House Aims to Stop Online Predators with Legislation

I’ve known about some of these bills for a while, but here they are in the news. They are going through the House and still need to be considered by the Senate.

[Courtesy of the AP]

The bills would make it easier to monitor and prosecute cyber crimes against juveniles and to educate children about online dangers. According to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., law enforcement has identified nearly 500,000 individuals trafficking in child pornography over the Internet, but because of a lack of resources, only about 2 percent are under investigation.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz is the sponsor of a bill that would approve spending $1 billion over the next eight years to combat online child exploitation. It would also create a Justice Department office to coordinate prosecution efforts, increase money for a program that helps state and local law enforcement, and provide more dollars to hire agents and improve forensic lab capabilities dedicated to child exploitation cases. It passed 415-2.

Other bills would:

  • Approve $5 million a year for five years for Internet safety programs for children, with an additional $5 million a year going to competitive grants for similar initiatives. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and passed by voice.
    Respond to a court decision last year to throw out a child pornography conviction on the grounds that the material moved on the Internet did not constitute interstate commerce. This new bill would specify that Internet transmissions DO fulfill the commerce clause, making a child pornography conviction harder to toss. The bill sponsored by Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., passed 409-0.
  • Authorize courts to require, as a condition of probation, convicted sex offenders to cooperate in installing Internet filtering and monitoring systems. This bill would also give social networking sites permission to check sex offender registries to prevent offender access. The bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., also would increase prison terms for those who lie about their age in order to engage in criminal sexual conduct with a minor. It passed 417-0.
  • Make it easier to prosecute federal child pornography law. The proposal would clarify that knowingly accessing child pornography on the Internet constitutes possession, even if the person does not download or save the content. It also would subject those who profit from child pornography to money laundering charges. A vote on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa., is pending.
  • Require the Federal Trade Commission to increase public awareness and education about Internet safety. The proposal by Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., passed 398-6.
  • Each bill here was proposed by a Democrat but as you can see, accepted universal acceptance. It is sinking in that our nation’s children need to be protected from the scumbags that use the Internet to prey on them.

    While the Gov’t is fighting from this side, it is up to parents to fight from the inside (incidentally that is the title of a great Queen song). Parents are responsible for what their child does and whom they talk to online. If they aren’t doing their job in the home, then the battle is already lost. Check out PC Pandora… and check up on your kids.

    2 Responses to “House Aims to Stop Online Predators with Legislation”

    1. Cody Says:

      That is way too much money you are never going to stop these people if they want something bad enough they are going to find a way around it to do it, in my opinion this is just a waste of our tax money.

    2. Ken Says:

      While I agree you will never stop predators, I think it’s a MUCH better use for the dollars than many other “important” issues this current administration has completely destroyed our economy with. And the bottom line is that there needs to be stiffer penalties for those caught and churned through the system (since most don’t get jail time)… and providing more resources to law enforcement isn’t such a bad idea.

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