Sixth Annual Cyber Crime Symposium
A coalition of law enforcement agencies, child advocacy groups, private entities, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles participated in the Sixth Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium, a day-long seminar for more than 400 educators, parents, and middle and high school students being held at the California Endowment in Los Angeles on October 29, 2014.
The symposium addressed a wide range of Internet-related security and safety issues with speakers conducting discussions on topics that included child exploitation, cyber bullying, digital reputation, social media and Internet dangers, and sextortion, among other topics. A special celebrity guest from a Disney program also made an appearance during the lunch break.
“Children who are growing up in this high-tech age are being targeted by online predators at an alarmingly high rate,” said Deanne Tilton Durfee, Executive Director for the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN). “Each year, this symposium will provide participants with resources and tools to help children learn how to protect themselves and be safe in the cyber world, while enjoying all of the benefits of the fast-growing technologies.”
Student teams from each of the schools attending this one-day symposium will also be invited to participate in the 4th Annual Cyber Safety contest to develop a cyber safety program at their respective schools in order to educate the entire student body on the various risks associated with cyber crime. The contest aims to promote good cyber etiquette by challenging students to engage in creating the cyber safety programs. Students participating in this challenge will have their contest entries judged by a panel, and the winning school will be publicized in May 2015.
“Each year, the FBI participates in this event to have a direct impact on kids so that they can protect themselves and act as our ambassadors among their peers in stemming online victimization by predators or cyber bullies,” said Bill L. Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “As I’ve said in the past, technology has enhanced our lives, but there are those who use the Internet to target children with bullying campaigns, sextortion schemes, or by disguising their identity and their malicious intentions.”
Organized under the aegis of ICAN, law enforcement agencies participating in today’s conference include the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and the Los Angeles Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
“With the Internet becoming an integral component of our daily lives, it is essential that everyone—especially young people—have skills to remain safe in cyberspace,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “This conference will help young people—the most vulnerable among us—develop and implement strategies that will help them avoid the dangers that can be lurking online.”
The Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium also includes participation by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Fox Entertainment Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“The Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium continues to be a great resource for parents and educators and specifically tailors content sessions to students’ interests and needs. It is an engaging day and a wonderful opportunity to learn more about critical technology issues that our students face on a daily basis,” said Dr. Kevin Baxter, Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
“The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is proud to partner with law enforcement, educators, parents, and students to address the very serious threats posed by online predators and cyber bullies,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Together, we can empower our residents with the tools to keep kids safe so that everyone can enjoy the many benefits of technology.”
ICAN serves as the official County agent to coordinate the development of services for the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. ICAN’s Policy Committee includes 32 county, city, state. and federal agency heads, as well as UCLA, the Police Chief’s Association, and five private sector members appointed by Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors. The work of ICAN has received national recognition as a model for inter-agency coordination for the protection of children. In 1996, ICAN was designated as the National Center on Child Fatality Review (NCFR).