Can the Trump Administration do more to protect children online?

Can the Trump Administration do more to protect children online? 

Horace C. White 

Modern Tokyo Times 

Lack of Cybersecurity Measures for Children is Destroying Homes

Most parents should now be aware that February 5th this year marked a Safer Internet Day. Indeed, it’s a day that reminds teachers, in general, and society, in particular, that a need exists to step up additional safeguards to protect children from Internet predators.

Parents are deeply concerned

In contemporary American society, the majority of children are trained to get acquainted with technology. From smartphones to computers, game consoles to tablets, these gadgets, and many others play pivotal roles in shaping the lives of children. Despite that this exposure comes with lots of amazing benefits, it also leaves some traces of harmful effect. According to a PCMag survey, over 76% of American parents are losing sleep over the online safety of their child or children. As a result, many of them use parental control functions to keep close tabs on their kids’ Internet activities because they fear their children could be exposed to harm over the Internet.

Today, online predators increasingly target youngsters and teenagers. Sure, these masked adults understand that children are vulnerable, so they try to harm these precious children. In the end, these children get abducted and/or are sexually abused. More recently, some young children are enlisted in terrorist organizations – of course, this is an extreme example but sadly this fact exists. When these societal evils occur, parents often lodge complaints with relevant authorities that in most cases are not enacted on. Sadly, these security operatives don’t do enough to unmask, arrest and prosecute these heinous online perpetrators who are engaged in barbaric Internet crimes. Sadly to say, this matter is only getting worse.

Some interesting statistics

Online predators continue to torment and harm children because these youngsters are impressionable. Today’s statistics involving online child predators are rather appalling.

For instance:

  • About 82% of sex-related criminal offenses involving minors are learned over social media sites. Usually, these unknown online child predators take advantage of online information to harm their victims. In the U.S. alone there are no fewer than 747,408 sex offenders in its databases
  • While female children are often victims of online predators, a significant number of male children have also been victimized
  • More than 56% of the children who were sexually abused over the Internet were asked to share their pictures. 27% of these pictures were nude photos
  • After the first online contact, the predator usually calls for a one-on-one meeting. In cases where aggressive sexual solicitation occurred, 73% of the victims met the predator online
  • Studies show that one-third of the victims reported such cases.

Who is to blame?

Despite one-third of victim’s criminal complaints reaching law enforcement agencies, online predators are still at-large. The question now remains, “Who is to blame for this societal menace?” Beyond question, there is a long list of U.S. agencies that have abdicated their responsibility in this regard. Truly, to date, a number of U.S. government agencies have failed to give online child safety, from these predators, the attention it deserves. Equally, the U.S. Congress and the entire American judiciary can do more to stop these criminal acts from taking place against children.

Yet, U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration appears to be following the failings of past administrations irrespective if Democrat or Republican. President Trump, who is extremely fond of Twitter, repeatedly attacks the Democrats as things go awry. Although the president has made historical inroads by being the oldest and richest president ever in U.S. history, he can surely expand his presidential legacy by authorizing the Trump Administration to go after online predators with an Executive Order today. By doing so, the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for instance, and other branches of the U.S. government can do their jobs and enforce the law by going immediately after these online predators.

In sum, this should be a wake-up call to all governments of the world that protecting children online is paramount to a safer society. Especially as we move forward with the Internet of Things (IoT), in which children can be victimized online, and the Trump Administration as the world’s leading superpower can do more to protect children online.

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