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OSBI Seal  Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Stan Florence

Jessica Brown
Public Information Director


02/23/12                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           


Director Urges Parents to Monitor Their Children's Social Media Usage in Wake of Cybertip Surge

During a press conference at the State Capitol today, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Director Stan Florence spoke to the media concerning a surge in Cybertips. In 2010, the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, housed at OSBI, received 178 Cybertips plus an additional 25 tips specifically related to myYearbook.com. In 2011, the Task Force received 174 Cybertips and an additional 706 tips from myYearbook.com. Each one of these tips potentially involves a child in danger.

This significant increase in Cybertips is the result of social media and networking sites increasing the capability of their website functions, while staying in compliance with federal law. The advancements in website functions include web camera features, mobile availability, and photo recognitions. As these technologies progress, website managers will more effectively monitor their websites and report infractions to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. NCMEC farms out those tips to state investigators.

OSBI is working with state lawmakers to give some local officers statewide jurisdiction through the OSBI to investigate these Cybertips, which often take officers out of their local jurisdictions. If Senate Bill 1016 becomes law, law enforcement will be better able to follow Cybertips. Even with more investigators following these tips, law enforcement cannot battle this epidemic alone. Parents must become educated about the dangers of some social media and speak to their children about them. To learn more about the pitfalls of social media and how to report a Cybertip, you can logon to these sites: www.netsmartz.org, www.cybertipline.com, www.thatsnotcool.com.