It would require Internet service providers to report any cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities. This legislation sends a clear al that abusive activities aimed at children will no longer be tolerated on the Internet. In addition to the notification requirement, Internet service providers would be compelled to turn over to law enforcement any evidence they have of suspected criminal behavior that threatens children. As we discuss this issue, it is important to know that Federal law already requires school teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, and photographers to contact authorities any time they believe someone may be abusing.
This legislation would merely extend that obligation to Internet service providers.
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This bill would help to clean up the Net and xex to protect our. It would mean that when a parent calls a service provider to complain that their year-old daughter is receiving lewd E-mail messages from an adult male, the service provider would be required to not only contact authorities, but to turn over the evidence which could llne used to put a criminal behind bars.
Importantly, the bill protects service providers from any civil or criminal liability if they, in good cht, contact law enforcement to report suspected child abuse. The need for this bill was first brought to my attention tfenton a year ago by Attorney General Janet Reno in the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has taken the lead in prosecuting cases of child abuse ses the Internet. For a moment, I'd like to turn, Madam Chair, to another issue, another danger that kids face in this information age.
In recent years, the Internet has become a very popular marketing tool. Major advertisers are using their Web sites to lure children into providing personal and often sensitive information about themselves and their families, holding out the offer of free gifts or products. It's important to know that the Internet is not the only way that information about our children is being collected and sold.
Every time a parent s up for a birthday club at a local fast food restaurant or ice cream store or fills out a warranty card for a new sxe or computer, completes a consumer survey at the local supermarket or allows to be included in a school directory, they could inadvertently be putting their child at risk. The fact lins that these businesses and institutions routinely sell these lists of children, which often contain personal, descriptive, sensitive information, to individuals, companies, and organizations who have absolutely nothing to do with the purpose for which parents gave the information about their kids in the se place.
Currently, parents have no way of knowing that information about their kids is being bought and sold in the open market, and they are powerless to stop it if they disapprove. List vendors today sell this information to whoever wants to purchase it. Anyone with a mailing address can contact a list vendor and order a specific list. A buyer might jerse after the names, addresses, and phone s of all children living in a particular neighborhood or perhaps a much more detailed list, such as all year-old boys in a suburban community who have a particular kind of video game system.
And the cost of this information is remarkably inexpensive -- just a few pennies a name. The danger of this information winding up in the wrong hands is very real and very frightening. She placed that order under the name of a man by the name of Richard Allen Davis. At the moment that she linne that order and used the name of Richard Allen Davis, that gentleman was on trial in superior court in California for the murder of year-old Polly Klaas.
It would give parents control over the sale of personal information about their children. This legislation provides important protections for parents and for children. First, it would prohibit the sale of personal information about without a parent's consent. In addition, it would give parents jerzey right to compel list brokers to release to the parents all information that they've compiled about their. The list vendors would also have to turn over to the parents the name of anyone to whom they have distributed this information.
Chatt, list vendors would be required to be more diligent in verifying the identity of companies and individuals seeking to buy lists of children. Specifically, the legislation would uersey it a criminal offense for a list vendor to aex personal information about children to anyone it has reason lien believe would use sex chat line trenton new jersey information to harm. In today's high-tech information age, when access to information about our personal lives is just a phone call or a keystroke away, our children need the very special protection that these bills would offer.
I look forward to working with this Committee, Madam Chair, and all the State Legislature to make certain we protect our most precious resource -- the children of New Jersey. I thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning. Would you like to ask the Congressman any questions? I think we on this Committee like to, again, move in the same direction simultaneously with you, because our children need protection yesterday. There is and can be no substitute for parental involvement.
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They have to nfw knowledgeable of what abuses can take place, and they have to set down firm ground rules by which their kids will be required to live. The government cannot do this. Without question. And that's why I was surprised, when we put out the bookmarks, that we had young parents surprised that there were problems. So I think it's incumbent upon us holding hearings and presenting bills and your being here to make parents and grandparents and people in general aware of the fact that this is not a minor problem.
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This is a major problem. And we're going to illustrate that in a minor way today, and that's why the computer is set up here to show. Because sometimes we kind of get inundated with so many problems that which one takes priority is the one which gets the most publicity and becomes the soup du jour, and that's why we have to work in these ways of attracting media attention, so that parents and others are made aware.
Now you're saying you've worked on this a whole year. We here in Trenton were not completely aware of that. The only way we found out was by researching other data to see how blatant it was. We knew that there might be some access and that there are these strange chat rooms, but we were totally unaware as to the magnitude of the Internet problem. I was told by Dr. Marty Finkel, who Chairs the Governor's Child Abuse Committee over the years -- that he was in Barcelona just a couple of weeks ago testifying on an international level -- that the problem is worldwide and to such a degree that it is absolutely frightening to the well-being of our children internationally.
