X
Business

PA students get a warning about predators on the Net

In Pennsylvania, Attorney General Tom Corbett held a session at a local high school to drum the message into teens and preteens.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

It's election season and cybersex is on the front pages this week, so what better time for a candidate to promote the dangers of predators online? In Pennsylvania, Attorney General Tom Corbett held a session at a local high school to drum the message into teens and preteens, the Morning Call reports. Of course they can't vote but the folks watching the local news at home sure can.

''There are always bad people,'' Corbett told 500 students in the school auditorium. ''There are always predators.''

Among the predators Corbett warned kids about: A 25-year-old man who used an Internet chat room to arrange sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, an ambulance driver who travelled to suburban Philadelphia to have sex with what he thought was a 12-year-girl. And an HIV-positive man who was arrested after making contact with an undercover agent assuming the identify of a 12-year-old boy.

Corbett also unveiled a Web safety program called ''Operation Safe Surf'' that debuts this week in a webcast with schools.

Corbett said law enforcement has concerns about the number of young people who post pictures of themselves on the Web. He said someone can use a computer to copy the picture, then alter it using a photo editing program.

And he told students a story about David Mayberry, a former Scoutmaster convicted on charges he tried to have sex with an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 12-year-old boy on the Internet.

Some shrieked as Corbett told the students that Mayberry told investigators he is HIV-positive and had sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy.

''It's scary,'' senior Zara Zaengle of Nesquehoning said after the talk. ''It's just sickening.''

Just in time for Halloween.

Editorial standards