Negative effects caused by the use of computers and the Internet on young people

Status: Concluded
In progress from 01-12-2007 to 01-07-2008
Project manager:

Representatives of political, scientific, technocratic and social institutions and organizations were invited as speakers to the Committee sessions.
During the debates conducted so far between the invited speakers and the committee members, important issues and problems calling for solution have been traced and pinpointed, such as:

- The important pedagogical and psychosomatic effects from the overuse and addiction of young people to the use of computers and the internet
References have been made to specific case studies of minors under supervision, presenting intense symptoms of Internet addiction.
18,2% of fifteen year-old youths in the Attica Prefecture, who are internet users, periodically or often present acute problems of addiction and socialization.
Special problems of addiction are present also at the Internet-cafes, where many example addiction cases were reported, to a degree of obsession with Internet use.
References were also made to one-sided utilization of the Internet, gradually resulting in phenomena of school- dropping or abandoning studies by young people and their total commitment to internet use and video-games interaction.

- The development and spreading of various forms of criminal activities to young people through the Internet and electronic games.
A series of important data concerning criminal activity through the Internet was provided to the Committee by the Service for Combating Electronic Crime.
The main relevant crime categories specified are pedophilia, child pornography, libel action and suicide cases, eleven (11) in the last three years and three (3) in the first months of 2009.

- The spreading of addiction and criminal activity to the field of mobile telephony
More information was provided concerning developments in the field of mobile telephony and Internet use.
It has been pointed out that in the two coming years, technological developments, together with the commercial promotional services of the mobile telephone companies will create an environment of total freedom of Internet use through mobile telephone devices.
Examples of setting regulatory framework between governments and mobile telephone companies were provided, aimed at dealing timely and effectively with the hazards.

- The need of taking measures for broadening the scope of legal, pedagogical, medical and enforcement management of the aforementioned problems, which are classified to the following four major thematic categories:
• The first category concerns the development of a regulatory framework, by adopting laws, signing regulatory agreements among stakeholders e.t.c.
• The second category aims at the prevention, but also the management of dangers associated with the new information technologies and electronic communication; that field involves parties from the
field of Economy through the Special Secretariat for Digital Planning of the competent Ministry, as well as from the Ministries for Education and Health.
•The third category includes therapeutic measures and psychological support for persons addicted to the overuse and uncontrolled and unprincipled computer and Internet use.
• The fourth category provides for actions of deterrent or enforcing nature against phenomena of violation of laws and regulations which have been decided upon with the sole aim of deterring criminal activity against young people.

Two more Committee sessions have been scheduled to take place shortly.
After that, a report will be drawn up containing the conclusions and proposals resulting from the debates within the frame of the committee, which will be submitted in the form of a rapport to the Plenary and, at the same time, will be communicated to all stakeholders, interested parties and organizations.

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