ASSEMBLY POLICY AND REGULATORY
"The safety and protection of children using the Internet"
|LOCATION:||Committee Room 11
State House Annex
Trenton, New Jersey
|DATE:||November 17, 1997|
MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:
Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck, Chairwoman
Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger, Vice-Chairman
Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano
Assemblywoman Carol J. Murphy
Assemblyman Kevin J. O'Toole
Assemblyman Gary W. Stuhltrager
Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen
Assemblyman Anthony Impreveduto
|Katharine A. Tasch
Office of Legislative Services
| Jon-Robert Bombardieri
Recorded and Transcribed by
The Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey
U.S. Representative Robert D. Franks
7th District 2
John P. Kelly
Law and Public Safety
Ocean County Board of Freeholders 10
High-Tech Crimes Unit
New Jersey State Police, and
High-Tech Crime Investigations
National Computer Security Association 17
Steven E. Some
New Jersey Commission on
New Jersey Department of Education 53
Paul B. Winkler
New Jersey Commission on
New Jersey Department of Education 56
Anti-Defamation League 57
New Jersey Library Association 64
Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck 1x
ASSEMBLYWOMAN ROSE MARIE HECK (Chairwoman): Ladies and gentlemen, I just wanted to welcome you back after our summer break. We wanted to begin with the most important subject on our agenda, and this happens to be children and their protection. And this particular Committee is always willing to take on tough subjects -- and this is very difficult -- protecting people's rights, but most importantly, and our priority is, to protect children.
One of the reasons why we chose this subject was that months ago, during a research on Avenel and sex offenders, my staffer was downstairs on the Internet pulling up material, and we heard gasps and cries of fright and disgust. They had pulled up material that was just unacceptable, even to adults. The immediate fear was, if we could do this, children can do this, and how are we going to protect them? Because we had to research this subject, and our staff at OLS and our Assembly Majority staff did a good job, and we had myriads of material-- What happened was, my staffer, Sue Kozel, synopsized for me -- because she knows I love bookmarks, and we put most everything in a bookmark form -- came up with this one of two (indicating), and I had about 1000 of them made. I said, "Well, we can give them out as we go from place to place." Then, I had to reorder them, and I'm in the process of reordering again, because the PTAs, the Junior Women's Club, etc., wanted to hand them out as they went along. It really is a wonderful little piece. It's not the end all and the be all, but certainly it is a beginning and a comprehensive beginning.
Many of the parents with whom I spoke -- young parents -- did not realize or recognize the danger of the Internet. They had not experienced it, and we don't want them to experience it per se. But we want them to be aware that their children might be experiencing these things without their knowledge. It's just the same way that little magazines were hidden in books, etc., but this is more readily available because you don't have to buy it. It's already in your home. You can access it, and no one will know when you're doing your homework that there's something else you're looking at or someone else with whom you're communicating. And we'll get that information from people who know and have recognized the dangers.
I am very pleased, on behalf of the Committee, to welcome all of you here today because of your concerns equaling our concerns, and I would like to invite Congressman Bob Franks and welcome him back -- our former Assemblyman -- to be here.
And I know that you are proactively involved in this, and I thank you for taking the time to come here and advise us.
U. S. R E P R E S E N T A T I V E R O B E R T D. F R A N K S: Rose, it's wonderful to be back here in the people's House and to have an opportunity to come in on a subject that I think is a growing concern to parents across America. It's also a delightful opportunity to come back to this particular Committee, in which I had the honor and pleasure of chairing years ago, and seeing so many of my friends on both sides of the aisle.
The information superhighway has dramatically changed the way all of us communicate and receive information. Today, it's hard to find a school, a library, or a business that doesn't have access to the Internet. For our children, the trip to the library to look up information for a homework assignment has been replaced by turning on the family computer and surfing the Net.
Today, 60 million Americans have access to the Internet. And as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a new source of funds were identified to generate moneys to bring the Internet to schools and libraries all across America. While the wealth of information that you can quickly find on the Internet continues to amaze me, this extraordinary technology, when put in the wrong hands, has a dark and threatening side. More than a year ago, I brought together law enforcement officials and Internet experts to discuss with parents the risk of cyberspace. They told us that a child's natural curiosity when surfing the Net can expose them to real dangers if they come into contact with those sick individuals who prey upon our children.
Pedophiles are using the Internet to meet and befriend our children and in the extreme, as in the case of Sam Manzie, to stalk victims. The Internet has also become, unfortunately, a billboard to display pornography without regard to whether children are watching. Tragically, unscrupulous individuals have turned to cyberspace to peddle their kiddie porn.
Most Internet service providers, ISPs, routinely monitor the Internet including their chat rooms. And while they're quick to shut down Web sites that contain child pornography or to disconnect from chat rooms adults attempting to lure children, much more needs to be done. Under current law, Internet service providers are not required to report instances of suspected child abuse to law enforcement agencies. In fact, Federal law actually prohibits these service providers from divulging to law enforcement the contents of communications that would indicate criminal activities unless it was obtained inadvertently. In effect, these pedophiles and kiddie porn operators are given free reign to exploit our children on the Net.
We cannot allow our children's safety to be jeopardized by the information superhighway. That's why I recently, along with bipartisan cosponsors, introduced in Congress the Child Abuse Notification Act. It would require Internet service providers to report any cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities. This legislation sends a clear signal that abusive activities aimed at children will no longer be tolerated on the Internet. In addition to the notification requirement, Internet service providers would be compelled to turn over to law enforcement any evidence they have of suspected criminal behavior that threatens children. As we discuss this issue, it is important to know that Federal law already requires school teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, and photographers to contact authorities any time they believe someone may be abusing a child. This legislation would merely extend that obligation to Internet service providers. This bill would help to clean up the Net and help to protect our kids. It would mean that when a parent calls a service provider to complain that their 12-year-old daughter is receiving lewd E-mail messages from an adult male, the service provider would be required to not only contact authorities, but to turn over the evidence which could be used to put a criminal behind bars. Importantly, the bill protects service providers from any civil or criminal liability if they, in good faith, contact law enforcement to report suspected child abuse.
The need for this bill was first brought to my attention about a year ago by Attorney General Janet Reno in the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has taken the lead in prosecuting cases of child abuse involving the Internet. The bill has already received the endorsement of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Enough is Enough, and the National Law Center for Children and Families.
For a moment, I'd like to turn, Madam Chair, to another issue, another danger that kids face in this information age. In recent years, the Internet has become a very popular marketing tool. Major advertisers are using their Web sites to lure children into providing personal and often sensitive information about themselves and their families, holding out the offer of free gifts or products. It's important to know that the Internet is not the only way that information about our children is being collected and sold. Every time a parent signs a child up for a birthday club at a local fast food restaurant or ice cream store or fills out a warranty card for a new toy or computer, completes a consumer survey at the local supermarket or allows a child to be included in a school directory, they could inadvertently be putting their child at risk. The fact is that these businesses and institutions routinely sell these lists of children, which often contain personal, descriptive, sensitive information, to individuals, companies, and organizations who have absolutely nothing to do with the purpose for which parents gave the information about their kids in the first place.
Currently, parents have no way of knowing that information about their kids is being bought and sold in the open market, and they are powerless to stop it if they disapprove. List vendors today sell this information to whoever wants to purchase it. Anyone with a mailing address can contact a list vendor and order a specific list. A buyer might be after the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all children living in a particular neighborhood or perhaps a much more detailed list, such as all 10-year-old boys in a suburban community who have a particular kind of video game system. And the cost of this information is remarkably inexpensive -- just a few pennies a name.
The danger of this information winding up in the wrong hands is very real and very frightening. About a year ago, a television reporter with KCBS Television in Los Angeles ordered the names of 5000 kids, between the ages of eight and twelve, in Los Angeles County, California. She placed that order under the name of a man by the name of Richard Allen Davis. At the moment that she placed that order and used the name of Richard Allen Davis, that gentleman was on trial in superior court in California for the murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas. Two days after placing that order, the 5000 names were delivered, COD, for $271.
In May of 1996, I introduced the Children's Protection and Parental Empowerment Act. It would give parents control over the sale of personal information about their children. I'm pleased that here in Trenton Senator Bob Singer and Assemblyman Mel Cottrell have introduced similar legislation on the State level. This legislation provides important protections for parents and for children.
First, it would prohibit the sale of personal information about a child without a parent's consent. In addition, it would give parents the right to compel list brokers to release to the parents all information that they've compiled about their child. The list vendors would also have to turn over to the parents the name of anyone to whom they have distributed this information. Finally, list vendors would be required to be more diligent in verifying the identity of companies and individuals seeking to buy lists of children. Specifically, the legislation would make it a criminal offense for a list vendor to provide personal information about children to anyone it has reason to believe would use that information to harm a child.
In today's high-tech information age, when access to information about our personal lives is just a phone call or a keystroke away, our children need the very special protection that these bills would offer. I look forward to working with this Committee, Madam Chair, and all the State Legislature to make certain we protect our most precious resource -- the children of New Jersey.
I thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much.
Would you like to ask the Congressman any questions? (no response)
Bob, if we can be of any help, I think we have to move kind of on the same road at the same time, because sometimes nationally you're a little slower than we are on the State level because of all the people involved.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: You're being kind, Rose.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But I'm talking about the OB express, which we had signed into law two years ago, and the mastectomy bills, etc., that we've done on a State level, which they're moving on the national. I think we on this Committee like to, again, move in the same direction simultaneously with you, because our children need protection yesterday.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: Rose, let me-- All these bills that we're talking about -- and I do believe, obviously, very strongly in the legislation that I've just brought forward to you -- but let's be clear on one point. There is and can be no substitute for parental involvement.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: Parents have to be more cognizant of what their kids are doing when they surf the Net. They have to be knowledgeable of what abuses can take place, and they have to set down firm ground rules by which their kids will be required to live. The government cannot do this.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But let's all agree that there's a certain amount of naiveté and trust.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: Without question. Without question.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Because of the fact that most parents look upon the computer as one of the best educational tools, which it is.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: No question.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But it is also one of the most dangerous -- access to a child's mind, soul, and body. And that's why I was surprised, when we put out the bookmarks, that we had young parents surprised that there were problems. So I think it's incumbent upon us holding hearings and presenting bills and your being here to make parents and grandparents and people in general aware of the fact that this is not a minor problem. This is a major problem. And we're going to illustrate that in a minor way today, and that's why the computer is set up here to show. Because sometimes we kind of get inundated with so many problems that which one takes priority is the one which gets the most publicity and becomes the soup du jour, and that's why we have to work in these ways of attracting media attention, so that parents and others are made aware.
Now you're saying you've worked on this a whole year. We here in Trenton were not completely aware of that. The only way we found out was by researching other data to see how blatant it was. We knew that there might be some access and that there are these strange chat rooms, but we were totally unaware as to the magnitude of the Internet problem.
I was told by Dr. Marty Finkel, who Chairs the Governor's Child Abuse Committee over the years -- that he was in Barcelona just a couple of weeks ago testifying on an international level -- that the problem is worldwide and to such a degree that it is absolutely frightening to the well-being of our children internationally. That was something that I was surprised to hear, that they have already accessed experts from the States and from here in New Jersey to go to Spain to speak before an international group.
So you are right on track, Bob, as is this Committee, in addressing this. But we want to do it properly, and the first step is knowledge and communication. But I thank you very much for being here today, because you've added to the importance.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: Thank you.
Rose, let me-- Two points quickly. One, this is why Federal legislation, in my judgment, is so important. Because when an E-mail -- a lewd E-mail designed to solicit a child is put on the Internet, you don't know the point or the geographic point from which that E-mail has emanated, which is why it's important to move nationally with national guidelines as opposed to state by state. But I do believe there are a number of things that the state can do in addition and would be happy to talk to you about that.
Secondly, last night on News 4 at 11:00 there was a segment on this issue, and I brought a videocassette for you to leave it with the Committee.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Oh, great. Thank you.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS: Thank you very much.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much.
Our next speaker is Freeholder John P. Kelly, from Ocean County.
I saw that John Kelly. I thought it was that Kelly coming up.
F R E E H O L D E R J O H N P. K E L L Y: I get his mail once in a while.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: I know John Kelly.
FREEHOLDER KELLY: Good morning. And first let me thank you all for allowing me to address this Committee on a topic that's very important to all of us, and that's our children. As it's been stated, I'm a member of the Board of Freeholders in Ocean County, where I serve as the Director of Law and Public Safety. But perhaps as important as anything this morning is the fact that I'm a father of five children. My youngest is seven years old. My oldest is the president of his class -- the junior class at Pinelands Regional High School. It's in all these capacities that I work with and hear from many groups that work to protect our children and make certain that they are safe.
The Ocean County Missing and Exploited Children's Commission, for example, works to educate and inform the public on a variety of topics concerning child safety. And the Special Projects Unit of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department runs a children's identification program, which provides more than 40,000 identification cards to parents every year. These are just two of the efforts undertaken by public agencies in Ocean County to help protect our children.
Yet, we have a new predator that we actually allow into our homes. They come in quietly over our phone lines, and without our vigilance, we never even know it. Many homes are now equipped with computers and technology that allows easy access to the Internet. Make no mistake about it, we encourage our children to learn about and to use this technology to compete in today's fast-paced world. But what we also do is allow our children to be exposed to pedophiles and material that is either sexual or violent in nature.
We in Ocean County saw firsthand the devastation that can be caused by predators on the Internet. An 11-year-old, innocent of any wrongdoing, whose only fault was in his generosity to his school, is dead. A 15-year-old who was preyed upon by a grown man over the Internet has been charged with the crime. Lives are destroyed, and a county is still trying to cope and come to terms with this tragedy. And this chain of events includes a predator on the Internet. The on-line connection in this case happens more and more each day.
Not that long ago, the Ocean County Missing and Exploited Children's Commission held a conference that featured a State Trooper who handled computer crimes. This Trooper provided a roomful of law enforcement representatives, educators, and social service workers with a wealth of information on how your child can come in contact with a pedophile on the Internet. A pedophile can find your child in a chat room as harmless as one that talks about sports. A pedophile or pornographic material can reach your child through unwanted E-mail, and all it takes is the click of the mouse to get there.
The Exploited and Missing Children's Commission continues to work with the schools, police, and social service agencies in providing education and information on Internet crimes, but we still need to do more. We need to have a concerted effort by the law enforcement community -- the police, the sheriff's department, the prosecutor's office -- in finding these on-line criminals and stopping them. We need to frighten the pedophile away from this easy access by making them uncertain if their next E-mail they send is to an officer -- if it will lead to his or her arrest and jail time.
Parents also need to take an active role in supervising young children in using the Internet. They can prevent access to some pornographic areas through safeguards distributed by Internet providers, but they themselves must act as the safeguards. The first steps in raising, protecting, and caring for our children are taken at home. And what is done in a home has a profound effect on our children. We are their first role models. As parents, we are the first examples, the first teachers in the lives of our children. As parents we need to watch over the shoulders of our children whether they like it or not and take a look at what is unfolding in front of them in the world of cyberspace. We must talk to our children about using chat rooms and about never, never providing information about themselves on-line, for some of them do not realize that their words are being watched by the eyes of millions.
Safeguards need to be created and used vigilantly, so we don't invite predators into our homes over our computer screens. Internet providers need to become more responsive to make certain children are not harmed when using their service. We need to teach our children that the Internet is to be used as a tool for information, yet they must be warned that even as they sit in their own homes using the computer, someone may be thousands of miles away trying to get information from them or about them, trying to hurt them -- or they may be only next door.
As we rely more and more on the Internet to relay information to the public and the more we promote its use, we must also warn those using it, especially our children, that not everything on the Internet is good for them. It is our job as parents to educate our children that they can become a target of a crime on the Internet. That just as we tell them to be careful when they leave for school in the morning or go to play in the neighbor's house, we must give them a similar warning when they sign on to the Internet. The schools must also take an active role in providing child safety courses when teaching children how to use this new technology. And parents can be educated in this area, too, as many of us continue to take courses learning how to use the Internet.
The Special Units Project of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department teaches Internet safety when it teaches its child safety course. So far, 2000 such programs have been completed in our County. The Unit also reaches out to parents, to programs sponsored by schools, and parent-teacher organizations. Armed with pamphlets from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, this Unit provides teachers, parents, and children with Internet do's and don'ts. These are some of the programs that need to be promoted and supported. These programs reach large groups of people and do have an impact.
As we put forth ideas on how to keep our children safe while using the Internet, we must keep in mind that parents, law enforcement, teachers, and the community need to be the ones to take the greatest role in this effort. As elected officials, we must support and continue to provide educational and informational programs about the Internet.
There is also a need to impose stiff penalties on those people who use the Internet as a means to solicit young children into sexual or other harmful activities. We need your help to provide legislation which makes on-line harassment illegal and punishable through fines and mandatory prison time. The Ocean County Board of Freeholders pledges its fullest cooperation as the Legislature gravels with this vexing and complex issue. We stand ready to use our County's time, talent, and treasure in this end.
We cannot wait for the meeting between an innocent child and a pedophile to occur before action can be taken. This already has happened. We know the horrible and harmful effects. We must never ever let this happen again. Legislation proposed by this State's 10th District team of Ciesla, Wolfe, and Holzapfel would provide financial assistance to the State Police so more monitoring of the Internet could take place. This would certainly help.
We need to act with common sense as parents, combined with legislation as elected officials, in order to send out the message that this is wrong and we won't allow our children to be subject to it. As more and more legislation is proposed, we need to study that which is already out there and fine-tune it so that we have the best laws in place protecting our children. And then, on the State, county, and local level, we must aggressively and forcefully enforce these laws. We need to make certain that we reach our children first, before the pedophile or the predator does by simply signing on to a computer.
