By ALEX MALONEY A few weeks ago, I sat at my desk in a conference room at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland and typed into a search engine a story I had read about the state’s lottery, the first ever in the U.S. To my surprise, I got back an email with an address I’d never heard of.
I’d just gotten an update from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had just completed its investigation into the lottery.
I clicked on the link and read about how the lottery had failed to properly protect minors.
I typed in the email address of another researcher I’d worked with.
“I don’t believe you,” he replied.
I replied with a question: Did you know the names of the four people in my report?
“You know, I’ve heard that before,” he said.
But then he paused.
“Oh, OK,” he answered.
“It’s a good question,” I said.
He continued to tell me he hadn’t yet received the report.
I then clicked the link again.
He did not respond to a follow-up email.
This week, I sent a follow up email to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., asking them to publicly acknowledge the lack of security of the Mississippi State Lottery’s online system, which would have allowed the agency to know where I was, what I was doing, and what my name was.
This time, I received no response.
The lottery has a troubled history.
The agency that runs the lottery has long been criticized for failing to do enough to protect minors from online predators, including for its failure to have a system to track the number of times each person used a mobile phone, which means the odds of someone making contact with you on your mobile phone are very high.
This is particularly important in a state like Mississippi, where many children rely on smartphones for socializing and to share photos and videos with family and friends.
I asked how many people have been prosecuted for violating the lottery’s rules, and my guess was zero.
It is a crime for someone to harass a minor on a social media platform and then take it offline without warning.
I was not surprised that the lottery failed to do more to stop online predators.
After all, the agency that oversees the Mississippi Lottery has a history of making mistakes.
The report from the NCMEC found that between 2011 and 2014, the Mississippi state lottery had an overall rate of online solicitation of minors that was about twice as high as the national average, and nearly four times higher than that of the next most populous state, Virginia.
In one case, the NCMC said, a man named Paul was arrested after an undercover investigator recorded him offering to sell his girlfriend’s virginity to another person.
He was found guilty of soliciting a minor and sentenced to six months in jail.
I also asked the lottery what the odds were of a minor actually using their mobile phone to commit a crime, and it replied: “It depends.”
This is an old story.
Last month, the U,S.
government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released data showing that in 2015, there were an estimated 4.3 million juveniles ages 13 to 17 who had been online or using mobile phones.
This year, the FBI has estimated that there were more than 6 million.
There are plenty of ways that a person can get into trouble online.
There is the possibility that someone will try to use their phone to steal something valuable.
There may be a scam or hoax, where someone may send a fake e-mail.
There might be an attempt to send money to a person without their permission.
The odds are that a teen might be making these mistakes.
And that’s why I wrote to the lottery in the first place.
The first thing I asked it was, “Is it your practice to contact law enforcement when a child uses a social networking platform to commit crimes?”
The answer is no.
The answer to the second question is no, but it’s not surprising.
I know that because it was the reason why I started my investigation into Mississippi’s lottery a year ago.
In May of 2015, I was working on an article about the federal investigation into a Florida child pornography website when I got an email from a researcher at the University of North Carolina.
“Are you interested in my latest research?” she wrote.
“You’ll want to sign up.”
I had just learned about a new study in the journal PLoS ONE that had found that when someone used their phone for online activity, the chances of that person being found guilty was just 0.1 percent.
The researchers who wrote the study also wrote that it was a case of “social contagion.”
I knew that was the name for the phenomenon of someone sharing something they found interesting on a Facebook page or Tumblr, and then sharing it online. But it was