MSN and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Recognize Six Cities for Leading the Nation in Online Safety

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Thursday, 1 May 2003

Cyber Safe City Award Commends Strides in Online Safety Among Local Law Enforcement and Community Leaders

MSN® and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) today announced the launch of their joint Cyber Safe City program and recognized six cities that are leading the nation in championing online safety in their communities. The six Cyber Safe Cities are Dallas; Naperville, Ill.; New York; San Diego; Seattle; and Sioux Falls, S.D. John Walsh, NCMEC co-founder and host of America's Most Wanted and The John Walsh Show; Ernie Allen, NCMEC co-founder and president; and Rich Bray, vice president of MSN North America made the announcement in New York. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was on hand to receive the first Cyber Safe City award on behalf of New York City.

"The quest to protect our nation's children is a never-ending undertaking," said Walsh, national spokesperson for the Cyber Safe City program. "I am thrilled to support this program, as NCMEC and MSN come together to recognize the great work of our Cyber Safe Cities and to encourage other cities to follow their lead in protecting children online."

Replicable best practices of the six honored cities as well as online safety tools and resources will be made available via the Internet at www.staysafeonline.com. These tools and resources include NCMEC's online safety resource, the NetSmartz workshop; tips developed by leading online safety expert Naperville Detective Michael "Sully" Sullivan for the Cyber Safe City program; new content and online discussions for parents, developed and hosted by noted family technology expert Robin Raskin; and access to MSN 8, provider of distinguished parental control features and the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal and to be applauded as "the best choice for Web-savvy parents and children" by Parenting Magazine.

"MSN and NCMEC have joined forces because of our mutual commitment to increasing online safety and the admiration we have for the local government, law enforcement and community leaders who are working to make their towns (or cities) safer for children," said Allen. "Communities must work together to further online safety through appropriate legislative efforts, education, law enforcement and technology. The Cyber Safe Cities tour recognizes and encourages the spread of online safety and prevention knowledge and highlights those communities that have set a positive precedent for others to follow."

The six cities received the Cyber Safe City designation because they have demonstrated a commitment to online safety through activities such as law enforcement cybercrime training programs, leadership in the development of local task forces designed to fight online crimes against children, education programs teaching children about Internet safety, and support for local and statewide legislative initiatives focused on Internet safety.

"MSN is proud to work with NCMEC to champion online safety efforts being undertaken by communities across the country," Bray said. "Through the Cyber Safe City program, we hope to raise awareness of online safety and to encourage families to take advantage of community resources and software, such as MSN 8, to help keep their kids safe online."

The six Cyber Safe Cities will receive the MSN/NCMEC Cyber Safe City award; be featured on the Cyber Safe City Web site; have access to educational resources and training hosted by Sullivan; receive a variety of training materials to help them continue their outstanding work in educating citizens about online safety; and be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant to assist law enforcement agencies in extending their online safety programs.

Information and activities related to the Cyber Safe Cities program, as well as background information and educational resources about online safety, law enforcement, educators, parents and kids, can be found on the Web site www.staysafeonline.com.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC has access to both the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS). NCMEC operates the CyberTipline, an online mechanism to report child sexual exploitation such as online enticement of children for sex acts and child pornography. Mandated by the U.S. Congress in 1998, the CyberTipline has received over 120,000 reports leading to hundreds of arrests of child predators. Created in 1984 NCMEC has aided law-enforcement officials in the search for more than 89,000 missing children. More than 73,000 children have been recovered as a result. More information about NCMEC is available by calling (800) THE-LOST (843-5678)

About MSN

MSN has 8.7 million subscriptions and attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN and the MSN logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, or to contact National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, see their website at: www.missingkids.org

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