Discover Internet Abuse Laws

In the beginning, internet abuse laws were drafted to protect internet users from fraud and other types of cyber crime. Laws and policies designed to protect internet users are drafted and enforced by the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission.

As the internet gained popularity, the number of reported cyber bullying cases increased dramatically. When the first cases began to appear, there was little law enforcement officers could do to punish the offender or protect the victim.

In the case of Megan Meier, no charges were ever filed against the bullies who harassed her. The mother and daughter who initiated the ruse created a fictitious MySpace profile for a young man. They convinced Megan that “Josh” liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend. After a few weeks,Megan was told that Josh no longer wanted to talk to her.

The constant barrage of negative comments and veiled threats, pushed Megan over the edge. Two weeks short of her 14th birthday, committed suicide. The two perpetrator’s new that Megan struggled with depression and took medication to control her condition.

Internet Abuse Laws

According to law enforcement officers who investigated the incident, for whatever crime they committed, could not be charged because there was no documented charge on the books that for what they had done. No charge existed that fit the description of what they had done. That eventually changed when the Cyberbullying Protection Law was drafted into legislation.

The Cyberbullying Protection Law made it a crime to harass, stalk and bully another person, over the internet. Other pieces of legislation soon followed. Cyberstalking laws were drafted and enacted in every state of the union. Federal legislation was also enacted to protect internet users from being stalked and harassed. Special laws were also passed that were designed to specifically protect minors. Each state was responsible for drafting, approving and enforcing their own versions of the federal Internet laws.

Various Types of Internet Abuse

Internet abuse takes many forms. With the introduction of new forms of technology, the number of fraud and identity theft cases skyrocketed in a few short years. In addition to major financial crimes, the internet created the perfect medium for the production and sale of child pornography. The inclusion of the internet into public schools taught children how to navigate the world wide web.

As students became more proficient in the use of computers, bullies began to use the internet to stalk and harass their victims. For a bully, the internet was the perfect medium in which to operate. They could come and go as they pleased without leaving any physical evidence. The best part to them was that they could remain completely anonymous.

Internet Abuse Laws: Cyber Bullying

Internet abuse laws designed to deal with cyberbullying, must be drafted in great detail to be effective. In Megan Meier’s case, the legislation came too late. However, the Foundation that bears Megan’s name continues to push for new and improved legislation that will hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions. Members of the foundation have been advocates of change to make sure with each law that gets passed, no more victims will fall through the cracks. It is their goal that for every victim has the guarantee that their bully will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Cyberbullying laws cover a variety of activities that are now considered to be illegal. The following activities are included in many pieces of legislation:

  • Stalking using any type of communications device
  • Sending threatening texts or emails over cell phones, texts, instant messaging, etc.
  • Harassing an individual with repeated attempts at contact either through phone calls or texts, emails, instant messaging, etc.
  • Soliciting sexual favors
  • Sending or receiving pornographic images of minors
  • Interacting with a minor in a sexual manner using any type of device governed by the FCC

Cyberbullying has become one of the fastest growing crimes in history. Before the internet, a bully could only harass those that were close to their location. Now with the internet as a starting point, they can threaten, harass and stalk individuals who are half a world away. There are few boundaries they can’t cross and they can do it all from the security of their own home.

Individuals who are technologically savvy can hide their tracks fairly well leaving behind few traces for investigators to follow. Those who are exceptionally skilled at hacking and programming can create shields and firewalls that are difficult to crack, even with the advanced systems law enforcement agencies have access to.

Internet Abuse Statistics

Statistics that detail how extensive cyberbullying really is create an incredible picture of just how wide spread the problem is. Internet stalking and harassment reports increase daily and from the looks of the numbers, there is no end in sight.

