New Legislation Introduced to Senate

The School And Family Education (SAFE) about the Internet Act of 2009 has been introduced to the Senate. It’s purpose is to “promote Internet safety education and cybercrime prevention initiatives, and for other purposes.” From what I can tell by reading this Act, the education would take place primarily in the schools, but at no cost to the schools. This means seeking federal monies for grants, which means the Feds are going to have to see this as a priority.

One of the things I especially liked about the text of this bill were that they were interested in “peer-driven Internet safety education initiatives.” However, the word “evaluation” is nowhere to be found, which makes me nervous.

While I am not holding my breath on this one given the current economic times and other priorities, it is a first step towards recognizing the importance of online safety. It also may be the first time there has been a formal attempt on a national level to suggest that internet safety belongs in school instruction (Virginia has state legislation related to supporting online safety instruction).

Causing Panic Down Under

An uninspiring “study” out of Australia states that more than half of teens lie about their age online. As if teens trying to pass as older than they really are is some new phenomenon (C’mon, readers, when did you get your first fake ID?).

What I find especially disconcerting about this newspaper article is the lead: “TEENS are using the internet to lead double lives…” it states. I mean really — you read the rest of the article and it simply states that teens lie about their age and use pictures to make them selves look better and more “cool.” Is this really something to get in a panic about? I think not.

Interesting note: The study was conducted by a “skin products manufacturer.” And we wonder why teens struggle to look better all the time…