Government officials and online service providers announced plans at a December summit to protect children from Internet obscenity, but some conservative Christian organizations believe the gathering amounted to little more than family-values window dressing.
The three-day "Internet/Online Summit: Focus on the Children" assembled government, school, library, computer-industry, and child-advocacy group leaders in Washington, D.C. While representatives did not agree on the best way to restrict youth from viewing pornography geared to adults, Vice President Al Gore announced a "zero tolerance" policy on Internet pornography depicting children and the creation of a "tip line," where parents can report child pornography.
Online providers are supporting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children "CyberTipLine" initiative. Parents will be able to notify authorities of incidents of child pornography and child predators in cyberspace. The line will serve as a clearinghouse for tips on enticement of children for sexual exploitation, as well as information on the possession or distribution of child pornography. The new Web site is www.missingkids.com/cybertip and the center's hotline is 1-800-843-5678.
During the Clinton administration, as the use of graphics on the Web has increased and Internet technology has developed, the number of Justice Department agents patrolling cyberspace has risen from a handful to more than 100, and FBI arrests have led to the convictions of more than 100 online child predators.
Gore also unveiled a public education campaign to teach parents how to protect children surfing the Internet. While online providers say parents have primary responsibility to monitor the computer behavior of their children, ...1
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