  • Over 80 percent of students think that cyberbullies choose to use the internet because they can remain anonymous and it is much easier for them to get away with the crime
  • Over two thirds of the teens surveyed believe that cyberbullying is becoming a serious problems that needed to be investigated further
  • Over 40 percent of students admit to having been bullied at least once and out of those numbers at least 1 in 4 claim that it has happened more than once
  • Statistics have proven that girls are targeted by cyberbullies twice as often as boys
  • The majority of girls who are stalked on line are white
  • Statistics state that a person who is bullied online is 9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than individuals who aren’t bullied
  • Statistics show that only 1 out of every 10 children who are bullied online will report the incident to a parent, teacher or other person in a position of authority.
  • Cell phones are increasingly common among middle and high school students. It is estimated that almost 80 percent of students use a cell phone or other electronic device on a daily basis
  • Statistics shown that almost 90 percent of teens have seen or experienced bullying on a social media site such as Facebook and Twitter

Internet abuse laws target individuals who attempt to use the internet as their own personal playground. Cyberbullying and internet stalking have reached epidemic proportions, causing schools, libraries and other public places to implement anti-bullying programs to raise awareness about the dangers of surfing the internet without taking adequate precautions.

Anti-bullying programs attempt to teach both parents and children safe ways to navigate the internet without becoming vulnerable to predators and cyberbullies who are capable of hacking into personal computers and other electronic devices. Programs designed to help students remain safe while surfing the web offer tips to the public to help them learn what types of online behavior is acceptable and what should be avoided.

Anti-virus programs are designed to prevent hackers from installing spyware and malware on computers. Hackers attach files to emails and websites so that when a person opens the attachment or clicks on the website the malicious software is downloaded directly to their computer. These programs can take over manual operations of a laptops camera or install keyloggers that track the users every move. This allows the hacker to retrieve passwords, codes, confidential banking information as well as a variety of other types of private and personal information.

Teen Sex Statistics – Do “Trendy Sexual Behaviors” Give Reason to Brag

How great is the number for those who indulge in teen sex, regardless of numeral configuration, even if that number be one, then it is a problem and more so if both parties are unaware of what can rise from having unprotected sex. The outcome can be that of falling pregnant or catching a sexually transmitted disease (STD.) Okay, getting together with the opposite sex will eventually happen at some time or other (if gay same agenda) so why not make that some time “the right time.” When is the right time, this will depend on what your beliefs are as to whether 15 16 17 years is ideal for a sexual relationship. Remember it is a crime to have underage sex. If you are adamant to go ahead with coupling then at least do your homework first. You need to consider all possibilities which contribute to an unwanted pregnancy occurring or worse still catching a disease that can do more damage that you can imagine.

Sex statistics should never really be taken seriously because of imperfect measurements. Getting people to talk about their sex lives honestly is a difficult mission, especially if it includes a group that is in any way marginalized, as teens are. However study goes on, to help describe and understand sexual behaviors among teens. Here are some facts on statistics and sexual behaviors of interest?

In America nearly half of all 15-19-year-old`s have had sexual intercourse at least once. By the age 15, only 13% of teens have ever had sex, you are breaking the law at this age. By the time 19, seven in 10 teens have had sex. The norm we find for having sex for the first time is that of 17. Teens are wising up to the dangers than that of in the past where teen sex was greater in number. Thankfully teens are taking heed of the alerts telling of the dangers from having unprotected sex. Thirteen percent of females and 15% of males aged 15-19 in 2002 had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995.

In England and Wales, the law on Sexual Offenses were changed. However the legal age for young people to consent to have sex still remains at 16, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual. Although the age of consent remains at 16, the law will make no intervention unless it involves abuse or exploitation. Under the Sexual Offenses Act you still have the right to confidential advice on contraception, condoms, pregnancy and abortion, even if you are under the legal age. In the US different states may have different age laws for legal sex.

Unfortunately we still have the minute few who believe they know it all until the inevitable happens. Many teens are prepared to take sexual risks despite more than ten years of public warnings. Teen sex should never be an event of chance in hope God will make things right should they go wrong. Nip it in the bud so no prayers have to be said in regards to falling pregnant or catching an STD. The outcome of intensive research showed new infections of the Aids virus in 1999 were the highest in over 10 years.

