2-20-08
Audrey found this article.

It's a Miracle: A Family Reunited after over 40 Years of Searching

By: Mary Jane Bishop

A miracle has happened it’s a story too awesome to be kept a secret. Over 45 years ago I was separated from my parents because I was adopted out for whatever the reason. Today the reason does not matter to me at all. For more than 40 years my birth family has been looking for me.
In January 2004 my daughter, Roni relocated her 2 siblings of which we had not had contact for about 17 years. Roni was able to make contact with only about 2 days of internet searching.
After Roni had such great success in locating her siblings, I thought I might give it a try. After my adopted mother had gone to be with the Lord in February 2001, I was given the envelope, which held some papers with regards to my adoption. I was able to obtain my parents names and my birth name.
In January 2004 I searched for my birth parents. I used the internet with no luck. After a bit I got discouraged, afraid of rejection. Before I completely stopped I placed a note on the internet on a site for the Haire Family. I placed a note stating both birth parent names and that I had 2 older sisters. If it were meant to be, then He would make it happen. I had prayed for it to only happen if it would be a positive event.
July 3, 2004 my cousin June Cofield who lives in Maryland located my note I placed on the internet. She then contacted my sister Susie Brownson to have Susie make the contact with me. I had only given them my email address no phone information. I have always cleaned out this section by clicking on everything and deleting it all at once. I was just about to delete Susie’s when the subject line caught my eye: Your sister, daughter of Mary Johnita Hawkins. I caught myself being cautious and nervous about clicking open this email. I was beside myself and just had to respond right away.
July 10, 2004 I met up with my birth mother and a large number of family members. It was overwhelming without a doubt. As we drove up the first thing you see are lots of people hovering around the yard all watching for our arrival.
The circle of the family reunion was completed on July 25, 2004. Several of us were able to meet in Granger Texas, to meet Jonette (middle sister adopted) & her family. We had BBQ and plenty of food as each family member brought stuff once again. It was another blessed event in this miracle.
If you're truly searching for someone...don't stop. They just might be there for you to find. Mine is a very positive reunion. They all call me daily, different ones are on the phone checking in with me. To have so much love now by this new family is actually amazing.


2-20-08
Victoria found this article.
MYSPACE: A Must Read for All!!
EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ ALL OF THIS and HAVE CHILDREN READ IT TOO!
After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:
ByAngel213:
Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!
GoTo123:
LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?
ByAngel213:
Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.
GoTo123:
Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?
ByAngel213:
Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.
GoTo123:
Did you have a softball game after school today?
ByAngel213:
Yes and we won!!
GoTo123:
That's great! Who did you play?
ByAngel213:
We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL
GoTo123:
What is your team called?
ByAngel213:
We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.
GoTo1 23:
Did you pitch?
ByAngel213:
No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!
GoTo123:
Catch you later. Bye
Meanwhile.......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.
Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina
Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information to find her now.
Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.
By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.
Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.
He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.
After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.
Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon’s home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.
Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon’s house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.
Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.
"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.
"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you."
Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!
"Do you know who I am, Shannon?" the man asked.
"No," Shannon answered.
"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."
Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan!"
The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."
Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"
He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"
She nodded.
"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line.. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"
"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.



2-20-08
Madeleine found this article Posted by The Oregonian January 30, 2008 16:37PM

Portland man admits to sex with 14-year-old Aloha girl

A Portland man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of pursuing a 14-year-old Aloha girl on MySpace and enticing her into having sex with him.
Jover O. Mabaet, who is set to be sentenced on April 7, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to federal court papers.
Mabaet, 22, told authorities he met the girl in the summer of 2006 and kept in touch with her through the popular Web sites MySpace and Friendster, and by contacting her by ce In his written plea agreement, accepted Monday by U.S. District Judge Garr M. King, Mabaet admitted that he had intercourse with the girl and that he communicated with her through email to have a sexual relationship.
The case came to light on Nov. 30 when the girl's father found Mabaet and another man, a 21-year-old registered sex offender named Dennis Keomoungkhoune, in bed with his daughter, authorities said. The girl's father confronted the two and jotted down their names and contact information -- all phony, it turns out -- before running them off and phoning police.
Washington County authorities arrested Mabaet and Keomoungkhoune in January 2007, charging them with rape, burglary and using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct. Multnomah County charged Mabaet with other sex offenses. In June, Keomoungkhoune pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree rape and one count of first-degree burglary. He was sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Nyhus said he was pleased with the outcome and that federal prosecutors would aggressively pursue any adult who lures children into sex using the Internet. The case, he said, offers a cautionary tale for parents.
"Talk to your kids about their online activities," he said. "Know who their friends are and who they are talking with."


Keeley found this website http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15333880/

To read more, click on the link
It happened in a small town in the Heartland to two teens probably not very different from ones you know. There seemed nothing to suggest they were capable of joining together in a cold-blooded murder. It began with a typical teenage drama: a love triangle. But this triangle was different from most. It ended with a crime the people of this small town may never forget. Airs Saturday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.

Lisa found this information:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11064451/

Rob Stafford is back with another report on the popular social networking site, MySpace.com, which has made headlines recently since several sex crimes have been connected to the site. In the multi-part report, "Dateline" follows a police officer who assumes a fake identity, engages in online conversations with young teens, and then shares with their parents what he has found. Airs April 9, 7 p.m. on NBC. The report, below, aired Dateline Friday, Jan. 27, 9 p.m.


You may never have heard of MySpace.com, but it's a safe bet, your kids have.
It's a social networking sites — sort of a cyber combination of a yearbook, personal diary and social club. The biggest of them is MySpace.com. With more than 50 million members, its one of the fastest growing Web sites in the country.

