New York's Guardian Angels Get $200,000 Grant To Fight Cybercrime - InformationWeek

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10/10/2006
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New York's Guardian Angels Get $200,000 Grant To Fight Cybercrime

The CyberAngels will use the grant to fight pedophiles and cyberbullies, says Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

New York State has created a cyber-safety "strike force," with the help of the Guardian Angels. The 29-year-old civilian crime-fighting group expanded its turf to include cyberspace when it founded CyberAngels 11 years ago, but this week it received a state grant and support for its mission.

"Today our children face threats in the online world from pedophiles and cyber bullies," Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa said in a statement. "The Strike Force on Cyber Safety will help communities resist these modern dangers and take control of their own online safety."

CyberAngels received $200,000 for community outreach, classroom workshops and online support. The group will help community groups teach youth about the importance of online safety. Since children are often more tech-savvy than their parents, it also will teach parents how to monitor children's Internet activities. Working with the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC), the group also will teach youth how to differentiate between sound and questionable material for academics. CyberAngels will help teachers identify work that is plagiarized or lacking credibility. Finally, the group will show teachers how to identify and prevent cyber bullying.

Sliwa formed the CyberAngels after several people asked for help because of online harassment, cyber stalking, chat room stalking and sexual predators online. It is difficult to quantify the problem since law enforcement agencies do not keep separate statistics for cyber crimes, though news reports indicate that harassment, stalking and molestation originate or occur regularly in cyber space.

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