In reply from some teens who were asked why so early for sex, was, “it is trendy and everyone one else is doing it” so why not me. Another point of interest was, it was a way of showing off where teens would boast “Hey everyone I have done it.” Well this may be the in thing to do but did you ever give any thought to showing off a bump on the belly or a prison ID number when having your mug shot photo taken.

Many teens openly admit to that of feeling pressurized to lose their virginity. The most prominent fear from having unprotected sex was highlighted as to an unwanted pregnancy (88%) and 87% said an STD. To keep safe you have to think condom. Using a condom is one of the safest forms of birth control used and a powerful deterrent against catching a sexually transmitted disease.

We have the male and female condom. The male condom is made of thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane and fits over an erect penis. Condoms are lubricated to make them easier to use.
A condom acts as a barrier between the penis and the vagina, the penis and the mouth, or the penis and the anus. This does not mean sexual intercourse can not take place. A condom will cover the entire penis to prevent sperm entering the vagina.

For women the female condom is made from soft polyurethane and is located inside the vagina. It is held in place by a ring at either end; it lines the vagina and stops sperm getting into it. Using condoms bring no side affects unlike some other forms of contraception.
The female condom if properly inserted is 95% effective. Condoms have been known to split. Problems which occur from using the female condom is – if it slips or moves out of place from not being properly inserted. You can find out more at any family planning clinic where contraception and advice is given freely.

Below some useful resource centers should you need help and advice?

1 Get Connected – One-stop helpline for young people. This organization evolves round youngsters who feel they want to run away from home or have already done so. Services include compassionate support, help and guidance.

Helpline: 0808 808 4994 open 1pm-11pm seven days a week

2 Childlike – an organization which provides a free, confidential telephone counseling service for children or young people regardless of what the nature of the problem is.

National helpline: 0800 1111. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

3 Avert services are more connected to health

International aids & medical research charity.

Telephone: 01403 210202

Never be frightened or to embarrassed to seek help. Prevention is better than any cure. Pick up the phone for a brighter future.

4 bpas (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)

Telephone: 0845 730 4030

Organization of many options i.e. dealing with unplanned pregnancy, emergency contraception, free pregnancy testing and vasectomy services.

Using Florida’s Romeo and Juliet Law to Remove Names From Florida’s Sex Offender List

The “Romeo and Juliet law” was enacted in Florida in 2007 by Florida Statute 943.04354 after the Shakespeare play about teenage lovers. The law was enacted because of concerns about young people in high school that were subjected to having to register as sexual offenders because they participated in a consensual sexual relationship with others of a similar age. The Florida legislature designed this law in order to separate sexual offenders who really pose a threat to children from high school teens who, with peers, had consensual sex.

This Florida law also gives people who had consensual sex when they were, at the time, teens or young adults to petition the court to relieve them of the requirement of having to register as a sex offender and or a sexual predator. The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that some 250 people have been given relief under this statute. For a person to obtain relief, they have to file a petition where they will show that by removing the requirement to register, will not go against the federal law and that the person has met the following requirements:

1 – The offence happened either on or after July 1, 2007.

2 – Prove that the only reason the person has to register as a sexual predator or offender is because of the offence at issue.

3 – The person is less than four years older than the victim. The courts are very strict about this requirement and have denied relief to persons who were over four years older than the victim, even if it was only a matter of weeks.

4 – The victim was between 14 and 17 years of age when the crime was committed.

5 – Because of a consensual sex act, the person was adjudicated delinquent or was convicted.

Once the person files a petition, a hearing is then held where the state attorney will be required to place a public notice regarding the petition at least 21 days prior to the hearing. It is the right of the state attorney to argue the petition and try to get it denied by presenting evidence in opposition. The statute says the court has to rule on the petition, and as long as the court determines the person in question has met the statutory criteria and that removing the requirement to register will not conflict with federal law, “it may grant the petition.” It is at the courts discretion as to whether they will grant or deny the petition. Additionally, should the court deny the petition, the person is no longer allowed to petition further for removal of the requirement to register.