That was something that I was surprised to hear, that they have already accessed experts from the States and from here in New Jersey to go to Spain to speak before an international group. So you are right on track, Bob, as is this Committee, in addressing this. But we want to do it properly, and the first step is knowledge and communication. But I thank you very much for being here today, because you've added to the importance.
Rose, let me-- Two points quickly.
One, this is why Federal legislation, in my judgment, is so important. Because when an E-mail -- a lewd E-mail deed to solicit is put on the Internet, you don't know the point or the geographic point from which that E-mail has emanated, which is why it's important to move nationally with national guidelines as opposed to state by state. But I do believe there are a of things that ternton state can do in addition and would be happy to talk to you about that. Secondly, last night on News 4 at there was a segment on this issue, and I brought a videocassette for you to leave it with the Committee.
Thank you. Our next speaker is Freeholder John P. Kelly, from Ocean County.
Freeholder Kelly. I saw that John Kelly. I thought it was that Kelly coming up. And first let me thank you all for allowing me to address this Committee on a topic that's very important to all of us, and that's our children. But perhaps as important as anything this morning is the fact that I'm a father of five children.
My youngest is seven years old. My oldest is the president of his class -- the junior class at Pinelands Regional High School. It's in all these capacities that I work with and hear from many groups that work to protect our children and make certain that they are safe. The Ocean County Missing and Exploited Children's Commission, for example, works to educate and inform the public on a variety of topics concerning child safety. And the Special Projects Unit of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department runs ren's identification program, which provides more than 40, identification cards to parents every year.
These are just two of the efforts undertaken by public agencies sex chat line trenton new jersey Ocean County to help protect our children. Yet, we have a new predator that we actually allow into our homes. They come in quietly over our phone lines, and without our vigilance, we never even know it. Many homes are now equipped with computers and technology that allows easy access to the Internet.
Make no mistake about it, we encourage our children to learn about and to use this technology to compete in today's fast-paced world. But what we also do is allow our children to be exposed to pedophiles and material that is either sexual or violent in nature. We in Ocean County saw firsthand the devastation that can be caused by predators on the Internet. An year-old, innocent of any wrongdoing, whose only fault was in his generosity to his school, is dead.
A year-old who was preyed upon by a grown man over the Internet has been charged with the crime. Lives are destroyed, and a county is still trying to cope and come to terms with this tragedy.
And this chain of events includes sex chat line trenton new jersey predator on the Internet. The on-line connection in this case happens more and more each day. Not that long ago, the Ocean County Missing and Exploited Children's Commission held a conference that featured a State Trooper who handled computer crimes. This Trooper provided a roomful of law enforcement representatives, educators, and social service workers with a wealth of information on how your child can come in contact with a pedophile on the Internet.
A pedophile can find your child in a chat room as harmless as one that talks about sports. A pedophile or pornographic material can reach your child through unwanted E-mail, and all it takes is the click of the mouse to get there. The Exploited and Missing Children's Commission continues to work with the schools, police, and social service agencies in providing education and information on Internet crimes, but we still need to do more.
We need to have a concerted effort by the law enforcement community -- the police, the sheriff's department, the prosecutor's office -- in finding these on-line criminals and stopping them. We need to frighten the pedophile away from this easy access by making them uncertain if their next E-mail they send is to an officer -- if it will lead to his or her arrest and jail time. Parents also need to take an active role in supervising young children in using the Internet. They can prevent access to some pornographic areas through safeguards distributed by Internet providers, but they themselves must act as the safeguards.
The first steps in raising, protecting, and caring for our children are taken at home. And what is done in a home has a profound effect on our children. We are their first role models. As parents, we are the first examples, the first teachers in the lives of our children. As parents we need to watch over the shoulders of our children whether they like it or not and take a look at what is unfolding in front of them in the world of cyberspace.
We must talk to our children about using chat rooms and about never, never providing information about themselves on-line, for some of them do not realize that their words are being watched by the eyes of millions. Safeguards need to be created and used vigilantly, so we don't invite predators into our homes over our computer screens. Internet providers need to become more responsive to make certain children are not harmed when using their service.
We need to teach our children that the Internet is to be used as a tool for information, yet they must be warned that even as they sit in their own homes using the computer, someone may be thousands of miles away trying to get information from them or about them, trying to hurt them -- or they may be only next door.
