Computer Crime Research Center


Today's Cheer: Countering cyber crime

Date: July 29, 2008
By: The Times-Union

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum boosted the state's efforts against cyber predators last week by opening a Santa Rosa County office in the Panhandle.

The office joins others in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa coordinated by a Jacksonville headquarters office. About 30 law enforcement officers are part of that network and often work with local sheriffs and police on investigations as well.

McCollum reports that 80 million children use the Internet a day, and one in seven between the ages of 10 and 17 are solicited for sex.

Many of the solicitors are adults who are posing as youths. Such encounters can lead to all kinds of trouble, even kidnapping and death.

McCollum made countering this growing threat a leading priority when elected attorney general in 2006. His office says 70 men have been arrested by his CyberCrime Unit; more than 18 child victims identified because of those cases.

McCollum's office has launched a youth awareness program about cyber crime that has reached more than 132,000 middle and high school students in Florida. The goal is to provide all the state's middle and high school students with tools to help them protect themselves from online predators.

More details are available on that program at

Despite the expense, law enforcement must constantly adjust to meet the challenges posed by people who would seek to harm the public, especially those who want to molest or exploit children.

McCollum's cyber efforts are timely and important on a crime threat that has become an enduring reality of life.

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