" said Representative Rick Keller, R-Florida.

Experts say that at least 350,000 Americans actively trade in images of children being abused. Authorities say that with the Christmas season coming up, parents need to make sure they research any online system or games before buying them.

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