Shannon Sullivan, teenager: Everyone has a MySpace and everyone wants a My Space.
It’s free, easy to join, and easy to message its members. Kids chat about everything from school, to sports, to fundraisers for Katrina victims. It all seems like innocent fun, and it can be. But many parents and teens are unaware there are hidden dangers.

Shannon Sullivan: I honestly just thought it was my friends looking at it

Which is why Shannon disclosed so much on her space. She put her name, her address, and where she went to school— everything about how to find Shannon was on that site.

Rob Stafford, Dateline correspondent: Were you worried about doing that?
Shannon Sullivan: I didn’t think twice about it.

Shannon did think twice about something else: The rules on my space say you’re supposed to be at least 14 years old.

Stafford: How old did you say you were?
Shannon Sullivan: I think it was 18.
Stafford: You think it was 18?
Sullivan: I was 13 at the time.

Shannon’s mother Margaret happens to run the computer system at a private grammar school. She has parental controls on her home computer, and several months ago, MySpace popped up on one of the reports Margaret gets on the Web sites Shannon has visited.

Margaret Sullivan: I was just very upset. Somebody looking for a kid could find a kid very easily.
Stafford: Had you ever heard of it?
Margaret Sullivan: No.

She was stunned by what Shannon revealed and found the sites of other kids far more revealing.

Margaret Sullivan: I found all kinds of pictures of kids in revealing positions, and pictures of kids scantily dressed.

It’s a cyber secret teenagers keep from tech-challenged parents who are not as savvy as Margaret. It’s a world where the kids next door can play any role they want. They may not realize everyone with Internet access, including sexual predators, may see the pictures and personal information they post.
When “Dateline” surfed MySpace, we found scenes of binge drinking, apparent drug use, teens posing in underwear, and other members simulating sex, and in some cases even having it. We also found less provocative pages like Shannon’s was, but potentially even more dangerous. Teens listed not only their names, and addresses, but even cell phone numbers and after school schedules.

Parry Aftab, Internet lawyer and safety expert: [It’s] one stop shopping for sexual predators, and they can shop by catalogue.

Internet lawyer Parry Aftab started the Web site wiredsafety.org, and her safety tips appear on MySpace.com.

Stafford: Do parents have any idea what some kids are posting on these sites?
Aftab: Parents are clueless. They’re caught like deer in the headlights.

Aftab educates parents and kids about the dangers lurking on the Web.

Aftab: Pedophiles are using all of the social networking sites. And every other anonymous Internet technology to find kids. The social networking sites are where kids are.
Aftab says even kids who don’t list their name and address can provide enough personal information— such as the kinds of bands and boys they love— for a pedophile to use to con their way into their lives.
Aftab: If someone knows you "like pina coladas and walks in the rain," it’s very easy online to be exactly what it is you’re looking for— to be your “soul mate.”
Stafford: Who might happen to be a 40 year old predator?
Aftab: Absolutely. The teens just don’t get it. To them, they’re talking to a computer monitor.They’re playing in an area where they don’t recognize the consequences.

In the last month, authorities have charged at least three men with sexually assaulting teenagers they found through MySpace.com and just this week police found a missing 15-year-old girl who investigators say was sexually assaulted by a 26-year-old man she met through the site. MySpace members are now warning each other about the danger of sharing information online.
Aftab says parents need to find out what their kids are sharing.

Aftab: Say to your kids, “I’d like to see your profile page tomorrow.” It’s important that you give them a day to clean up their page. That will be the last time you give them warning.

Then Aftab says look at their site: Are the pictures provocative? Their profiles too detailed? Who are they talking to? And perhaps most important— have they kept their profiles private, protected by a password, to keep strangers out?
MySpace.com would not agree to an on-camera interview but did tell “Dateline” via e-mail that it prohibits posting personal information and has a team that searches for and removes both underage users and offensive material. MySpace said it does not pre-screen the content of its more than 50 million members, but encourages all of them to exercise caution.

Melissa found this at http://www.e-consultancy.com/news-blog/362171/myspace-sued-for-copyright-by-universal.html

MySpace sued for copyright by Universal

Universal Music has launched a legal challenge against MySpace, the first time Rupert Murdoch’s social network site has been challenged for copyright infringement.
Universal is suing MySpace for unauthorised use of the music and music videos of its artists, citing the availability on the site of material from Jay-Z’s as yet unreleased album as an example of this.
Universal, owned by French media group Vivendi, has been the most aggressive of the record companies in defending the copyright of its artists. It has previously launched action against Grouper.com and Bolt.com for the same reason.
YouTube avoided similar action by cutting a deal with Universal in which YouTube pays licensing fees and shares ad revenues for use of its artists’ work. Talks on a content deal between MySpace and Universal had apparently broken down.
Universal is believed to be testing a US federal law that provides a ‘safe harbour’ to internet companies which remove copyright content after being alerted by the copyright holder.
This ‘safe harbour’ has allowed video sharing and other social network sites to achieve rapid growth while so far avoiding confrontation with the copyright owners.
Were Universal to win in court, it would set a precedent which would allow it leverage in any revenue sharing deals it makes with user-generated sites.

Universal's lawsuit states that the user-generated content on MySpace is actually 'user-stolen intellectual property of others' and that MySpace is a 'willing partner' in this theft.
On his blog, Mark Cuban suggests much of the appeal in user generated sites is the easy acess to copyrighted material - after all, why else would YouTube spend millions to keep copyrighted content available for its users?