Washington D.C., June 21, 2005 ? Qwest Communications International (NYSE: Q) and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) today brought their campaign to promote online safety to Capitol Hill, offering Internet safety tips for members of Congress to help promote safer, more responsible online behavior by children and teens. The event, held in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol, also highlighted June as National Internet Safety Month. Representatives from NCMEC along with Qwest held a press conference that included Senators Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, Conrad Burns, Mont., Orrin Hatch, Utah, and Representative Fred Upton, Mich., and Mark Foley, Fla. The members are active in their respective Senate and House Caucuses on Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children.
The highlight of the two-hour event was an opportunity for members of Congress, staff, and their children to take the ?Parents Safety-Net Test,? a quiz designed to educate parents, guardians, and mentors about online child safety issues. The quiz can be found on the Internet at: www.incredibleinternet.com.
The Parents Safety-Net Test was developed by NCMEC and Qwest. Since its May launch, more than 1000 people in nearly all 50 states have taken the quiz. With NCMEC, Qwest plans on using this quiz to help educate parents and guardians across the nation on how to keep their children safer when using the Internet.
Participants also viewed NCMEC?s Ad Council public service advertisement (PSA) campaign to prevent online sexual exploitation. These teen-targeted PSAs are designed to raise awareness about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation and help parents and teenage girls better protect themselves against online sexual predators. In addition, Members of Congress had the opportunity to record Internet safety radio PSAs that may be distributed in their districts.
?Of the estimated 24 million child Internet users, one in five has received unwanted sexual solicitations,? said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. ?Through the Parents-Safety Net Test, Qwest reminds parents that they need to become more involved in their children?s online lives to help prevent online sexual solicitations from occurring in the first place.?
"I commend Ernie Allen and all of his colleagues at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the folks at Qwest Communications and the Ad Council for their efforts to keep our kids safe online. A little knowledge of our kids' activities while surfing the net goes a long way in protecting them from online predators," said Rep. Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.
Gary Lytle, senior vice president of Federal Relations for Qwest said, ?As a leading provider of high-speed Internet service, and in keeping with our ?Spirit of Service? philosophy, Qwest is committed to helping parents protect their children from inappropriate material online. There is no doubt that the Internet is an amazing resource for families, but parents need to know how they can protect their kids online and that in turn will enhance the value of the Internet as a learning tool for the whole family.?
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC works to combat possession, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child prostitution; child sexual tourism; extra-familial child sexual molestation; unsolicited obscene material sent to a child; and misleading domain names. To date, NCMEC has handled more than 330,000 reports of these offenses from the public through its congressionally mandated CyberTipline (www.cybertipline.com). For more information about NCMEC, call 1 800-THE-LOST or visit www.missingkids.com.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services. With more than 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
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