Monday, March 13, 2006

FBI caution parents about social networking sites

This comes via BoingBoing - an FBI media release cautions parents about MySpace and other social networking sites frequented by teenagers. Apart from being rather badly worded hype designed to cause fear in the hearts and minds of the technologically ignorant (Dear God, what is Little Jimmy DOING on that computer?!), they have got a great definition of social networking sites:

These websites allow its members to customize their profiles with features including a forum for outside viewers to access photographs and details about the member, including physical attributes and personal information, as well as to access comments and thoughts posted by the member. Viewers of the member’s profile may also contact the member via e-mail or instant messenger, unless otherwise restricted.

The grammar is appalling.

Also of interest (and concern):

The FBI has successfully fostered relationships with willing companies that operate social networking sites in efforts to aid law enforcement in the detection of online sexual predators, in addition to establishing a partnership that will contribute to a safer online environment.

What are they doing? Monitoring what's going on online? Collecting information which can be used in a court of law? Distressing stuff, intended to assuage parental fears. If anything, it's made me more hot and bothered.


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