RIT Professor Named to National Online Safety and Technology Working Group

Samuel McQuade appointed to group reporting directly to U. S. Department of Commerce and Congress about online safety for children

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As the age of computer users decreases and the use of social networks increases, there is a correlating incidence of cyber abuse among young people. Samuel McQuade, professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and who completed an extensive study to assess online activities and abuse, found that one in five fourth-to-sixth graders have been victimized online.

McQuade, one of the foremost researchers and advocates for safer Internet practices, was recently appointed to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Online Safety and Technology Working Group. He brings more than 30 years’ experience as a practitioner, teacher and researcher of criminal justice and online security to the working group.

“Every child deserves to be safe and secure when they go online, and everyone needs to use computers and cell phones responsibly. This is essential for the protection of critical information infrastructure that our country depends on,” says McQuade, graduate coordinator in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies in the RIT College of Applied Science and Technology.

“The College of Applied Science and Technology has a longstanding and important relationship with the computing and telecommunications industries,” he adds. “I look forward to working with representatives from major firms like Microsoft, Comcast, Verizon, MySpace and Facebook to explore opportunities for Internet safety.”

The working group, consisting of prominent family advocates and technology leaders, will report to both the assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and to Congress on industry efforts to promote safety online. Established by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, the group will have professionals from organizations as varied as the Motion Picture Association of America, Facebook, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The group’s first meeting is scheduled for June in Washington, D.C.

At RIT, McQuade teaches courses about high tech crime, information security and infrastructure assurance. He is a former Air National Guard security police officer, and has served as a deputy sheriff, police officer and detective. Of his many research endeavors, he was study director for the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences.

Note: Information about Mc Quade’s cyber abuse research, “Report of the Rochester Institute of Technology Survey of Internet and At-Rick Behaviors can be found on the Cyber Safety ad Ethics Initiative Web site.

About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration:
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the president on telecommunications and information policies.