Angry parents who want to stop child predators on the internet would like to see a strict law against talk online that would indicate that one user is advancing sexually upon the other user, and assuming one of the users is an adult and the other is a minor. In other words they want to prevent crime by attacking crime’s premeditations, assuming they know what those premeditations were, or if those thoughts were going to become actions. It’s a lot of assumptions in this new idea of crime fighting on the Internet. It is the manifestation of the Thought Police that we all used to snicker about when pondering the future. The future is here.
Four points of fact around this issue:
- The Internet has allowed child predators access to a new tool. Nevertheless, be aware the old tools that were reliable to predators still remain; hanging at the ice-cream shop, bringing a cute dog to the playground and etc..
- Child predators are harder to catch given the anonymity of the net. The predators are practiced at appearing to be peers.
- Children on-line are easily fooled by false identity.
- Children on-line are often unsupervised by an at-home adult. The home computer has become the new nanny to the television’s reign in that role.
- Technological answers must be used to address to this technological problem. Answers such as:
- Identification cards for all children. Swipe cards used at every keyboard. Cards should expire at age eighteen so that no adult could use them past the holder’s eighteenth birthday, nor could another minor use the card, if stolen or lost. Adult users could operate solely with passwords to unlock terminals at home or in public.
- Corporate sponsors could offer earned gifts from stores and on-line shopping sites, adding points to ID cards, which should offer incentive to care for the card and to use it properly, by one’s self.
- Every newly registering URL must belong to an adult. Every domain registration company must wait in compliance form identification to be verified. Every adult domain must have a “dot x” label, and ISP’s will be responsible for verification. Every commercial chat service or IM provider would have to save and deliver to each parent or guardian a full log of their minor’s conversations.
- Restriction to supervised use of any computer, such as at a library, to any paroled or past sex offender, as a strict condition of release. If a parent or guardian chooses to only allow supervised online time, his or her password would be required within a timed period of the minor’s sign-in, or swipe through.
- The ID card issued to the minor could have a tracer tag implanted within, rendering the card useless if tampered with. The “taggent,” could be vital in locating the child should he or she disappear.