Thursday, March 31, 2011

DC - Proposed bill curbs online data gathering

Original Article


WASHINGTON (UPI) - A bill letting U.S. consumers refuse to have their Internet browsing history shared with marketers may be introduced next week, a Massachusetts senator said.

"When you go on the Internet, are you as an American consenting to having your private activities shared with other people?" Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is sponsoring the bill with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked The Boston Globe.

People would never tolerate a private detective secretly recording their every move for the benefit of marketing agencies, so why should they permit it on the Internet? Kerry said.

Kerry did not disclose the bill's details, but The Wall Street Journal three weeks ago called it a comprehensive "online privacy bill of rights" requiring companies to seek people's permission to share data about them with outsiders and giving people the right to see the data collected about them.

The Globe paraphrased Kerry as saying he had won initial support from Web giants Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. and had consulted with Facebook Inc. and consumer and privacy advocates.

Kerry's office said Thursday Kerry misspoke about Google. His office told United Press International it was online auction and shopping Web site eBay Inc., not Google, that had expressed support of the bill to Kerry.

The office told the Globe Thursday chip maker Intel Corp. and information-technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. were also on board.

Kerry's Google talks are continuing, a source close to the negotiations told UPI. Google said it would not comment on pending legislation. EBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its support of the bill.

Microsoft said it was "looking forward"' to the Kerry-McCain bill's introduction and would "have a comment at that time." A spokesman said Microsoft supported "comprehensive privacy legislation."

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told UPI he wouldn't comment on the bill, but said Facebook sought to balance user privacy with Internet innovation.

"When crafting legislation, we believe the areas of greatest concern must be where users' data is being shared with companies with whom they do not have an existing business relationship," Noyes said in an e-mail.

Google Wednesday agreed to adopt a "comprehensive privacy program" to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges it deceived users and violated its own privacy policy when it launched the Google Buzz social-networking service Feb. 9, 2010.

The settlement "should lead to higher privacy standards and better protection for personal data," said the Electronic Privacy Information Center Washington advocacy group, whose complaint led to the settlement.

Google Buzz's launch "fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control," Google Privacy Director Alma Whitten said in a company blog post.

WI - Mother: Son didn't deserve brutal death by murderers Robert Saurbeir and James Loewe

Original Article


By Suzanne Weiss

MANITOWOC — Joseph K. Baer may have been in and out of trouble much of his life, but he didn’t deserve to die the brutal way that he did, said his mother, LouAnn Baer of rural St. Nazianz.

The 37-year-old Manitowoc man’s body was found Saturday at a rural residence south of Brillion. Robert Saurbeir, 29, of Manitowoc, and James Loewe, 33, of Hilbert, are charged with beating him to death with several objects, including a metal pipe and hammer, during a night of drinking.

Baer was released from Manitowoc County Jail just two days before he was killed in Calumet County.

LouAnn Baer spoke Tuesday of her reaction when she was told of her son’s death on Sunday afternoon.

I cracked. I cried and I cried. (Monday) didn’t help when they said they found a chain with blood on it and a hammer,” she said. “They claimed they were his friends.”

His death was any mother’s nightmare.

I’m just imagining how he felt, being beaten to death,” Baer said. “I’m just imagining him saying stop, stop, stop. I can see him. I’m crying a lot. I’m angry and upset … he did not deserve to die like that. Nobody does. Nobody does.”
- Like the parents who speak out about their children being killed, so do these families.

Joseph Baer grew up and lived in the St. Nazianz area most of his life, first with his mother and father and then, when they divorced in 1987, with his father, she said.

His father, who changed his name from Herbert A. Baer to Elvis A. Presley, died in 2004.

LouAnn Baer spoke of her son’s childhood.

He was a sweet kid when he wanted to be but he had an awesome temper. He had to have it his way,” she said. “He had a hard time getting along and studying. He was a hyper child.”

Her son started his education at Riverview School and continued it in prison, she said.

He was in detention and jail and prison all his adult life,” LouAnn Baer said. “I’ll grant you he was rowdy …. In all, he could be a very, very sweet person. He wasn’t all bad. He was more misunderstood.”

Joseph Baer had an extensive criminal record, said Capt. Scott Luchterhand of the Manitowoc Police Department.

Most recently he was in jail on extended supervision starting Jan. 29, said Jason Jost, Manitowoc County Jail administrator.

