Two proposed federal bills aimed at stopping registered sex offenders from using the Internet toprey on children or access child pornography would give local law enforcement officials anddistrict attorneys’ offices more tools to prevent, investigate and prosecute sex crimes. The SAFEAct of 2007 would require electronic communications service providers such as America Online toreport any explicit child porn they discover to the National Center for Missing and ExploitedChildren, which will turn the information over to law enforcement. Providers failing to report suchsites could face a fine of $150,000 for
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against MySpace filed by the family of a 13 year old girl who says she was sexually assaulted by a 19 year old man she met online. The $30 million lawsuit accused the site of having no measures to protect children who use it. The lawsuit also named MySpace’s parent company, News Corp., and the 19 year old, whose criminal case has not yet gone to trial.
Lawmakers yesterday proposed requiring sex offenders to register their e-mail and instant-messaging addresses with authorities in a bid to protect children using social Internet sites like MySpace. The bill would also require the Justice Department to develop a system that would allow commercial social-networking sites to check members’ addresses against people listed in the National Sex Offender Registry.
Four families have sued News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking site after their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met on the site. A 14 year old upstate New York girl went on MySpace last year looking for new friends, but she ended up being raped by two young men who stalked the site looking for easy prey. She was raped twice in one night went she went to a home to meet her new friends, two men aged 19 and 18 who had claimed to be younger.
Advocates in favor of strict surveillance of sexual predators voiced their concerns Wednesday as Suffolk lawmakers plan to build a free countywide wireless Internet network. Laura Ahearn, of Parents for Megan’s Law, believes a free Wi-Fi system will enable child predators to act without accountability. Unlike Internet service from a home or business, Ahearn says police would be unable to trace people using the service with illegal intentions.
(Glen Cove, New York)