Again, Madam Chair, thank you for allowing me to address your Committee today.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much.
Any questions for this gentleman? (no response)
Thank you very much.
FREEHOLDER KELLY: Thank you very much.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Appreciate it.
Before I invite the New Jersey State Police Officer to come forward, I am going to -- as he's addressing us -- pass around a booklet of, I guess, it's medium type of pornography, which is still horrific, right? I asked OLS and our Assembly Majority people to call up some things before this meeting, but we don't want more than one of these going around, because we want it returned. We don't want anyone accessing this, because it is not a good thing to promote. However, knowledge is power. And, because we see so many horrible things pass our eyes, I liken this to our meeting on child abuse last year, which precipitated the blue-ribbon panel when we had the medical books showing the horrors that our children experience through child abuse. And it precipitated the blue-ribbon panel. This is again another visual for our members to look at, and then remember that very simply, we're going to see an example of what we can access in a very positive way, and then in a very mild way, how we can get into the horrible scene of pornography.
And Jon-Robert Bombardieri put something together for me. We talked about this as recently as this morning. And just using a simple word such as an animal -- child wants to learn about animals -- you will access a whole listing of material that is good and that will include access to the road to pornography. The same way, if a young woman to find out more about her body or a young man wants to find out more about his body, he uses a medical term, and he will get good material in listings, but also get an entree to the road to pornography. So these are just everyday things that are occurring that we have no knowledge of.
And you are right -- Bob Franks is right -- you're right Freeholder, and as are most of the people here. Our major combative in this instance happens to be the parent or the guardian and the guardian of that Internet equipment. We do know and have learned that there is much software out there, and I think this Committee is going to ask that some material be put together on behalf of this Committee -- kind of a holiday hints gift list of protective software for children that we might be able to ask people to access. And we can send it to individuals who request it so that they know that there is a way to safeguard their children. Because we've just learned about more and more of these just through the research done on our behalf.
So I'm going to pass that around and ask our State Trooper, Detective Michael Garrity, is it--
D E T E C T I V E M I C H A E L G A R R I T Y: Yes, ma'am.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --to come forward and testify. I'm going to start passing this out. Just pass that down.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Good morning.
Thank you, Chairwoman Heck, and the Committee, for the opportunity to testify before you. My name is Detective Mike Garrity. I'm with the New Jersey State Police High-Tech Crimes Unit. I've been with the State Police approximately 11 years now. Prior to that, I was a physics and chemistry teacher in a high school here in New Jersey. I've always had a love of technology, and it continues today in my present position. In addition to my role as a detective, I'm the President of the Northeast Chapter of the High-Tech Crime Investigations Association. It's an international organization that brings together both computer crime law enforcement individuals, as well as the private sector in computer security people. I'm a member of the National Computer Security Association. I've received training at various levels, including the National White-collar Crime Center, High Tech Crime Investigations Association, U.S. Department of Justice Search Training. I've lectured on both the local, county, Federal, and international level on criminal investigations involving the Internet and computers.
In 1995, I was invited down to Washington, D.C., where I testified on this same topic before the Subcommittee on Science and Technology. Since I began investigating computer crimes, I've had the experience of over 200 cases, and well over 200 individuals have been incarcerated and prosecuted for crimes on the Internet, most of these including child pornography and child exploitation. The growth of the computer use and the Internet use over the last few years has grown dramatically in all aspects of society, whether you're a business, government entity, education, and we're seeing that same growth on the criminal end. Nowadays, any crime that you can commit out on the street, you can commit out on the Internet.
Some of the different types of crimes that we've been involved in and I've investigated have included the child exploitation and the luring of children and the aggravated assault against children. There are sexual assaults against adults, adults meeting on-line, just as there are against with children on-line. Thefts and frauds of every magnitude and nature, from chain letters to hacking in and stealing money from different bank accounts. We've investigated three homicides that had Internet links so far. Industrial- and state-sponsored espionage, the magnitude is overwhelming. When we think of thefts, robberies, we think of bank robberies or property values and of car and boats and things of that nature. In the technology world and on the Internet, we have investigated, in the State Police, thefts that have been valued at $130 million or more -- phenomenal amounts, because, in this age of technology, information is more valuable than any tangible piece of property that you can imagine.
We've seen terrorism, the World Trade Center bombing case that was just wrapped up. Some of the key evidence was found after computer forensics was done on a floppy diskette that had been discarded. And a letter that was sent to the New York Times was deleted from that floppy diskette. Using computer forensics, we're able to retrieve that letter and tie that gentleman into the mastermind of that plot.
This widespread criminal activity has led the AG to direct the New Jersey State Police High-Tech Crimes Unit -- the Division of Criminal Justice has a computer crimes unit now, along with the Division of Consumer Affairs -- to form units in order to combat this problem. And this problem is very widespread, as I've just mentioned.
There are various features on the Internet that lend themselves to the present conditions involving child porn and child exploitation. The World Wide Web, which everybody thinks of as the Internet, is one feature of it. And in honesty in all my investigations and research on it, the World Wide Web is probably the place where the least amount of child pornography is seen or found. There are sites in other countries that we can link to, just like we were sitting here. In other countries where this child pornography is allowed, we can't legislate against it. So we can go there anytime, day or night, and just click a few buttons and we'll be there, whether it's in the Netherlands or in Japan or wherever in the world that we may go.
I think where the most child pornography and the child exploitation takes place are in the chat rooms, or what's called the Internet Relay Chat on America Online. It's known as the chat forums. Prior to coming to this meeting this morning, I went up into the IRC, and they did a listing of all the channels, and there may be 5000 channels just like in a television on your cable -- you would have all those channels. And I did a listing and I searched for sex. Well over 100 different areas involving sex, from preteen sex pics to mom-daughter sex to all sorts of imaginable titles, are available to anybody. There's no limit to who can enter, and there are multiple people involved in these chat rooms. From within these chat rooms, usually those involved are sending and transmitting pictures or stories of pornography, child pornography, and those types of files to one another.
Another aspect of the Internet or feature of the Internet that seems to have a wealth of problems dealing with child pornography and child exploitation, where it is readily available, are the news groups. And the news groups -- my best analogy of it is when you go into the Shop-Rite and you see the bulletin board as you walk in the door. There's a listing for puppies for sale or I need a babysitter in my home. The news groups are a place that you can post messages, and they're static, and you can go up there and read them and read whichever ones you want. Well, there are topics on just about everything imaginable, from computer security applications to getting help with Windows 95. And there's a whole plethora of topics involving pedophilia and pictures of young boys, young girls. Every different sexual fetish imaginable is available up there. In those pictures, or in those posted to that news group, you can download pictures of child pornography, again, anytime, day or night, just by clicking on a few buttons.
The last feature of the Internet that is a growing problem is what are called FTP sites, for file transfer protocol sites. These sites allow a computer user connected to the Internet to open his computer up to others on the Net so they can download or upload files to or from that computer. These sites are dynamic in nature, in that they may be up for a couple of hours a day and then go down, and they may change places on a daily basis or on a hourly basis. Those within the community of the child molester and the pedophile know where to go and are contacted where to go and where they can download and upload these pictures. It's a moving target that we're always trying to hit, but we're not always successful at that.
There are various aspects of the computer that has made it the pedophile's best tool since the development of sliced bread, I think. One thing that the computer gives a pedophile or a child molester is the privacy. In just about all cases involving pedophiles, a diary is kept by that person, and it entails all of his meetings with children or his fantasies that he has with children or any contact that he has. All his thoughts, like a normal diary, are kept, and they're very diligent at keeping diaries. Well, now, with the computer, we can put that diary on floppy disk or on a hard drive, we can password protect it or encrypt it so that nobody can see it. Before, we had a journal that we would be able to look through, and we would be able to get good information and good evidence out of. Nowadays, that journal is password protected or encrypted, which provides technical problems in us reading this.
The anonymity factor in various different methods of concealing your identity on the Internet: It's simple to do. I can go on-line and I can be anonymous to anybody. I can go on-line as a 55-year-old woman. I can go on-line as a 12-year-old girl. I can go on as a 36-year-old State Trooper. I can go on and be anybody that I want. There are different other aspects of the Internet that allow you to strip out all identifying information about yourself, and these are called anonymisers, free mail accounts, where you don't have to give any identifying information about yourself, but you're given an E-mail address from which you can receive and send E-mail or E-mail with attachments to it.
The last aspect of the computer and why it has become so important to the pedophile or the child molester is the factor of instant gratification. Years ago, what we thought of as a pedophile would be somebody that may be lurking outside of a playground or at a park. The typical lure was to ask a young child to help me find my lost puppy, and all young children would fall for that, because they always wanted to find a lost puppy. Nowadays you can go on-line and you go into the chat forums. Freeholder Kelly mentioned before about the sports forums. A pedophile or a child molester is going to be attracted to anyplace where kids congregate. These forums include hockey forums, soccer forums, teen forums, Bible forums, because kids congregate there. And although we may teach our children not to give out any identifying information about themselves on-line -- name, age, where they live, date of birth, or that type of information -- me or anybody else that looks into these chat rooms can gain more pertinent information about a child based on his likes and dislikes, his interests and disinterests by what they type. If we're in a soccer forum and they like the MetroStars, well, if I'm a pedophile, I'm going to like the MetroStars, and I'm going to like his favorite player. If they didn't like math and they had a hard time with it in school, well so do I. We're going to hit on those interests, and we're going to develop a relationship with that child.
