The Top 5 Things Rep. Anthony Weiner Can Teach Your Children [Press Release]

For Immediate Release


Frederick Lane
(802) 318-4604

The scandal that has engulfed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) may seem to many parents like yet another reason to turn off the news. That’s an understandable reaction, but parents should embrace it for it what it is: a great opportunity to educate their children about the risks of online behavior. Here are some talking points for parents and their children:

1. It’s WAY TOO EASY to Be Stupid Online

Rep. Weiner is actually one of the more technologically-savvy members of Congress. But he got into trouble because he made a simple, careless mistake: typing the “@” symbol instead of “DM” for “direct message.” There are an endless number of ways your child can be tripped up online.

2. Just Because You Can Do Something Online Doesn’t Mean You Should

Technology makes it all too easy to take inappropriate photos or type inappropriate messages, and share them with the entire world. Often, it’s only a couple of clicks of a button, which can make it incredibly tempting to do. But just because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Tell your child to THINK!! Will posting something online hurt family, friends, or his/her future?

3. If It’s Digital, It’s Public

As the Weiner fiasco demonstrates, if your child digitizes something, it is virtually inevitable that he/she will lose control of it. That’s even more true if he/she shares it on a social network site or via e-mail. Even if Rep. Weiner had typed his tweet correctly, he was still sending a digital file to someone who could save it, re-tweet it, post it to the Web, or sell it to a news outlet or blogger (most of which happened). As Stewart Brand once said, “Information wants to be free.”

4. Employers, Colleges, and Journalists Will Find Out

All major employers and most of the better colleges are looking at social media sites when they review job or college applications. If your child has posted an embarrassing or inappropriate image of him/herself, the odds are very good (regardless of your privacy settings) that it will be seen by someone making a decision about his or her future.

5. They’re Called “Privates” for a Reason

Your child may think it’s hysterically funny or irresistibly flirtatious to take explicit self-portraits and distribute them online, but it is stupid, embarrassing, and dangerous to do so. Rep. Weiner may be an adult, but if your child is under the age of 18, he or she is violating state and federal child pornography laws by following his example.

For more information about Frederick Lane and Cybertraps for the Young, please visit Cybertraps for the Young will be available on or


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About the Author

Lane is an author, attorney, lecturer and expert witness in the field of computer forensics. He is the author of five previous books and over the last decade has appeared as a guest on a variety of national media programs, including Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” ABC’s “Nightline,” CBS’s “60 Minutes” and “Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood,” NBC’s “Today Show,” and numerous regional and local radio programs. Lane lectures frequently at colleges and universities on topics ranging from First Amendment issues to student privacy in the digital age. From 2001 to 2011, he served on the Burlington School Board, including the last two years as Chair of the Board. Lane graduated from Amherst College in 1985 with a degree in classics and American studies, and from Boston College Law School in 1988. Additional information is available on his Web site,

Cybertraps for the Young Facebook Page

If you are interested in reading more about the legal problems that children can get into through the use of technology, please “like” the Facebook page for Cybertraps for the Young. Information will also be posted there about upcoming media appearances and lectures.

Frederick S. Lane
Author, Attorney, Expert Witness, Lecturer

Upcoming Lectures:

June 16, 2011
“Computer Forensics 101”
Public Defender Conference, Glade Springs, WV

June 21, 2011
“Judicial Trends in Search and Seizure of Mobile Devices”
Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Burlington, VT

June 23, 2011
“Privacy, Anonymity, and Intellectual Freedom in the Facebook Era”
Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, AK

June 30, 2011
“Fast and Free Online Legal Research for Your Legal Practice”
National Business Institute, Burlington, VT

July 7, 2011
“LINUX and Privacy”
Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Linux Users Group, Dartmouth, NH

August 4, 2011
“Cybertraps for the Young”
Vermont Principals Association 2011 Leadership Academy, Killington, VT

September 16, 2011
“Cybertraps for the Young”
Justice for Children Conference, Lake Morey Resort, Fairley, VT

October 2011
“Computer Forensics 101”
Office of the Federal Defender [S.D. Ala.], Mobile, AL

October 19, 2011
Keynote Address: “Cybertraps for the Young”
National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Professional Practices Institute, Little Rock, AK

October 21, 2011
“Computer Forensics 101”
Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Middlebury, VT

November 2, 2011
“Mobile Search and Seizure and the 4th Amendment”
Office of the Federal Defender [N.D. NY], Albany, NY

Previous Books:

American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right;

The Court and Cross: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court;

The Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture;

The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy; and

Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age>.

Frederick S. Lane is an author, attorney, educational consultant, expert witness, and lecturer who has appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. He is past chairman of the Burlington (VT) School Board. His sixth book, “Cybertraps for the Young,” is now available from NTI Upstream. Visit for additional information.

Contact information:

802-318-4604 | |

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