As we rely more and more on the Internet to relay information to the public and the more we promote its use, we must also warn those using it, especially our children, that not everything on the Internet is good for them. It is our job as parents to educate our children that they can become a target of a crime on the Internet. That just as we tell them to be careful when they leave for school in the morning or go to play in the neighbor's house, we must give them a similar warning when they on to the Internet.
The schools must also take an active role in providing child safety courses when teaching sex chat line trenton new jersey how to use this new technology. And parents can be educated in this area, too, as many of us continue to take courses learning how to use the Internet. So far, such programs have been completed in our County.
The Unit also reaches out to parents, to programs sponsored by schools, and parent-teacher organizations. Armed with pamphlets from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, this Unit provides teachers, parents, and children with Internet do's and don'ts. These are some of the programs that need to be promoted and supported. These programs reach large groups of people and do have an impact.
As we put forth ideas on how to keep our children safe while using the Internet, we must keep in mind that parents, law enforcement, teachers, and the community need to be the ones to take the greatest role in this effort. As elected officials, we must support and continue to provide educational and informational programs about the Internet. There is also a need to impose stiff penalties on those people who use the Internet as a means to solicit young children into sexual or other harmful activities.
We need your help to provide legislation which makes on-line harassment illegal and punishable through fines and mandatory prison time. The Ocean County Board of Freeholders pledges its fullest cooperation as the Legislature gravels with this vexing and complex issue. We stand ready to use our County's time, talent, and treasure in this end.
We cannot wait for the meeting between an innocent child and a pedophile to occur before action can be taken. This already has happened. We know the horrible and harmful effects.
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We must never ever let this happen again. Legislation proposed by this State's 10th District team of Ciesla, Wolfe, and Holzapfel would provide financial assistance to the State Police so more monitoring of the Internet could take place. This would certainly help. We need to act with common sense as parents, combined with legislation lune elected officials, in order to send out the message that this is wrong and we won't allow our children to be subject to it.
As more and more legislation is proposed, we need to study trrnton which is already out there and fine-tune it so that we have the best laws in place protecting our children. And then, on the State, county, and local level, we must aggressively and forcefully enforce these laws. We need to make certain that we reach our children first, before the pedophile or the predator nww by simply ing on to a computer.
Again, Madam Chair, thank you for allowing me to address your Committee today. Any questions for this gentleman? Before I invite the New Jersey State Police Officer to come forward, I am going to -- as he's addressing us -- pass around a booklet of, I guess, it's medium type of pornography, which is still horrific, right? I asked OLS and our Assembly Majority people to call up sex chat line trenton new jersey things before this meeting, but we don't want more than one of these going around, because we want it returned.
We don't want anyone accessing this, because it is not a good thing to promote. However, knowledge is power. And, because we see so many horrible things pass our eyes, I liken this to our meeting on child abuse last year, which precipitated the blue-ribbon panel when we had the medical books showing the horrors that our children experience through child abuse. And it precipitated the blue-ribbon panel.
This is again another visual for our members to look at, oine then remember that very simply, we're going to see an example of what we can access in a very positive way, and then in a very mild way, how we can get into the horrible scene of pornography.
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And Jon-Robert Bombardieri put something together for me. We talked about this as recently as this morning. And just using a simple word such as an animal -- child wants to learn about animals -- you will access a whole listing of material that is good and that will include access to the road to pornography. The same way, if a young woman to find out more about her body or a young man wants to find out more about his body, he uses a medical term, and he will get good material in listings, but also get an entree to the road to pornography.
So these are just everyday things that are occurring that we have no knowledge of. And you are right -- Bob Franks is right -- you're right Freeholder, and as are most of the people here. Our major combative in this instance happens to be ljne parent or the guardian and the guardian of that Internet equipment. We do know and have learned that there is much software out there, and I think this Committee is going to ask that some material be put together on behalf of this Committee -- kind of a holiday hints gift list of protective software for children that we might be able to ask people to access.
And we can send it to individuals who request jerssy so that they know that there is a way to safeguard their children. Because we've just learned about more and more of these just through the research done on our behalf. I'm going to start rtenton this out. Just pass that down. Thank you, Chairwoman Heck, and the Committee, for the opportunity to testify before you.
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My name is Detective Mike Garrity. I've been with the State Police approximately 11 years now. Prior to that, I was a physics and chemistry teacher in a high school here in New Jersey. I've always had a love of technology, and it continues today in my jesrey position. It's an international organization that brings together both computer crime law enforcement individuals, as well as the private sector in computer security people.