Just as important to any heterosexual or adult normal relationship, the courting process is probably the most exciting time in any relationship, whether it's a pedophile and a child or two adults that meet and date and later become married. In this courting process, they're gaining the trust and they're building a relationship based on a friendship and other values. This is a very important and a very exciting time for anybody and especially for the pedophile.
So when we say that we're having kids lured on-line, to think about it as somebody grabbing your child through his monitor and pulling him across the phone lines and molesting him, in most cases it doesn't happen that way. In fact, it never does. What we see is a buildup -- a whole courting process that may take a year, six months, two years before any act is done or consummated. For parents to be standing over their shoulders looking at this, there is nothing wrong talking about the Rangers or the MetroStars or the Yankees or the Mets. And to find anything inappropriate with it is almost impossible.
I went on a television show a few weeks ago. My 10-year-old son asked me what I was going to talk about. It was this topic, how to protect kids on the Internet. He gave me the solution, which he thought is to take him out of the chat rooms. Don't let him go into the chat rooms. And that works for us at home. That may not work for everyone everywhere. We don't go into those chat rooms, because I've never found anything of redeeming value in there.
My son happened to be in a Bible chat room when he was eight years old, and I had the technical ability to log all his keystrokes and anything that came over, and I did so. And later on, after reviewing it, I had a person from New Orleans ask him to call him that Saturday. That person reported to be a 16-year-old girl. Who it was, I don't know. But in every type of forum and wherever kids congregate, you can be sure that pedophiles are going to be lurking there, looking for vulnerabilities and how to attack them.
On the subject of Internet service providers and their role in this field, most ISPs, Internet service providers, are very cooperative with law enforcement with respect to child exploitation crimes. My predecessor, as President of the HTCIA, John Ryan, is now the head legal counsel down in America Online. They are most cooperative. Throughout the world, they are, and we found that. ISPs are considered carriers, just like the phone companies, and regulating what goes over the wire -- we don't do that with the phone companies. I don't think that's going to be done with the Internet service providers.
What I have found is that there are a few Internet service providers that will filter the information that comes across and what they provide for their customers. One, in fact, is a small ISP down in the Toms River area called Cybercom or Cyberchat (phonetic spelling). Voluntarily, he has taken off all known news groups dealing with child exploitation or child pornography. It's a technical issue. It's not a legislative thing. He just thought it was best for him to do. Maybe within the rest of the Internet service provider community, we can filter this. Whether we can legislate that is another issue. Most ISPs include a general use agreement, whereby inappropriate use results in the termination of service of that person. I know, on American Online, if you enter a chat forum that is known to be frequented by pedophiles or child molesters, you are warned that attempts to enter this room again will result in the termination of service of your account. That works in some cases, and on other ISPs it does as well.
Over the past few years, there have been several successful law enforcement initiatives. One was called Operation Cyberstrike, which was started by the United States Custom Service in trying to thwart the flow of child pornography across the Internet into the United States. I had a major role in that, in that I was the lead detective in handling the computer forensics. From that investigation, we were able to target 63 people throughout the United States and around the world who were eventually arrested and are either in the process of being prosecuted or have been successfully prosecuted. That was very successful -- that operation.
Recently we have had Innocent Images Sting that was put on by the FBI on America Online in identifying child pornography, people that are peddling their wares. And then, even more recently, the New York Attorney General's Office identified -- I believe it was 1500 individuals that were trading child pornography on-line. So there are many investigative techniques that can be used. However, we do come across a lot of road blocks. And I think our biggest road block, as a law enforcement entity, is the training issue. Most computer science majors don't become cops later on in life. Just like the adults in this room and the parents that we are talking about who have limited knowledge of the computer and the Internet and how it works, that same problem exists in law enforcement.
So one of the initiatives that we're taking within the State Police and within my other organization, the HTCIA, is to provide training to law enforcement agencies so that they are better versed in how the Internet works, so they can be more successful in investigating, and actually intelligently investigate, these crimes. The manpower as a result of lack of training -- I think we would have more people involved in this if there was more training to be done. One of the things, it's not taught at the academy how to investigate computer crimes. I don't think it's taught at any academy. I know computer literacy is taught at the FBI Academy. But if we could provide more training because this -- what we call fad of the Internet -- is not going away anytime soon. At all levels of law enforcement and later on at some point, every police officer is going to have to be computer literate to some extent, because in every town and every jurisdiction, they're going to come across a crime involving high technology or a computer, and they're going to have to investigate it.
Funding, high technology investigations is very expensive. There was mention of a bill made before -- funding initiatives -- I don't have the answer for the funding, but the equipment and the ever-changing technology forces us to move in different directions on a daily basis. And that's always going to be an issue.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Are you being assisted by the providers? I mean, you just mentioned that America Online has their own filtering system. Are you working in conjunction with them? I mean, are they offering you an assist in that regard? Because certainly, they are the people who get it firsthand, as the to the intricacies and the changes involved in the systems. Is America Online the only one giving you that kind of filtering system?
DETECTIVE GARRITY: The filtering is-- No, there's others that are out there. Compuserve or Prodigy also offers filters and parental safeguards out there. Other Internet service providers are helpful as well.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And what is the cost of the software involved, that filters? Is it nothing?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Nothing.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: No. There's no cost. It's a built-in feature of the service. And when you commence that service, you have the opportunity--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So all you have to do is access -- ask them for it?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Madam Chairwoman, no.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Is tell them to turn it on.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You don't even have to ask them. And I think, while I agree with everything that everybody has said, and certainly this is a dangerous area, I just think we need to stress what's going on besides that. For instance, we passed around this folder with all of these pornographic sites, okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Not all of them, just an example.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, some of them. Okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: There are thousands.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: There's also the warning that if you are 18 years old -- which I'm sure you saw, too.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Every one of these, you need a credit card to get into. You'll get the first couple of pictures, which you're going to get -- in my Catholic school days -- the dirty books. Okay. You're going to get the pictures, because you're not going to get in. These are not for free. You've got to give them a credit card to get in. However--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But the chat rooms are free.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, the chat rooms, you can limit. Now, I think we need to say this. I mean, no matter what we do, if parents are not mindful and watchful of what their kids are doing-- You can limit your kids access to any of this stuff to a point. I mean, you can limit your kid's access to chat rooms through AOL. I'm sure you realize that.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You can say, "You can't go into any of these chat rooms except this," or "You can't go into any chat rooms at all." You can limit that. You have your password, which is the master password, and then your kids, or if you wish, come under that password. You can limit them to everything. They can only go into Nickelodeon or whatever you want them to go into. So there are safeguards built into the system. However, I'm not sure of this and maybe you can answer this question for me. I had something strange happen which, you know-- I was talking to a neighbor about this very topic about a month, because he was getting a computer for his kid, and "I don't want him to see all those dirty pictures and all." I said, "Well, you can limit that. You can be careful of that." But one of the things that just happened to me recently was something I hadn't seen before. I got an E-mail from someone I don't know, and generally I don't answer that because it's not virus protected, so you don't know what you're getting. But I clicked on it, and it was free pornography -- live, "free" pornography. It was a phone, and you clicked on it and it would dial Moscow. And you would pay for the long-distance phone call to Moscow, but you wouldn't have to use a credit card to get into the stuff like you would have to use here, which I thought was strange. And I guess there's no way you can stop that.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Well, they're-- It's considered a virus or a rogue program. We had several occurrences in New Jersey and around the United States where there was E-mail sent, and there was a site listed, and the name of the site was bigtits.com. And if you executed this program, you supposedly downloaded a file that would allow you to see this great pornography, using this special built-in viewer. What the program did, it would disconnect your modem from the Internet. It would turn the speaker off on your modem. It would dial a site in Moldavia at $100 for every three minutes or so and then connect you back to the Internet so as if you knew nothing was going on. We have a lot of victims of that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Embarrassed victims, because they didn't want to admit they went to a pornography site to view it. But all that is happening.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But you see, you can limit-- The question I started to ask-- I don't know-- I know AOL just started this, because I was looking at it yesterday, where you can limit the E-mail that you get. You can say, I just want mail from AOL subscribers. I just want mail from AOL subscribers in Secaucus, New Jersey. I just want mail from AOL subscribers and Bell Atlantic subscribers. You can limit your E-mail to come to you from whomever it is you wish to come to you by. So I guess, as a parent, now I can even do that to my kid's mail. I can limit their mail as to who is sending them mail and what they can open on the receiving end of the E-mail.