According to Manitowoc County Circuit Court records, Baer was sentenced to prison on felony burglary charges in 1999 and again in 2006. Baer had other criminal convictions in Manitowoc County, including for theft, negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

Baer also was a registered sex offender, convicted on Jan. 2, 1992, of sexual assault of a child, according to Wisconsin Department of Corrections records.

GA - GBI Agent Delivers Scares About Internet to Alpharetta, Milton Parents

Original Article

Education IS what is needed, not disinformation and lies. People should be cautious of everyone they don't know, period. But, most people are too trusting and friend everyone. They think it's some kind of competition to see who has the most friends or something.


By Bob Pepalis

PTA members quiz agent on how they can safeguard their children.

A GBI agent gave Hopewell Middle School parents what she intended to be a scary lesson Wednesday about child predators and pornography on the Internet.

Agent Renae Anderson, who works with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's child exploitation and computer crimes unit, spoke at the school's PTA meeting to give parents a lesson of their own. Principal Bill Thompson said she has given students in the middle school the lesson tailored to their age groups during this and previous school years.

Middle school students "are manufacturing child pornography left and right right now, taking nude images of themselves," Anderson said.

That's no different in the eyes of the law than an adult taking photos of them.

To start a conversation about child pornography without giving a child any ideas, Anderson suggested asking a lot of open-ended questions to find out just how much their child knows.

Allison Dekoning said a parent would have to be pretty naive to think their middle school children don't know about it.

But Anderson said while the children may know about it, they may not be able to make the connection to a sex offender. And children who look at photos and videos of other children their age don't understand that it's child pornography and therefore something wrong. They might think it's OK because they are looking at kids the same age as themselves.

Anderson said she couldn't tell the parents how many search warrants she's served that when the GBI gets out there, they find just a child looking at porn.

"The problem is, they are looking at child porn, which is highly illegal," she said.

"You've got to talk to your kids about this before law enforcement comes to your house," Anderson said.

Sexting Seems To Start In High School

There's a lot of sexting-sexually explicit text messaging-going on in the high schools, so she told parents with students in those grade levels to go home and talk to their kids about it.

"With sexting, a lot of these kids don't realize what they are doing is committing a felony," Anderson said.

And if they put a picture out there even sending it to just one person, there's a good chance it will end up on someone's phone or computer the child never intended to get to see it.

Your Child Probably Has An Account You Don't Know About

A parent who says her child doesn't have a Facebook or MySpace account just doesn't have one you know about, she said.

"How hard is it to go to a neighbor's house," she asked.

Today's phones make it even easier.

"Everything I can do on my computer I can do on my cellphone," she said.

"I'm not so worried about your kids, because you are here," Anderson said. "But there's a lot who are very intimidated by a computer."

Children Might Be Playing Games With Predators

Even game consoles such as Playstation 3, XBox and the Wii carry risks because they can all access the Internet.

Anderson said she is working a case of an 8-year-old Gwinnett boy who was the victim of a child predator.

"He started playing a game with somebody he thought was a child," she said.

If a 40 or 50-year-old man approached them in the mall, their child would know not to give any personal information out and to stay away from them.

But in online games a person can pretend to be any age and build up a relationship, getting bits of personal information during game play.

"Basically what happens, your child, who thinks he or she is playing with another child, over the course of a couple of months gives away all that information the predator wanted in the first place," Anderson said.

Parents Have Some Controls Over The Situation

"All of these games come with parental controls, but you guys have to sit down and look at this stuff. If your kids are going to play online that's fine, but make sure you can hear what they say at the same time," she said.

She suggested parents have their children work on their computers in the living room, dining room or kitchen, keeping it public at home. For the older children that might not work, so she said parents could ask those kids to bring their laptops and cellphones out to the kitchen at night before they go to bed.

Watch out for those Facebook or other Internet profiles. When they don't set up their profiles as private, they are not only giving friends access to that information, they are also giving it to hundreds of thousands of other people.

One child predator Anderson arrested told her these online sites were "a virtual shopping catalog."

Disable those laptop webcams, too, she said.

The best advice Anderson said she could give was for parents to sit down with their child and ask them to help create a Facebook page. That's quality time spent with a child, but by playing stupid the child can act like they know more than mom and dad. A parent will learn how much her child knows about computers.

After the Facebook page is created, send a friend request to your child so you can monitor what the child says online.

"Don't stop there, look at all their friends' pages, too. You want to see what they put out on your child," Anderson said.
- And what about telling them how to secure their Facebook and other web pages?  There is a lot of configurations you can change to not allow just anyone to see their pages.  Plus, kids under 13 should not be on Facebook, or other social networking sites in the first place

For an older child, she suggested that parents have the child write down their email address and password and put them in a sealed envelope.