If the petition is granted, the person is required to provide the Department of Law Enforcement with a certified copy of the court order to remove the registration requirement. At that point, the requirement to register will not apply, and all information in regards to the person in the public registry of sexual predators and sex offenders must be removed by the department. Nevertheless, access will still be available about the person’s criminal record or history as a matter of public record. Even though it is not required for these petitions that are filed under this statute be filed by lawyers, it may be in the best interest of the person to have the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

5 Dangers to Discuss With Your Teens Before Spring Break

Your child studies hard and deserves a break from the stresses of high school or college life. You want them to have a memorable spring vacation. But you never imagined the “fun” might include baring it all for a group of drunken frat boys, having sex with strangers or passing out on a hotel balcony from drinking too much. Your teen would never do that, right? Right?

Spring break is a time when even the most trustworthy, well-behaved youth may seize the opportunity to release their inhibitions and overindulge. Here are five of the most significant threats facing young people on spring break – all of which are preventable with your help:

#1 Binge Drinking

Spring break has become synonymous with binge drinking. A survey by the Journal of American College Health found that the average male consumes 18 alcoholic drinks per day and the average woman consumes 10 drinks per day during spring break. About half drink until they pass out or get sick. Not surprisingly, alcohol is a factor in most spring break accidents, arrests, violent crimes and deaths.

Binge drinking is associated with a number of health problems, including liver diseases, injuries, brain damage and alcohol poisoning. Polls by the American Medical Association (AMA) suggest that during spring break alcohol is cheap and easy to access regardless of age. Younger drinkers and those who typically drink lightly or not at all are at greater risk of acute harm if they increase their alcohol consumption on spring break, according to a 2009 study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Some young people go into spring break planning to get drunk, while others succumb to peer pressure, believing that drinking too much, nursing a hangover and then doing it all again the next day seems like the normal thing to do. In groups, young people tend to act less rationally. According to a 2007 report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, students who vacation with friends dramatically increased their alcohol use (an average of 17.6 drinks per week more than usual).

#2 Drug Overdose

Many young people use spring break as an opportunity to experiment with drugs other than alcohol, especially marijuana and “club drugs” like ecstasy. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy warned that first-time use of marijuana and alcohol by teens increases dramatically during spring break.

In addition to the health risks posed by these drugs, many youth obtain the drugs wherever they’re vacationing, which means they may not come from a trustworthy source, may be cut with other substances or may be more potent than expected. Young people also frequently overlook the potentially fatal consequences of mixing drugs and alcohol.

#3 Driving Under the Influence

Where there’s alcohol, there’s the danger of drunk driving. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drunk driving claimed the lives of more than 10,000 motorists, nearly one-third of which were alcohol-related.

In popular spring break destinations, additional police officers are often hired during March and April to crack down on drunk driving, potentially resulting in a suspended license, prison time, a fine and a criminal conviction on their permanent record. The combination of alcohol, friends and the beach also puts youth at increased risk of distracted driving (because of cell phones, texting or rowdy passengers) and alcohol-related accidents like drowning.

#4 Risky Sex

With their judgment clouded by drugs or alcohol, some young partygoers engage in risky sexual behaviors they later regret. Others make vacation plans with the goal of getting laid. According to a study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 18 percent of college students made a pact with their peers to “have sex without a condom” and 5.2 percent made “have sex with someone new” pacts.

According to polls by the AMA, 74 percent of college women said spring break results in increased sexual activity. More than half of college students know friends who were sexually active with more than one partner during spring break, and nearly three out of five women know friends who had unprotected sex during that time.

Aside from the obvious risks of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (many of which perhaps non-coincidentally peak from March to May), AMA polls show that more than half of college women are promiscuous not necessarily because they want to be, but because it allows them to fit in. One in five regretted engaging in sexual activity during spring break, and 12 percent felt forced or pressured into sex.