The part that, I think, is scary -- when we go back to the chat rooms -- although I can limit my kid's access to a chat room, if I allow my child to go into a kid's chat room, I don't know who's lurking in that chat room. I mean, you have the names of everybody who is there. When you see it, you know who's in that chat room, but I don't know who that person is. I mean, I can click on a profile, but not everyone puts in a profile.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But they're not always real, as the State Trooper just said.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, but that -- the anonymous part of it. I mean, still and all, that person has to have a name. When you click into a chat room, the list of everyone's name who is in that chat room is there, their E-mail name. That name, it comes back to a billing person. In other words--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Oh, yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --when I got my name, they know who I am, okay. So if you've got a person in that chat room, as you said before, that has been lurking there in a kid's chat room, and you know that that person is--
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Let me address that on two fronts. One, there is session hijacking, where I can take over your name and pretend to be you, and everything is going to come back to you. That's one aspect of it. The second aspect with America Online, every week in the mail, I get a disk that says 10 free hours--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: --or 15 free hours, whatever. And everybody gets them that owns a computer. I can use those 10 free hours.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: There are programs out there that use a mathematical algorithm that will give me a credit card number that will be valid to enter, whether it's a porn site that asks for a credit card number or to get an account on AOL. So I may use those 10 free hours or 15 free hours and go up there as John Doe. It's not going to come back with any billing information that's honest about me or substantive. It's all going to be false information, and that's one of the major problems that we have in investigating these crimes is tracking back that person.
The second aspect, and it happens on America Online a lot, you'll get an E-mail or an instant message from the President of America Online, supposedly, and saying that they've had a problem with their user database and that they need your--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Password.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: --phone number, password, address, credit card number, so on, and so forth. Many people fall for it.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Even though it says--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Even though the warning is there.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Even though it says--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: The warning is always there.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, even though it says, yes, no one from AOL will ever ask you for that. I mean--
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Even though it says that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --for all of this, we need to say what's actually there also. I mean, we can't lead the public to believe that as soon as you go on line, anything can happen. It can, but there are protections there if you abide by them.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: If you are aware.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, Rose, would you let your kid read any book he wants in your house?
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: If you are aware that there are things happening.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I mean, Rose, there are magazines out there that you wouldn't let -- you wouldn't read, let alone your kids read.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I agree.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But yet, you would stop that from coming into your house.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I don't want-- I'm not debating--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: What I'm saying is that we can't-- Parents have a responsibility.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: We all know that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: And we can't just say that if you are aware-- You've got to be aware. But your kids, your house--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But you also have to understand that some parents are not aware that terrible things are happening there, until you tell them.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I think--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Tony, I've gone into PTA meetings where people's eyes went this big saying, "Oh, my God." And they did not know. It's an innocence that thrives--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I just have a difficult time--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --and that's why people have problems.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --with all the publicity about this that's there--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Well, don't have a difficult time. Don't have a difficult time.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --that people don't know--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Lives are busy.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: There are always individuals--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I'm sure those very same people don't know there are magazines that show the same stuff that their kids could bring into the house.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But you're completely knowledgeable, and you just said--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: No, I'm not.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No. No. No.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I've got a lot to learn.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Well, it sounds good. You sound good. And you just said, what we passed around can only be accessed by a credit card.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Those were not accessed by credit card.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: No. You're wrong.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: They were not accessed--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Rose--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: They are advertisements. I was just--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right. Rose, what you got is this.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --clarified.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: If you want to go further than this--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Correct. But look at the-- I don't want to go further than that. Enough is enough.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: No. Rose, you can get these pictures in a local -- in your local cigar store.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: It's frightening. It's frightening. Well, I don't go into those kinds of stores, Tony.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, you do. If you go into a newspaper store that sells magazines, you're going to get these same pictures. What I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of safeguards there. We need to know what our kids are doing.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: We can't push this stuff off.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I mean, first, it's the parent in the house.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Second, it's all of the help we need to get from the authorities, and we are them. Okay.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But if the parents are not going to be there watching and safeguarding, we can put all of these things, and it's not going to help.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Just let me say this. Do you know that some people really sacrifice to get a computer for their child so that they can have it? And that they are so busy working at their two or three jobs and putting food on the table that there are some innocents out there that don't realize? That's why we're doing it.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Rose, it's the same argument.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: There are victims out there, always.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes. There are victims, but those very same parents, obviously, are not watching what else their kids are doing. You can't-- Just because--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: How quickly--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --a parent is working two jobs--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: How--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --and sacrificed to buy a computer doesn't relieve them from the responsibility of knowing--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I never said that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --what that kid is doing in the house.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I never said that. I said that it takes much effort to get the information out there--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: The information is out.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --to every--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: The point comes down to this. We can pass all the laws that we can pass, and the authorities, the law officials, can do everything that they have ability to do to stop a lot of this stuff from happening, but if the parents aren't vigilant in their own home, we're not going to stop this.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I agree to a degree. Because again we have to give them as much information as possible. There are things I'm hearing here that I was not fully cognizant of until you said one thing, another person said another thing, and then we come together and become more-- I don't care how much you know, you don't know everything.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You're absolutely correct.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I won't know everything. But communication--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But if you're allowing your child to do something--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But communication--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --know what you're allowing them to do.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --educates a parent, educates a grandparent to protect, and that's what we're doing here. There are ways and means to do it. We're passing that on. When this State Trooper comes here to tell us things, he's giving me more information that I did not have. When I called Dr. Finkel the other day and he said, "Oh, Rose, this problem is international--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Absolutely.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --I was just in Barcelona," would I know that? No.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But that's not-- Whether it's in Barcelona or--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But I'm a grandmother, too. I want to know.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --in Sweden or in Hackensack, New Jersey--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But I didn't know you could go to Moscow and get it on the Internet.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --the important part is and the only point I'm trying to make is that we can pass all the laws there are to pass.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I'm not just talking about passing laws.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: The Trooper can safeguard us the best they can, but unless the parents are vigilant at what the kid is doing, none of this works. It's a three-pronged attack here.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Assemblyman, I'm going to hit on that issue of education and other things besides legislative initiatives in combating this problem. Obviously, like you said, we can pass all the laws that we want. It hasn't worked in drugs, and we've tried a lot of different tactics. We're going to have to do the same type of initiatives here. Yes, they're going to have to be legislative measures, but at the same time there's going to have to be educational measures put forth. Not only educating children, but parents. That's a big part of what I do.
Tonight, as a matter of fact, I'll be at Holmdel High School, in front of the PTA there. And I will show them exactly those sites and that type of stuff that is available on the Internet. Last month, I've done about seven lectures to various church, civic, educational, professional organizations about dangers on the Internet and how to protect your children on the Internet. It's something that we feel is just as important as anything else, is teaching the parents exactly what Johnnie is doing on that computer, because many don't know. Before I get into that, I just want to finish and follow down my list of things that I'm doing here.
We're back on the road blocks, and we talked about anonymity. I can use a stolen credit card, or I can make up a credit card number and be anybody that I want. I can take different hops on the Internet. And what I mean by hops is, I can be sitting here in Trenton, New Jersey, get on the Internet, go to a computer in New York. From that site, I can go out to California. From that site, I can go over to France, and then from France, I can come back to New Jersey. That is a major problem for us in tracing back each of those hops. One, we have different Internet service providers, whether they want to cooperate or not. Two, the jurisdictional issues, can we find a law enforcement agency and officer in those jurisdictions that are going to help us with this problem? For the most part, they have, especially in the area of computer crimes and Internet crimes. I think all law enforcement agencies realize that nobody is going to go it alone, and we're going to have to depend on one another.
The free E-mail accounts. I have a number of these -- juno (phonetic spelling) and hotmail.com. I can go there and get an E-mail account, and I can make up a name, and I can make up an address. And now I can send harassing or threatening letters to a 16-year-old girl. And when law enforcement goes back to juno or hotmail, it is bogus information. And not only bogus information, but bogus information that we had to go across half the country to go find. And those are some real technical issues, more so--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But again, you still have the ability to limit who's sending you E-mail and what E-mail you're receiving.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: On America Online?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: You do.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Now, I suspect -- and I see John Spinnager (phonetic spelling) back here -- that Bell Atlantic will soon be doing the very same things, as well as Prodigy and most of the other servicers. What I found is, if AOL does something, these guys are soon to follow. And, basically, they started out to limit your junk mail to really what it was, but it's serving this purpose also. I mean, the more of this the servicers provide, the producers of servicing provide, the better off we are, obviously, and we need to stimulate them to do a lot of this. A lot of this stuff they can help us with, and I don't think that they're doing that. I think we need to stimulate them to do this kind of stuff.
So, John, if you're listening back there.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Not only Bell Atlantic or America Online that provides that E-mail clients, that you can buy at a store, allow you to filter what mail you come in--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: --so you don't receive spam or whatever it may be. Another issue that we have a hard time with is finding reputable and proper contacts at the Internet service providers. When we find out information, or a pedophile is using a certain service, who are we going to contact at that service, especially out of state? It's very hard to know who we're talking about. Many ISPs that are out there are fly-by-night operations that aren't making any money, but just happen to be up as a hobby more or less for the person that's running the ISP. An expensive hobby at that.
