Senator James L. Seward praised Gov. David Paterson today for signing legislation Seward cosponsored (S.6875A) that would protect children and teens from sexual predators on the Internet.
"This is about protecting children from cyber predators -- the pond scum that use 'My Space' and ‘FaceBook to befriend young people and then prey on them," Senator Seward said. "I commend the governor for signing legislation I cosponsored that will update our sex offender laws for the Internet age."
The new and comprehensive E-STOP act (Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators) will restrict certain sex offenders’ use of the Internet and updates Megan’s Law for the Internet age.
"The measure will ensure greater protections for kids, more control for parents and more tools for law enforcement to better police the Internet and protect people from being victimized," Seward added.
Current laws do not provide enough protection for children and teens and often fail to keep sexual offenders from misusing the Internet. Unfortunately, recent investigations have found that social networking sites have become an easy way for sexual predators to prey upon our children.
The E-STOP act would force sex offenders to register their online identifiers; the social networking sites could then use that information to ban sexual predators.
The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators (e-STOP) Act:
• Requires that sex offenders register all of their Internet accounts and Internet identifiers (e-mail addresses and designations used for chat, instant messaging, social networking or other similar Internet communication) with the State Division of Criminal Justice Services;
• Authorizes the Division of Criminal Justice Services to release state sex offender Internet identifiers (e-mail addresses and designations used for chat, instant messaging, social networking or other similar Internet communication) to social networking sites and online services that may be used to prescreen or remove sex offenders from using the site’s services, and notify law enforcement authorities and other government officials of potential violations of law and threats to public safety;
• Requires, as a condition of probation or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender’s access to the Internet where the offender’s victim was a minor, the Internet was used to commit the offense or the offender was designated a level 3 (highest level) offender. Offenders would be banned from accessing social networking web sites, accessing pornographic materials, communicating with anyone for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with a minor, and communicating, in most circumstances, with anyone under the age of 18.
The bill will be signed by the governor today.