Attorney General Kicks off Operation Safe Surf

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett appeared live via Internet and satellite last week to announce the official kickoff of the Internet safety program, Operation Safe Surf. The attorney general was seen in hundreds of schools across the state with one school from each region of the state serving as an official host site.

As Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement officer, Corbett has made it a top priority to guard children against sexual predators. As part of this effort, the attorney general’s office is launching Operation Safe Surf to help educate kids, parents and schools about the importance of being safe online.

“Children are growing up in a digital age and being targeted by online predators at an alarming rate,” Corbett said. “This program provides parents and schools with resources and tools to help kids learn how to protect themselves while still enjoying all of the benefits of the Internet. We are partnering with national leaders on Internet safety to offer the latest in curriculum and information for use in Pennsylvania classrooms and homes.”

As part of the special live statewide broadcast, Corbett explained the importance of Internet safety to more than 300 students and faculty at John Harris High School in Harrisburg and also interacted via satellite with students from across the state, encouraging everyone to join him as a member of the Safe Surf campaign. 

Part of the discussion between Corbett and the students included portions of a DVD the attorney general’s office has created for middle and high school students, including segments that show an actual victim’s story, a portrait of a predator and online safety tips.

Joining the attorney general to launch Operation Safe Surf were agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit and lawyers from the Pennsylvania and local bar associations, who were on hand at each official host site to answer students’ questions.

Corbett told students, “We are fighting an enemy that we can’t see. Today’s predators are anonymous. They no longer need to stalk playgrounds. Thanks to the Internet, these criminals can hide behind a computer screen to lure you into their webs. They are lurking everywhere, in chat rooms, on MySpace, Yahoo, AOL, and you don’t even realize who they are. You need to learn how to stay safe online.”

To learn more about Operation Safe Surf, visit Corbett’s Web site.

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