A couple of initiatives that we started in the High-Tech Crimes Unit, again, it's a cooperative law enforcement officer, public sector, and private sector educational initiative. We go to the school systems and the churches. We go to-- This weekend I was in front of the New Jersey Bar talking about computer crime and computer issues. We try and educate parents as best as we can. New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Council -- we've done stuff with them. We did a television show last week or a few weeks ago, and we have another film coming up on how we're going to protect our children on-line, law enforcement officer training in order to investigate that crime. We've dealt with every agency imaginable, every county prosecutor office, every Federal agency, different State agencies as well. Most of the time they come to us because they don't have anybody trained in investigating these crimes, and they're clueless in doing so.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I think one of the things that we need to do -- and you're 100 percent correct -- and I like the idea of you going out to the schools. That's super. And I think we need to do more of that. In fact, I'm going to invite you to our school system to do the very same thing. Certainly we have to educate the parents so that they can use the safeguards that most of the service providers are giving them. I mean, whether they know they're there or not is important. If they're buying their kid a computer and if they're going on-line, they need to know what that kid's looking at. So they need to know about the safeguards that that servicer provides, and I think by giving them that piece of information it's helpful.
So if we can safeguard the kids pretty much by limiting what they can get to-- And I guess the second prong is, how do you stop the wackos from getting to our kids? And that's probably the harder part, I guess.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Definitely. It's the same thing in society where the priest, police officer, the teacher, the coach are all trusted by the community. So where does that trust begin, and who is to say this is a wacko when this relationship begins? It may turn out he is a wacko, just like the law enforcement officer, the priest, or the school teacher may turn out to be a bad apple as well.
Some of the tips that I always give out for the safe navigation of cyberspace -- again, and everybody has said it -- you never give out your who, what, where, why, what age you are, what your phone number is. You never agree to meet anybody on-line unless an adult or parent is present. I teach parents that the best method of knowing what their child is doing is to sit down with that child. We've always taught our kids from day one how to dress, how to eat, table manners, what they should wear, so on, and so forth. This is the first technology, as I said, where the children are leading us by the hand. So, as a parent, you can sit down with your child and ask him, "What is this Internet? Can you show me what these places are?"
One thing that you're going to accomplish here is you're first going to open up a line of communication between a parent and a child. Instead of always telling -- that parent -- what to do, now you're opening yourself up to that child, and he or she can tell you what to do. The second thing that you're doing is you're going to give your child a sense of self-confidence, self-assurance, self-esteem, because now he knows something that mom or dad doesn't know. And he's going to show you. So he's going to feel real good about himself. The third thing you're going to do is actually learn what this Internet stuff is, instead of just saying Johnnie's up in the room for eight hours on the computer and he comes down with a beautiful printout at the end of the day -- "My son's a computer genius," which I hear all the time. Even in the newspapers, if you commit a crime on-line on a computer, you're a computer genius. And I dispute that fact, because you never would have gotten caught if you were a genius.
In summary, I-- The Internet is not a fad. It's not going away any time soon. As a society, I'm going to have to tackle some of the problems and issues associated with it. More crimes and more investigations in the future will involve high technology and, if not just children, hacking into computer systems and stealing information, death threats to public officials. All these types of things that I've mentioned before we've seen, and it's going to grow exponentially. Cooperative efforts from law enforcement, the Internet service providers, the education associations, the Legislature, and all aspects of society is necessary or else we might as well not even address the problem here unless we're not going to have cooperation across the board.
Thank you for allowing me to testify.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I really would like you to prioritize what you believe we should be looking at as an immediate happening, and I know it's education and training. And we've talked about the academies, and then there will be dollars for training. I'd like the information that some of the providers are filtering. I think that has to be something that we encourage, and this hearing is not merely about legislation. It is about oversight and finding out where the dangers are -- where the quicksand is in this place we're entering, where people can wear a mask and we don't know who they are. Because then they have every opportunity then to feel very brave and go after our children, who are the most vulnerable.
But that doesn't exclude our senior citizens and individuals out there, as you had mentioned before. We are seeing assaults made on adults as well as children in this area. My main concern, and it seems to be the main concern of the majority of the people on this Committee, happens to be let's protect the children first. I like the idea of your asking -- that we should ask our children to show us, because they do like to show us how to get into various informational resources through the Internet. But I also think that we should, as a Committee, work to provide information as an educational tool for parents and educators by gathering it here, assessing it, and putting it together and disseminating it.
I think that it's vital that we access your experiences. I know that they told me that you were the expert on the Internet. That you didn't want to show us all how to get into there and do something wrong, because you didn't investigate all of us first to see if we're okay -- meaning the audience, etc. But I do want to show how quickly we can get into even a little area. And I don't know if you think that's advantageous or not. Because if you think we shouldn't, then we won't.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: One of the explanations I gave why I usually don't show the public the different sites to go to is because I don't think I need to be educating the public on how--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No. That I understand.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: --to get those sites. Every--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I understand. But just tell me, for instance, how quickly a child can get into one of those things?
DETECTIVE GARRITY: A click of a button.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Seconds.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: We can go to a search engine. What it allows you to do is search the Internet. And type in the word sex, and you're going to get more hits that any other topic.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay. If we did that, we wouldn't be showing them anything they wouldn't know?
DETECTIVE GARRITY: They would just see a list of sites that have--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: --sexual connotations or aspects to them.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay. We'll let Jon do it, so you don't get in trouble.
DETECTIVE GARRITY: Thank you
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much.
Just as he's going up there, to say this, my daughter loves America Online, and she's got me involved in America Online -- I guess it's three years. And we do that through the newspaper business because we download, we E-mail material and stories to one another. And she says, "Oh, Mom, it's really fun. You should go into a chat room." Well, she was there guiding me, and then she walked out of the room. I was in a very bad place, and I didn't realize I was in there. I was embarrassed for the entire day, and that was an accident. So kids can get into those.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: No. They can't. If, in fact, you are a responsible parent, you can stop that from happening--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --from day one.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But that wasn't two or three years ago, it's just starting--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: That was from day one.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I don't know about that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes, ma'am.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Really?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You always have parental control.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: How did you find out?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Because my wife won't let me go into a lot of things. (laughter) She locks me out.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay. All right.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Remember, there must be a master password.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: And if you have kids, the kids come under the master password.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No. I do know that.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: And then once they get their screen name under the master password, the person who has control of the password can control what the other screen names can or cannot see--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --or get to. What access they have.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And tell me how you do that? You tell--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: It's right there. The screen will show you how to do it.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: The screen will show.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You just ask.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: It's-- Parental control is right there. The AOL says that to you up front.
(Mr. Bombardieri begins computer demonstration)
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Is that the index that you're doing, Jon?
MR. BOMBARDIERI (Majority Aide): Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Jon, what did you type in? Sex? X-X-X -- what? I'm sorry.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: S-E-X.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: So you'll just get a whole list of--
MR. BOMBARDIERI: Yes. They said they found 1897 matches.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right. Now you can click on-- Now you're going to get anything that has to do with the word sex.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: Right.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Jon, just stop and go back. Just click on one of those sites, and it will bring you up an article.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: Secaucus and you.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: What does it say?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Debbie does Secaucus, yeah.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: It does not say that.
What brought us to this was sex offenders. And we were looking up things naturally.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Jon, go back. Get out of sex. Type in X-X-X.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Really?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Absolutely. That's why my wife limits me. (laughter)
For sex, you're going to get anything that has to do-- You're going to get some medical things. You're going to get some legitimate things. Under X-X-X, there's not too much legitimacy.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: Type in the word lobbyist. (laughter)
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Some people associate that with X-X-X.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Does it tell you how many things you can access with that, Jon?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes, but that doesn't tell you-- You get in just with the word. So you can get some very serious, good stuff. I mean, it doesn't have to be-- Putting the word sex doesn't mean it's bad. But generally, pornography or X-X-X is going to get you some creepy stuff.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Those ads were pretty creepy to me, Tony.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, again--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: See, because I was--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --this is nothing different than you're going find in some of the magazines on the shelves of the cigar stores.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: See, I guess I kind of edit them out.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, they're there. And you can't stop it under freedom of the press.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I know.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Jon, click on one. I just want to show Rose where you get the credit card deal.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: And then pull up on the other side of the U.S. Constitution just so that we have an equal view.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: You'll see something come up that will show you some almost bad pictures, almost pornographic pictures or that pornographic picture (indicating). And if you click on it--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And it will just come up?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, it will come up.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Without a credit card?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: If you want-- Well, you'll see the graphic like you see here.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But without the credit card?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Yes, you'll see the graphic.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Which is--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But again, the graphic--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Which is enough for a child to see.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, they might not--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: More than enough.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: They can't-- Again, they can't get into this unless you let them.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: Well, there's the ads on the top you can click into, but I don't know.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: Who would want to put their credit card on the Internet?