I'm a member of the National Computer Security Association. Department of Justice Search Training. I've lectured on both the local, county, Federal, and international level on criminal investigations involving the Internet and computers. InI was invited down to Washington, D. Since I began investigating computer crimes, I've had the experience of over cases, and well over individuals have been incarcerated sex chat line trenton new jersey prosecuted for crimes on the Internet, most of these including child pornography and trenhon exploitation.
The growth of the computer use and the Internet use over the last few years has grown dramatically in all aspects of society, whether you're a business, government entity, education, and we're seeing that same growth on the criminal end. Nowadays, any crime that you can commit out on the street, you can commit out on the Internet. Some of the different types of crimes that we've been involved in and Ternton investigated have included the child exploitation and the luring of children and the aggravated assault jerzey children.
There are sexual assaults against adults, adults meeting on-line, just as there are trentln with children on-line. Chah and frauds of every magnitude and nature, from chain letters to hacking in and stealing money from different bank s. We've investigated three homicides that had Internet links so far. Industrial- and state-sponsored espionage, the magnitude is overwhelming. When we think of thefts, robberies, we think of bank robberies or property values and of car and boats and things of that nature.
We've seen terrorism, the World Trade Center bombing case that was just wrapped up. Some of the key evidence was found after computer forensics was done on a floppy diskette that had been discarded. And a letter that was sent to the New York Times was deleted from that floppy diskette. Using computer forensics, we're able to retrieve that letter and tie that gentleman into the mastermind of that plot. And this problem is very widespread, as I've just mentioned.
There are various features on the Internet that lend themselves to the present conditions involving child porn and child exploitation. The World Wide Web, which everybody thinks of as the Internet, is one feature of it. And in honesty in all my investigations and research on it, the World Wide Web is probably the place where the least amount of child pornography is seen or found.
There are sites in other countries that we can link to, just like we were sitting here. In other countries where this child pornography is allowed, we can't legislate against it. So we can go there anytime, day or night, and just click a few buttons and we'll be there, whether it's in the Netherlands or in Japan or wherever in the world that we may go. I think where the most child pornography and the child exploitation takes place are in the nwe rooms, or what's called the Internet Relay Chat on America Online.
It's known as the chat forums. Prior to coming to this meeting this morning, I went up into the IRC, and they did a listing of all the channels, and there may be channels just like in a television on your cable -- you would have all those channels. And I did a listing and I searched for sex. Well over different areas involving sex, from preteen sex pics to mom-daughter sex to all sorts of imaginable titles, are available to anybody.
There's no limit to who can enter, and there are multiple people involved in these chat rooms. From within these chat rooms, usually those involved are sending and transmitting pictures or stories of pornography, child pornography, and those types of files to one another. Another aspect of the Internet or feature of the Internet that seems to have a wealth of problems dealing with child pornography and child exploitation, where it is readily available, are the news groups.
And the news groups -- my cha analogy of it is when you go into the Shop-Rite and you see the bulletin board as you lne in the door. There's a listing for puppies for sale or I need a babysitter in my home. The news groups are a place that you can post messages, and they're static, and you can go up there and read them and read whichever ones you want. Well, there are topics on just about everything imaginable, from computer security applications to getting help with Windows And there's a whole plethora of topics involving pedophilia and pictures of young boys, young jfrsey.
Every different sexual fetish imaginable is available up there. In those pictures, or in those posted to that news group, you can download pictures of child pornography, again, anytime, day or night, just by clicking on a few buttons. The last feature of the Internet that is a growing problem is what are called FTP sites, for file transfer protocol sites. These sites allow a computer user connected to the Internet to open his computer up lnie others on the Net so they can download or files to or from that computer.
These sites are dynamic in nature, in that they may be up for a couple of hours a day and then go down, and they may change places on a daily basis or on a hourly basis. Those within the community of the child molester and the pedophile know where to go and are contacted where to go and where they can download and these pictures. It's a moving target that we're always trying to hit, but we're not always successful at that. There are various aspects of the computer that has made it the pedophile's best tool since the development of sliced bread, I think.
One thing that the computer gives a pedophile or molester is the privacy. In just about all cases involving pedophiles, a diary is kept by that person, and it entails all of his meetings with children or his fantasies that he has with children or any contact that he has.
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All his thoughts, like a normal diary, are kept, and they're very diligent at keeping diaries. Well, now, with the computer, we can put that diary on floppy disk or on a hard drive, we can password protect it or encrypt it so that nobody can see it. Before, we had a journal that we would be able to look through, and we would be able to get good information and good evidence out of.