"Promise you won't open it unless something bad happens," she said.
- What?  If the kid is underage, I'd set up the Facebook account under my email address, or one I created and have access to.  A kid can easily change their password, etc.  So demand they not do that, and if they do, punish them.  If you seal it, and something bad happens, it's too late!

That will really help law enforcement in a missing child case or a child predator case.

Kids Are More Worried About Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying is another problem for children.

"When cyberbullying first came out, it was a great example of how technology was outpacing law enforcement," she said.

Now there are laws against it, and most schools have policies against it.

With traditional bullying, a child got a reprieve when they went home. But not anymore, as the bullying continues and is passed on by others. The kids who bully others never have to see the consequences.

"Children are more worried about being bullied in cyberspace than any threat from pedophiles," she said.

Children need to be told the consequences of cyberbullying in terms that they can understand, Anderson said.

Video Link

Yet another organization taking advantage of the sex offender hysteria

Web site

Notice the FEAR he tries to instill into people? Anybody pushing fear, you should be weary of, IMO.

We must intensify our efforts to prevent sex offender crimes.

The purpose of Sex Offender Activity Patrol or S.O.A.P., a non-profit organization, is to help protect children by providing surveillance of moderate to high-risk sex offenders who are likely to offend again or break their parole requirements.

There are 700,000 registered sex offenders nationwide.

The past decade has seen a dramatic rise in sex offenders and child predators released into communities where they serve out their parole. These individuals can reside in any town, any neighborhood.

Many will commit assaults again. Some of these crimes will be committed against children.
- This is not true.  Studies show that most sex offenders DO NOT RE-OFFEND! But hey, that's not good for business.

Complicating the release of sexual offenders into communities is the fact that economic conditions and personnel cuts in many areas have put a greater burden on remaining law enforcement offices to keep track of these at-risk individuals. This can impede detection and prevention of predatory sexual crimes.

The S.O.A.P. professional team provides:

  • Surveillance--as a free service--to local authorities and parole officers
  • Surveillance commitment that requires anywhere from a minimum of three days to two weeks, depending on the individual case
  • Recorded footage and pictures that will be turned over only to police or appropriate authorities to provide documented proof of parole violation
  • Services that are 100% mobile so agents can move from area to area with complete ease
  • Only licensed agents and law enforcement officials are allowed to participate in investigations

Thomas A. Lewan, Executive Director

Christy Teslow, Director of Operations

Video Link

IN - Sex Offenders Reveal 'Sick Secrets'

Original Article

See Also: Sex offenders share insights, harsh reality

Like usual, the media and others get the worse cases they can find, and lump all sex offenders into one group, and treat them all as if they are all monsters. The media, politicians, etc, need their monster, and sex offenders happen to be their scapegoat. See the video at the link above.


By Tanya Spencer

Convicted Predators Speak Frankly On Luring Young Victims

MUNCIE - A handful of convicted sex offenders spoke frankly to 100 strangers Wednesday night in Muncie, with no questions off limits.

The workshop was a first-of-its-kind event put on by the Family Services Society to prevent future abuse, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

As offenders spoke candidly about the crimes that put them in jail, two of the panelists said they assaulted young girls they had just met. One abused his own daughter and another was a church mentor.

The offenders talked about how they justified their actions in their minds.

"I moan and gripe and complain about the children that are wearing pants that's got "sexy" (written) on the back. Why do you want to put a word on your 12-, 14- or 16-year-old daughter's butt? I mean, is that not trying to draw attention to her?" said one sex offender, who met his teenage victim online. He blamed pornography for fueling his addiction to sex.
- He's the one responsible for his problem!

All of the panelists agreed that they thought only of their own gratification during their crimes, never about the effect on their victims. Parents came to the workshop looking for answers.
- Looking for answers?  Really?

"(I want) to see how these folks operate and get insight to see where I can stand to protect my own children," said Dwight Martin, a father of a 5-year-old.

"(I wanted) to make sure that I know what to look for to keep my kids safe," said Brandy Martin, Dwight's wife.

"I have three little children. I have a 4-year-old, a 1-year-old and a 3-month-old. That's my worst fear ever is that something awful like that could happen to them," said parent Sandrina Saintignon.
- Statistics show that most sexual abuse happens by someone the victim knows, so you might want to watch your family and anyone else who comes in contact with your child, not just some stranger on the street.

WA - Child Sex Predator Dangers

Video Link

eAdvocate - Bills in Congress

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