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Well, that's the other question.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: All right. But that's how quickly you can get in. Just a click, just the way the-- That's all I wanted to show.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right, and after you click it again, it's going to say if you want to see something--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I don't want his wife to get angry with me--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --you've got to put your--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --that he was allowed to get in.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: --credit card in to get the real good stuff.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: It would still show up offensive pictures.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay. Yes.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Right. You'll see an offensive picture.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: Even if you don't pay for it.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: But again, the offensive pictures that you're going to see would be the very same offensive picture that you would get in some of the magazines that are on the shelves of our stores.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: But those you need to be of age to buy, in those stores.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes.
MR. BOMBARDIERI: And this you can click right on.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But I thank you very much -- both of you.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: Put up the Assembly Web site.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Put the Assembly Web site on. Let's look up--
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: That's pornographic. I don't think we should show that, there are kids here. (laughter)
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN COHEN: They should not know how a law is passed.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
(computer demonstration ends)
You see, you're all computer literate here.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: We hide it well.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Are you all computer literate? Do you all-- Do you, Gary?
ASSEMBLYMAN STUHLTRAGER: To some degree.
ASSEMBLYMAN O'TOOLE: To a degree.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: To a degree. Not everyone is, though.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: I think, more and more, they're becoming that way.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Everyone is.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: If you're a parent buying your kid a computer, you should be.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Yes, absolutely.
ASSEMBLYMAN IMPREVEDUTO: Otherwise, you're going to get into trouble, and I agree with that.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: No. I appreciate that.
Okay, we have Steven Some, the Chairman, New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.
S T E V E N E. S O M E: Thank you, Madam Chair.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you.
MR. SOME: Members of the Committee, to my left is Dr. Paul Winkler, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. We're trying to locate my colleague, Shai Goldstein with the Anti-Defamation League.
What I want to do today, first of all, I want to commend you, Madam Chair, for conducting a hearing this morning on this very important topic. Those of you who know me know that I, as Chairman of the Holocaust Commission, have really been out there the last two years talking about hate on the Internet. I don't want to diminish at all the importance of what you've been discussing about child pornography and other pedophilia and other examples of child abuse, but I would like to take a few moments of your time this morning and talk about another -- that I believe to be equally horrendous and disgusting and alarming -- topic, and that is, hate on the Internet. I consider that to be child abuse as well.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
MR. SOME: And we're going to show you some things today. And, Madam Chair, you expressed your amazement at the child pornography, but I'm going to show you things today that are free of charge without any credit cards whatsoever and that I think you will find to be equally disgusting and alarming.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: On there? (indicating computer)
MR. SOME: Yes, on the Internet.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: You want to show it to us?
MR. SOME: Yes, I will.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay, good.
MR. SOME: Before we do that, though, my colleague Shai Goldstein, with the Anti-Defamation League, is going to talk to you about the general bigots and hate mongers that are out there. But I want to focus my comments, before we get into that, on the Holocaust deniers.
The Internet has become, unfortunately, the home of choice now for Holocaust denier groups and bigots and your average-day anti-Semites and hate mongers. It is a very alarming and disturbing fact and worthy of much consideration. Last year, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education sponsored the first ever national conference on hate on the Internet. We brought 500 New Jersey high school students to Rider University for a daylong conference in which we had all of the experts on hate on the Internet speaking to the students about these various sites.
The reason we did that, Madam Chair, is because we've found over the last year or so some very alarming things are going on in this area. For example, last year a class -- a high school class on the New Jersey shore conducted a trial -- a mock trial -- in which they put Hitler on trial. And the teacher, in doing his job correctly, instructed the students to do their research primarily through the Internet. And we found some very interesting things occurring. As a result of that exercise in putting Hitler on trial, the students stumbled on to the Holocaust denier sites. And these denier sites are very clever people. They mask themselves as legitimate sources of education. And in doing so, as you saw the list there of the various sex sites, if you type in Holocaust onto your search engine, you will come up with literally thousands of sites on Holocaust with no description as to what these sites are. So you will see for instance Ernst Zundel or Don Blakeley (phonetic spelling) or a number of these deniers listed as legitimate sources of information. And when these students go into those sites and they begin reading the propaganda there, unwittingly, they are picking up the denier propaganda, and it's finding itself into research papers.
And with regard to this exercise which they put Hitler on trial, they used the denier information to exonerate Hitler as the culprit of the Holocaust. When we found that out, Dr. Winkler was contacted and we sent some of our staffpeople from the Department of Education down there to work with the class and to work with the teacher in trying to explain the techniques of the Internet and to try to correct the problem there.
What I'm getting at here is this -- that this is a very, very important subject in which, as you indicated, parents and teachers need to spend time with their children. The Holocaust Commission trains teachers yearly. Thus far, in the last year and a half or so, we've trained 7000 New Jersey teachers in teaching the Holocaust as a result of the mandate that you all passed three years ago. Part of that teacher training focuses on the Internet.
So one thing this Committee might want to consider doing is in our appropriation that we receive from the Legislature every year, you might want to consider increasing that appropriation for us to teach more teachers on using the Internet. We have a proposal into the staff right now that will detail for you how we propose to do that. But you've got to network out there with regard to our staff right now in teaching teachers. So this is something that you might want to consider.
Paul, why don't you talk a little about Hunterdon Central, and then we'll go into this.
P A U L B. W I N K L E R: We've taken some of the training, because we know that the students -- and I think you said it yourself, Assemblywoman Heck -- that the students certainly know much more than many of the teachers when they get into it and can do it much quicker. So we've taken a couple of models in New Jersey, Hunterdon Central Regional and a few others around the state, to try to make model programs where teachers can learn from other teachers how to use the Internet. How to, when they're using that-- We have programs right now in New Jersey where we're communicating overseas through the Internet. Because of the trip that we've taken every summer, teachers have gotten to meet other teachers. So it's in the classroom, and as Steve will show you -- and the list that I pulled off the Internet just myself recently of deniers of the Holocaust -- right there on the Internet.
What we have found seems to be working is where we take these models and we let other teachers begin to observe and see how can you use the Internet with our students. That seems to be an approach to get away from any First Amendment or discussions like that or how to use the Internet appropriately in the classroom.
MR. SOME: The key here is education, and just as you are going to be educating parents and teachers about child pornography, we believe you have to do the same thing with regard to the hate groups and the deniers. And the way to do that is to train teachers. The more teachers that get trained on using the Internet properly to advise their students as to the right rooms and the wrong rooms and how to use research properly, in my view, is the answer to the problem and awareness -- more hearings, more awareness as to what the dangers are for parents. Because more parents that know that this is on there, the more they're going to sit with their children and review it.
Maybe, Jon, if we can go on there. (indicating computer) If you want to type in these sites. (Mr. Bombardieri complies)
S H A I G O L D S T E I N: Part of the problem is that -- the technology itself. There's been a broad acceptance worldwide coupled with the immediacy of the Internet, and that's what poses a number of new challenges for individuals and groups concerned with combating the corrosive effects of hatred and bigotry. The reality is that the Internet has become a major tool of hatred, and because of the number of people that it can reach and the effect that it has, the anonymity involved, the sense that you're part of this worldwide perspective of hatred when you tap into a hate site, it is a very, very dangerous tool of hatred. In addition to which, it is being utilized to repackage old bigots under new disguises.
David Duke, for example, has been very effective in utilizing the Internet to publicize his speaking engagements, where he is visiting in various parts of the United States. We have passed out to you a sheet, special edition, periodic update from the Anti-Defamation League Civil Rights Division involving Don Black, who similarly to David Duke, is repackaging bigotry utilizing the Internet to create a nationwide, if not worldwide, web of hatred. It's a very, very dangerous precedent, but we have to recognize that as dangerous as it is, the cure lies not in the Internet itself. There are tools that we can utilize to combat hatred on the Net. The filtering programs that were discussed previously, private sector initiatives are extremely important in combating hatred on the Internet. Ultimately, as I think all of the Committee people -- and, Chairwoman Heck, you're to be congratulated for convening this-- But ultimately, the only way to eliminate hatred on the Web and on the Internet we all know is by education, by awareness. That's why this hearing is absolutely essential because it is exposing that this technology is being used for exactly the wrong reasons.
However, what needs to be done is the suggestion that was made earlier -- additional funding for a variety of specific projects such as combating Holocaust denial, Holocaust awareness, bigotry awareness, awareness of racisms. Most of you know that the Anti-Defamation League sponsors the World of Difference Program. And we are working very hard to get the World of Difference Program into every school district in the state and into every school district in the country. As our country continues to diversify, it is absolutely essential. It is not optional. It is no longer a viable alternative to be ignorant of other people's cultures, beliefs, histories. It is essential if we are going to function as a united country and combat the hate mongers to have these type of diversity programs in our school system.
