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Hi all,

The meeting hosted by the Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes group
was a resounding success. These folks did an incredibly excellent job in
reaching out to various constituencies.

I met the gentleman who is with Illinois Library Media Specialists - whose
name I think begins with a J, but who did not have a card and I always space
names and got in last night at 12:30 so forgive me. They also had key folks
from the safe schools organization. And the director of the Illinois
Principal's Association plus some other obviously astute education leaders.
I did not see many ed tech folks, unfortunately. They did have a good
showing of industry folks from the national level - MySpace, Facebook,
Yahoo, Comcast.

In the morning they had some short presentations, a panel that I was on -
but I got to talk for about 10 minutes as an intro. At lunch a presentation
about the AG office's Internet safety program (I still have to review this
but it already seems to be much better than what I have seen elsewhere just
in the manner of presentation.) Then in the afternoon they had established 4
groups - with participants carefully selected to ensure diversity. And they
came up with really great ideas.

It became clear that one major issue that stood as a barrier between
educators and law enforcement was the fear of educational leaders that law
enforcement would overreact and arrest students if concerns were reported to
them. I wrote an article on sexting for the American Association of School
Administrators and indicated in that article how important it was for ed
leaders to sit down with law enforcement and work out protocols.

In the very long messages I sent to this group about Operation Delete
Internet Fear, I mentioned that what I thought was very important was
providing funding to do exactly what Illinois has started to do. As it turns
out one of the Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee is *** from
Illinois ***. So I have already forged a link between these folks and this
representative's office.

And some of the industry folks who were present were the national level
policy directors (lobbyists) who I discussed this with briefly. So I am
actually feeling more positive that it may be possible to actually amend
this legislation to do something right.

So thanks all for your very good thoughts. They went far. :-)

PS And yes, I actually discussed the concerns of Reefer Madness - Just Say
"no" Internet messaging - using those terms.

Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Aggression, Threats, and Distress (Research Press)

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass)

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