Nowadays, that journal is password protected or encrypted, which provides technical problems in us reading this. The anonymity factor in various different methods of concealing your identity on the Internet: It's simple to do. I can go on-line and I can be anonymous to anybody.
I can go on-line as a year-old woman. I can go on-line as a year-old girl. I can go on as a year-old State Trooper. Ssex can go on and be anybody that I want. There are different other aspects of the Internet that allow you to strip out all identifying information about yourself, and these are called anonymisers, free mail s, where you don't have to give any identifying information about yourself, but you're given an E-mail address from which you can receive and send E-mail or E-mail with attachments to it.
The last aspect of the computer and why it has become so important to the pedophile or sex chat line trenton new jersey child linne is the factor of instant gratification. Years ago, what we thought of as a pedophile would be somebody that may be lurking outside of a playground or at a park. The typical lure was to ask a young child to help me find my lost puppy, and all young children would fall for that, because they always wanted to find a lost puppy.
Nowadays you can go on-line and you go into the chat forums. Freeholder Kelly mentioned before about the sports forums. A pedophile or molester is going to be attracted to anyplace where kids congregate. These forums include hockey forums, soccer forums, teen forums, Bible forums, because kids congregate there. And although we may teach our children not to give out any identifying information about themselves on-line -- name, age, where they live, date of birth, or that type of information -- me or anybody else that looks into these chat rooms can gain more pertinent information about based on his likes and dislikes, his interests and disinterests by what they type.
If we're in a soccer forum and they like the MetroStars, well, if I'm a pedophile, I'm going to like enw MetroStars, and I'm going to like his favorite player. If they didn't like math and they had a hard time with it in school, well so do I. We're going to hit on those interests, and we're going to develop a relationship with that.
Just as important to any heterosexual or adult normal relationship, the courting process is probably the most exciting time in any relationship, whether it's a pedophile and or two adults that meet and date jersdy later become married. In this courting process, they're gaining the trust and they're building a liine based on a friendship and other values. This is a very important and a very exciting time for anybody and especially for the pedophile.
So chaat we say that we're having kids lured on-line, to think about it as somebody grabbing your child through his monitor and pulling him across the phone lines and molesting him, in most cases it doesn't happen that way. In fact, it never does. What we see is a buildup -- a whole courting process that may take a year, six months, two years before any act is done or consummated. For parents to be standing over their shoulders looking at this, there is nothing wrong talking about the Rangers or the MetroStars or the Yankees or the Mets.
And to find anything inappropriate with it is almost impossible. I went on a television show a few weeks ago. My year-old son asked me what I was going to talk about. It was this topic, how to protect kids on the Internet. He gave me the solution, which he thought is to take him out of the chat rooms.
Don't let him go into the chat rooms. And that works for us at home. That may not work for everyone everywhere. We don't go into those chat rooms, because I've never found chatt of redeeming value in there. My jerseyy happened to be in a Bible linne room when he was eight years old, and I had the technical ability to log all his keystrokes and anything that came over, and I did so. And later on, after reviewing it, I had a wex from New Orleans ask him to call him that Saturday.
That person reported to be a year-old girl. Who it was, I don't know. But in every type of forum and wherever kids congregate, you can be sure that pedophiles are going to be lurking there, looking for vulnerabilities and how to attack them. On the subject of Internet service providers and their role in this field, most ISPs, Internet service providers, are very cooperative with law enforcement with respect to child exploitation crimes. They are most cooperative.
Throughout the world, they are, and we found that. ISPs are considered carriers, just like the phone companies, and regulating what goes over the wire -- we don't do that with the phone companies.
I don't think that's going to be done with the Internet service providers. What I have found is that there are a few Internet service iersey that will filter the information that comes across and what they provide chatt their customers. Voluntarily, he has taken off all known news groups dealing with child exploitation or child pornography. It's a technical issue. It's not a legislative thing. The of child endangerment, internet fraud, and computer intrusion cases increased to the point that it was determined that multiple units were necessary to increase the efficiency of the investigative response.
In May of the Cyber-Crimes Unit created to investigate computer intrusions, virus, and fraud. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable. I will never agree to get together with someone that I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
I will never send a person my picture or anything else without jwrsey checking with my parents. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do, I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service. I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time jerzey day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate areas for me to visit.
I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission. All rights reserved. When in chat rooms remember that not everyone may be who they say they are. For example a person who says "she" is a year-old girl from New York may really be a year-old man from California. If you disobey an ISP's rules, your ISP may penalize you by disabling yourand sometimes every in a household, either vhat or permanently. Many schools and nonprofit organizations are in need of people to help set up their computers and Internet capabilities.