We can discuss what Don Black is doing. We have a booklet here outlining with David Duke and Don Black, the Holocaust deniers, and what the bigots are doing on the Internet. And the most dangerous thing that they're doing is attempting to legitimize themselves. We can't allow them to do that. How do we delegitimize them? We have Web sites that argue against the bigotry that they lay out. But most importantly, we need to do what you're suggesting. Get to the children in the school system on the Net, off the Net, make it an essential part of our education curriculum. Make sure that we have programs, and again just dealing with the children, as we all know, is not going to be enough. We need community-wide, corporate-wide, in our businesses throughout the United States, programs. As time goes on, if we don't address it now, if we don't fund it now, through the government, through the private sector, through whatever resources that we have, the types of divisions that we will face 20 to 30 years from now will make what we now see on the Internet not situations which are being read by maybe thousands of people, but are being read and believed by millions of people. That type of ignorance cannot stand.
I applaud you on the work that you are doing. We hope this becomes an ongoing--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: It moves so rapidly now and in such large numbers that it can become frightening. And we look at New Jersey alone, and the diversity here and the multiplicity of cultures here that we have to be promoting inclusion, not exclusion. I think this as an educational tool is marvelous, but as one of harm and destruction, it can be insurmountable if it's just let loose on society.
MR. GOLDSTEIN: Let us be realistic, also. While it is a potentially dangerous tool, the human contact of a bigot is more dangerous. Hitler did not have the Internet available to him. The massive slaughters that we've seen throughout the world since then have not been perpetrated by the Internet. I think it's appropriate to be aware, but let us recognize that it's an instrument. It is not the final word. It is people that are perpetrating--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: But it is-- Just as a point of information and what I've been gathering, many people are spending their lives on this and making their friends. And they are not having human contact. That is their human contact, and that's the frightening part.
As the State Trooper said, there's an anonymity there. You don't know to whom you're speaking. And yet that person gets to know you and tells you what you want to hear. And then all of a sudden, you're in their power because you're being loved by somebody -- God knows where.
MR. GOLDSTEIN: Exactly. The anonymity and, as you've indicated, the sense that you're part of this World Wide Web. It's very, very dangerous because when you have the intermix of the Internet--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
MR. GOLDSTEIN: --with real-life racists that are out there on a day-to-day basis campaigning for political office and getting legitimization by some aspects of our political culture, it's a very volatile mix.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Absolutely.
MR. GOLDSTEIN: And you're exposing that, and you're to be congratulated for doing that.
MR. SOME: Madam Chair, if I could add to that. One of the more alarming things that I have learned in the last year or so in my travels, in Germany in particular, is that a lot of the German education officials have told me that the neo-Nazi material that's been circulated in Germany has its origin in the United States. And the people who are receiving this information are getting it over the Internet like you're seeing over there (indicating computer). And that's one of the premiere Nazi sites right there, Holocaust denier site -- the Zundull site, which goes around the world and originates in the United States and is received in Germany and other countries in Europe. So the problem is here in this country. It's not necessarily over there.
You might want to scroll down there and take a look and see what's on there. You can see the type of information that we're talking about.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I'm very pleased that you came to bring this aspect, as well, because it's something that we have to recognize because it is harmful to children. And there is a-- I kind of was going through the TV the other day, and I don't know what program it was, but they were saying one of the colleges, the students didn't want to address the Holocaust or Nazis because they don't believe it really affects them. It happened such a long time ago, shouldn't even be something to even view because it's nothing of their generation. They have no knowledge. They don't want to know.
MR. SOME: As the Governor said last evening, she said the issue of the Holocaust is something -- like in New Jersey we have our mandate, but it is a subject that must be taught about every single day, and that's essentially what we're doing right now.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: If we don't learn from it, it repeats.
MR. SOME: Thank you.
There you go -- right there. (referring to Web site on computer) Six million really died.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Can you see that? I think that's something that we're going to be able to look at ourselves -- just accessing Holocaust, and then we can go through the menu, so to speak, ourselves. I don't mean today. I mean, we can when we go home.
MR. SOME: Exactly.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Go into it by typing in Holocaust.
MR. SOME: Just type in Holocaust.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: And then looking at the menu and then just--
MR. SOME: The whole menu, exactly.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: --peruse it?
MR. SOME: Exactly. We've given you here-- Your staff has a list of the sites--
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Okay.
MR. SOME: --that you can go on, as well.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I expect to do that. I expect to do that because I think that this is a very serious matter and something we should address.
MR. SOME: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: I will tell you why because I was speaking last year at an honors student class at Warren County -- my then 11-year-old grandson -- and in the course of conversation, it didn't dawn on me they brought up World War II and what was that. And I proceeded to say that my grandson's great-grandmother had been in a concentration camp because she went back to Germany to have an operation in 1929, and then she disappeared. They thought she died. But she was an American citizen, and after the war, they found her in a concentration camp. They would not let her come back to tell us what they were doing in Germany. She was a German-born person who became a citizen here and was completely a skeleton, a German person, not a Polish person, not a Gypsy, but an American citizen. And he was absolutely amazed, and I was amazed that I had never mentioned it to him. And we talked about that. We have to share with our younger generation that the people were real. These were real people that it happened to.
MR. SOME: Thank you.
MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Now we have -- is Linda Kassekert here? (no response)
Steve McGettigan. (no response)
Lynn Strickland. (no response)
I guess they didn't come.
Donna Toffey (phonetic spelling), Program for Parents? (no response) No, she must have gone somewhere.
Patricia Tumulty, from the New Jersey Library Association. Here she is.
Hi, how are you?
P A T R I C I A T U M U L T Y: Good morning. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to speak to the Committee, certainly, about the wonders of the Internet that we're talking about, and certainly I'm sure you're all aware that the Internet has made a tremendous impact on the libraries of New Jersey. I am the Executive Director of the New Jersey Library Association and have the opportunity to work with virtually all our public libraries.
We share the concerns of all those present today that keeping our children safe is a priority for us. But the Internet is a wonderful, new tool. As you all know, at the click of a button, you can go to any country in the world. And as this summer has demonstrated, you can even go to Mars. We can do all that. We can access virtually everything.
But the libraries in New Jersey have a unique role in providing Internet access to all our residents, because libraries are community information centers where the resources are to be shared by all -- even children. So as libraries are developing responsible policies for Internet access by youth, they are also providing educational materials for parents such as materials from the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children. We have those materials on hand for our parents to take home.
The Internet is also providing our libraries the opportunities to provide new services such as the development of guidelines for homework help on the Internet. Also, the role of education -- which was spoken about extensively here-- Libraries are providing training programs for parents on how parents can effectively work with the Internet with their children.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Including the safety aspect?
MS. TUMULTY: Including the safety aspect. But I think we need to know that libraries have always encouraged parents to take an active role in their children's education. We encourage parents to come with their children to view materials on the Internet just as we have always encouraged parents to help their children with book selection.
Because the libraries of New Jersey also take very seriously our role as defenders of the First Amendment, we are unique institutions. We are the living embodiment of the First Amendment in our communities, and we have never operated in loco parentis. We don't believe parents abdicate their parental roles and responsibilities when they send children to the libraries. And I hope many of you don't find this too shocking, but the libraries have always had some materials that some parents would consider inappropriate. The Joy of Sex is a book that's on many library shelves.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Gone With the Wind, at one point in time.
MS. TUMULTY: And Gone With the Wind. There are materials that many people would find inappropriate. And the Joy of Sex is on the shelves of your local Barnes and Noble. I can't keep your child safe if you don't believe that's a piece of material that your child can see. You don't abdicate that responsibility. My library cannot defend what you believe, as a parent, is appropriate versus another parent. I can't do that. I can help you. I can guide you. We can work with you. The libraries of New Jersey cannot be your censors in terms of what materials are there.
We have heard a lot of talk and certainly libraries have looked into the issue of filters. Do filters work on the Internet? I think some of you have demonstrated today that filters can also have their drawbacks. You can type in animals, as you said, and come up with 100 sites, some of which you would feel appropriate and some which are not appropriate. Our libraries-- In a more difficult role, if we promise that we had filtering software on our machines, and the child still comes up with something that a parent finds inappropriate, the parent goes to the library, "I thought you were going to keep my child safe." How do I define safe for you as a parent and for the other parents? It puts the library in a very, very difficult role.
So I just want to say we welcome the opportunity to work with all to learn the effective use of the Internet, to take our role as being educators and navigators on the information superhighway, because we believe that the Internet is one of the most effective tools for all, and we want to help everyone be able to access it.
ASSEMBLYWOMAN HECK: Thank you very much.
Any questions? (no response)
I want to thank everyone who came forward today. And, again, there are a lot of people who came here today that I will absolutely access as to further information that we could put together and give out to our schools and make available to our parents if they so desire.
Most of all, I think I want to thank our State Trooper for coming here today and taking that in-depth interest in the subject matter and giving us the insight as to the need for training of other law enforcement members and our educators.
The more people who know, the safer our children can be. But I hope you will give us even more information after this meeting.
Thank you very much. This meeting is adjourned.