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The Dark Web and Your Kids: FBI Agent Says It's Your Responsibility

Part II in a series about the "dark web", following the Plainfield High School threats arrest

PLAINFIELD, Ind.--If you want to keep your kids from getting tangled up with strangers on the internet, and whatever misdoings those people could have in mind, the know what your kids are up to, said Jay Abbott, special agent in charge of the FBI, Indianapolis office.

Be engaged, and a conversation with a teenager


"It's simple. Be engaged. Your children are ultimately your responsibility and what they do on the internet is ultimately your responsibility," said Abbott.

He said he had a conversation with his own teenage daughter after the threats in 2015 at Plainfield High School that led to the arrest last week of Buster Hernandez, of Bakersfield, Calif., who was able to hide his identity for almost two years on the "dark web".

LINK: The Plainfield High School threats arrest

"We talked about what was happening in Plainfield a lot, and I said you've got to know who you're talking to on the internet. For God sakes, no matter what types of pictures you share with anybody, you've really got to think about what you're sharing an who you're sharing it with," said Abbott.

Abbott said that even though some crooks are really clever with sextortion, you should never share a photo that could put you in a compromised position.

He urges you to talk to your kids about the dangers of talking with people you don't know on the internet.

LINK: The "dark web" article

The debate on privacy

"It creates an amazing amount of freedom to have social interaction with whoever you want to. But, there are risks with that."

Abbott said he believes that people should be debating how much security they are willing to give up in the name of privacy on the net. He said it's not the FBI's place to dictate what you are able to do online, but with the "dark web", and anonymity, there may soon be places on the net they can't penetrate and bad guys they can't catch.

It took over a year and a half to find "Brian Kil", a.k.a. Hernandez, the man who was sextorting Indiana teenagers and making the threats against Plainfield High.

"Soon there will be places and methods on the internet that we will not be able to penetrate and identify criminals on. How much privacy as a society do we want to have, and there are those who say we should have complete privacy of things we do on the internet. You have to balance that, though, I think, with how much security as a community, as a nation, as a society, do we want to make sure we safeguard?"

PHOTO: Thinkstock/ipopba

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