In a letter being circulated March 5, cable and telephone operators joined with academics and Common Sense Media, among others, to support the Adolescent Web Awareness Requires Education (AWARE) Act (HR 3630).
The bill, introduced last fall, provides grants for an Internet crime and cybercrime awareness and prevention program, particularly efforts related to protecting kids.
"Congress can most immediately and effectively impact potential online risks by enacting Internet safety and digital media literacy measures in schools to prevent harm from occurring in the first place," the groups wrote in a letter to the leadership of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security. "We know that infusing basic online safety and digital citizenship messages for all students at the K-12 level is critical," they said. The subcommittee held a hearing last fall on cyber-bullying.
"We strongly support swift passage of H.R. 3630, the Adolescent Web Awareness Requires Education Act of [the bill]," they said. "This urgently needed legislation will equip parents and teachers with tools to teach children how to safely, securely and ethically use the Internet. It will also support peer-driven Internet safety initiatives and develop public education campaigns to promote awareness of online risks and improve the health of young people."