DENVER – Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers today joined law enforcement officers from 50 jurisdictions across the Centennial State for an Internet safety training event sponsored by AOL. The event, titled “The Changing World of Online Criminal Investigations,” was provided to help investigators understand how to gather evidence in an increasingly fragmented online environment.
“The statistics are frightening: One in five kids who uses the Internet frequently has been sexually solicited by a pedophile,” commented the Attorney General. “We must do everything in our power to make our kids’ online experience as safe as it can be – including arming law enforcement with as much information as possible.”
The day-long training session included presentations from AOL on the constantly changing nature of online investigation; from Yahoo on using web portals in Internet investigations; from Qwest on how broadband has affected online safety issues; and from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on new programs and investigatory tools. During the lunch break, Comcast senior vice president Mitch Bowling delivered remarks on his company’s efforts to make the Internet safer for kids.
AOL sponsored the event to ensure that law enforcement could attend free-of-charge.
“AOL appreciates the opportunity to host this conference which is designed to bring industry and Colorado law enforcement together,” said AOL state and public policy director Will Castleberry. “Under the leadership of Attorney General Suthers, today's training will place Colorado at the technical forefront of internet forensics and will enable local police to more effectively combat online predators. We greatly appreciate Attorney General Suthers’ efforts in making the Internet a safer place for Colorado's children.”
Internet safety training is an annual component of Attorney General Suthers’ Safe Surfing Initiative, which was launched in 2005. In addition to law enforcement training, the Initiative brings Internet safety presentations to local school districts and authors legislation to combat sexual predators online. House Bill 06-1011, which made the online solicitation of children a felony, has resulted in more than 140 arrests since its implementation in July of 2006.
“The prevalence of sexual predation on the Internet is simply astounding,” concluded the Attorney General. “We must fight online exploitation with legislation, law enforcement, and education. The stakes are far too high to do anything less than our best.”