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Internet Safety Resolution Approved

A nonbinding resolution (H. Res. 575) dealing with children and the Internet was approved, by voice vote, on October 10 by the House. The measure was passed by the House Commerce Committee on October 5 (see The Source, 10/6/00, p. 6).

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Virgil Goode (I-VA), urges the public to support education programs that make surfing on the Internet safe and fun; to support initiatives to educate parents, children, educators, and community leaders about the enormous possibilities and the potential dangers of the Internet; and to support proactive efforts that will provide Internet safety for children. The resolution also expresses support for law enforcement officials who work to protect children while they are online.

In his floor comments, Rep. Goode stated that The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates the disappearance of 1 out of 5 missing teens aged 15 to 17 is linked to Internet activity. “There are many predators that use the Internet to make contact and gain information on unsuspecting children,” he said.

Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), cosponsor of the resolution, highlighted a program called GetNetWise. “Last year, in response to a challenge from Congress, leading Internet companies, nonprofit organizations, and child safety experts created GetNetWise, an Internet resource to help parents and caregivers protect children online from unwanted contact and content,” he said, adding that the program provides “the online resources necessary to protect children. Thus, authority to control access to materials on the Internet remains with each family.”

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