This blog headline page (which I think is a great idea) basically highlights the top stories from the Journal Gazette in Indiana. Anne Gregory is the author and today she wrote a good post about a recently passed state law that helps protect kids from online predators:
Senate Enrolled Act 258 prohibits a registered sex offender convicted of certain crimes involving children from knowingly using social networking web sites, instant messaging programs or chat room programs that the offender knows include children. It also requires them to submit their email addresses and usernames to the Registry and to notify the Registry if they obtain new or revised addresses or usernames within 72 hours of the change.
Failure to provide updated information will be a Class D felony.
Indiana is just one of a handful of states that require the email and username for the Registry. These provisions were authored by State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) and were originally contained in HB 1134 before being added to SB 258 in conference committee.
SB 258 also addressed other issues relating to criminal offenders and Internet usage, and it was authored by State Senator John Waterman (R-Shelburn) and sponsored by State Representative Vernon Smith (D-Gary). The law will take effect July 1, 2008.
Basically, predators have to register their online lives as well as their real-life lives… It’s a great step in the right direction, but not an answer or the end of the issue. Parents still need to be involved and know what their child is doing. Monitoring computer activity of minors is essential for 21st century parents. Fortunately, you have PC Pandora monitoring software to help!