#5 Crime

Drinking alcohol dramatically increases the risk of rape and sexual violence. During spring break, hospitals around the country report an increase in rapes, injuries, assaults, deaths and arrests. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that intentional poisonings (including date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, ketamine and GHB) caused almost 15,000 emergency room visits in 2009. In Daytona, Fla., a popular spring break hotspot, officials have reported twice as many rape cases during the month of spring break.

Where your child goes for spring break can be as important as who they go with and what they do. Some locations, such as Orlando and West Palm Beach, have been ranked among the most dangerous spring break getaways. If your child is planning a trip to Las Vegas, Key West, South Padre Island, Daytona Beach or Myrtle Beach, they are headed to what Forbes calls the “trashiest spring break destinations” for 2012.

Young people traveling to foreign countries (most notably in recent years, Mexico) should be aware of additional risks, particularly if they leave popular tourist areas. In the past, crimes against U.S. citizens have included drug violence, theft, rape, sexual assault, abduction and murder. Those who violate the laws of the country they’re visiting may be subjected to harsher penalties and more complex legal troubles than they’d face on home soil.

Never Too Early to Talk

Spring break offers parents an excellent opportunity to discuss the dangers of unprotected sex, binge drinking and drug use. There are a few common sense tips every parent should discuss with their child before spring break:

• Get acquainted with the place they are visiting and make sure they know how to access emergency help
• Know your child’s plans and make sure they check in frequently
• Do not carry large amounts of cash or expensive clothing or jewelry items
• Learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and make your expectations clear
• Stay close to friends and never wander off with a stranger
• Be on the lookout for date rape drugs, keep your drink covered and never accept drinks from strangers
• Never drive under the influence or get in a car with someone who drives drunk

Parents remain the number-one influence in their children’s lives all the way up through adolescence and young adulthood. Talking won’t necessarily prevent all risk-taking, but making your expectations clear will allow your child to not only have fun but also return home safely, with no regrets.

Neighborhood Boxing Gyms Help Keep Youth Off the Streets

Teens growing up in troubled neighborhoods often find themselves drawn into seedy situations against their will. Whether it is peer pressure, or a feeling of despair for the future, many of today’s youth fall prey to the allures of gangs, violence, and drugs. One of the most effective ways to circumvent this calamity is by making sure these kids stay active in after-school programs.

One of the best activities for children and teens to participate in are the fitness programs held in their schools or local gyms. There are neighborhood fitness centers like these all across the nation. Their success stories never cease to inspire. Whether it is boxing, basketball, or badminton, studies have shown that after-school activities dramatically lower incidence rates of violence and crime amongst teens.

Programs like ones organized by Horace Bryant at the Fourth Street Youth Boxing Gym in Minnesota are perfect examples of the preventative power of these clubs. Bryant saw the trouble that teens in his neighborhood were getting in to, and wanted to make a difference. That’s why he coordinated his youth outreach program with the owners of his local gym.

Take a look at the case of a young man named Chris Watson. Chris was involved in trouble with the law ever since he was 14 years old. He had been arrested multiple times, dropped out of school in 2007, and was even charged with a felony. Watson stated that he would have likely continued down the bleak path he was on if it weren’t for his local boxing program.

“I just had nothing to do back in the day; I wasn’t working,” Watson said. “I had so many friends I didn’t know what to do with and they were always doing something illegal or something fun. Ever since I met Horace, going to the gym is what I look forward to everyday. I can’t wait to get off work and go boxing.” Bryant not only helped Watson with his training, but also helped him get a job. Chris is now studying to complete his GED, and hopes to someday inspire kids the way that Bryant inspired him and saved him from the streets.

Gyms and stories like this exist all over the nation. It is incredibly important to support programs like these. These organizations improve the lives of the children enrolled in it, while at the same time decreasing rates of crime and violence in their surrounding neighborhoods. Unfortunately, due to the recent recession, much of the funding to these programs via state and federal grants has been slashed. Often times these gyms depend on donations to purchase MMA equipment to help them prepare for matches. That is why it is so vital to recognize how crucial these programs are to our communities around the nation, and the world.

Check out more about Horace Bryant’s program at the Fourth Street Youth Boxing Gym in Minnesota.