Federal Trade Commission member Orson Swindle will unveil a new Internet-security
mascot at the Privacy 2002 conference in Cleveland Thursday. He is Dewie, a
turtle aimed at promoting a "culture of security" on the Internet.
Why a turtle? According to staffers in the FTC's public-affairs department,
turtles come out ahead by taking the safe route (think tortoise and hare),
"don't cut corners and are protected wherever they go."
Nobody in the public-affairs office seemed to know why the name Dewie, although
one suggested that the spelling was to avoid confusion with any Disney ducks or
decimal systems (though, arguably, the Internet has done more for the dot than
anyone since Dewey, so that association is appropriate).
One staffer volunteered: "Do we need Internet security? You bet." Other
staffers said that wasn't the derivation, though it sounds like a winner.
Dewie, like Smokey the Bear, is a government employee, so he can't be licensed
to the hilt like, say, Olympic Games mascots, but Dewie stickers have been prepared to
commemorate his arrival.