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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Announces Internet Safety Videos Now Available on Comcast On Demand

BALTIMORE, MD ( March 10, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Comcast, and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) today announced the launch of new Internet safety videos now available on Comcast On Demand. The three separate videos, targeted to grade schoolers, ‘tweens and high schoolers, explore the risks associated with the Internet. The videos contain content from the NetSmartz Workshop, an Internet safety program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). They teach parents and guardians how to become involved and take action to protect their children from the risks of social networking, cyber bullying, and Internet predators. The videos are free for all Comcast Digital TV customers in Maryland to access at their convenience, day or night, via Comcast’s signature On Demand service, with the ability to pause, fast-forward and rewind.

“The Internet provides endless benefits, but parents and children must know how to protect themselves from the many dangers that lurk in the anonymous world of the Web,” said Attorney General Gansler. “There are always pros and cons to everything - just as we teach our children how to cross a busy street, ride a bike or drive a car - it is our duty as parents to teach our children how to be safer when they use the Internet. I am pleased that by working with Comcast, IKeepSafe, and NetSmartz, these Internet safety videos will be available to Comcast Digital TV customers any time of the day or night.”

Comcast Digital TV customers in Maryland can view the videos beginning today by tuning to Channel 1 on their digital TV lineup or pressing the On Demand button on their remote control, then clicking on “Get Local” and selecting “iKeepSafe” under the “News & Information” folder.

“Comcast’s mission is to deliver a safe and secure online experience for our customers and the videos we unveiled today with Attorney General Gansler, iKeepSafe and NetSmartz align perfectly with that mission,” said Fred Graffam, regional senior vice president for Comcast. “We are committed to providing parents with the information they need to best manage their children’s use of the Internet, and that includes offering a comprehensive security channel on our Comcast.net consumer portal with access to complimentary parental controls from the Norton Security Suite as well as other Internet safety resources.”
“The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is proud to honor the efforts of Attorney General Gansler who is dedicated to encouraging the youth of Maryland to have safer, healthier habits on the Internet and addressing issues such as cyberbullying, cyber-ethics and finding balance in their digital lives,” said Marsali Hancock, president of iKeepSafe. “We are also grateful for committed partners like Comcast who give us additional opportunities and resources to deliver the message of safe and healthy Internet use to children and communities.”

“Internet safety is even more important in today’s world with so many of our children now having easy and constant access to the Internet,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “We are grateful to Attorney General Gansler for making Internet safety a high priority and to Comcast and iKeepSafe for providing access to these important resources.”

Launched in 2007, Attorney General Gansler’s Internet Safety Initiative C.L.I.C.K.S. - Community Leadership in Cyber Knowledge and Safety - is an educational outreach program designed to equip Maryland’s community leaders with the resources to teach students and their parents about Internet safety. A key component of the C.L.I.C.K.S. initiative is to provide training and resources to law enforcement and other community leaders so they can talk to students and their parents about Internet safety. Partnering with NetSmartz, Attorney General Gansler’s C.L.I.C.K.S. initiative promotes safe and responsible use of the Internet and other technologies through “train-the-trainer” sessions. Conducted by Internet safety experts, the sessions will be open to educators, law enforcement and community leaders, who will be taught to lead presentations to youth and other stakeholders. The NetSmartz presentations are tailored to the attention span, maturity and interest of the audience.

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.6 million cable customers, 15.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.6 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is a broad partnership of governors and/or first spouses, attorneys general, public health and educational professionals, law enforcement and industry leaders working together for the health and safety of youth online. The coalition partners include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American School Counselors Association, D.A.R.E. America, (ISC)2 and Optimist International (for a complete list of partners, please visit iKeepSafe.org). The coalition provides innovative resources including parent tutorials and age-appropriate educational resources, including the Faux Paw the Techno Cat® Internet safety series of books and animated films for children. iKeepSafe uses these unique partnerships to disseminate the safety resources to families worldwide, including pilot programs launched in China, India, Australia and a new program in Egypt in partnership with the Cyber Peace Initiative (CPI).

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 2,447,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 148,400 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 799,400 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 31,437,470 pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.

The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource from NCMEC for children aged 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet.


   

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