Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beware of Online Predators!

The U.S. State's Attorney's Office contacted me last week. They invited me to attend this seminar on on-line predators. These are the same predators who prey on innocent children.
That's me sitting under the "Exit" sign. I had a Karidat meeting at 11:30 a.m. that morning and was planning to leave the seminar in time to make it to the meeting. But, the seminar was too important and interesting that I ended up missing the Karidat meeting. (My sincere apologies to Bishop Camacho and the rest of the Karidat Board members.)

Let me tell you -- I'm sure what I learned was just the tip of the ice berg, but it was enough to make me think twice about blogging! Seriously, folks. The ease in which children can be manipulated (not to mention some adults) into doing things they otherwise wouldn't normally do is quite disturbing. One of the attendees, who is in law enforcement, exclaimed "I better go home and check my daughter's MySpace!"

I was curious when I looked around and didn't see any other lawmaker there, so I asked if any of my colleagues in the House and Senate had been invited to attend this very important seminar. Much to my surprise, not only was I told that I was the only lawmaker invited to this seminar, but that I was specifically invited as they knew I worked with kids a lot.

Anyway, I would like to invite all my colleagues on the Hill to include this issue on their radar screen and would like to share my information with them. I personally pledged that my office will work with the U.S. Attorney's Office to see what we could do here in the CNMI to educate our children and our entire community about on-line predators. I will also work with the appropriate government agencies and other private non-profit groups to raise awareness of this issue.
Seated, l-r: Len Rapadas, the U.S. State's Attorney for Guam and the CNMI, me, and Alicia Limtiaco, Guam's Attorney General. These folks put on quite an impressive seminar. I wished I'd attended the training that they gave the day before, too.

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