State Senate Approves Senator Golden's Legislative Plan To Regulate Cyber-cafes

Martin J. Golden

March 29, 2005

Albany- The New York State Senate this week approved legislation (S. 2197), introduced by State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) that allows for the regulation of Cyber-Cafes throughout the State of New York.

Senator Marty Golden stated, "As the internet craze continues to grow, we must keep in line with this trend to insure the safety and well-being of the children and adults who use these Cyber-Cafes on a daily basis. In Brooklyn, and throughout our City and State, we have witnessed tragedy and disturbances inside and outside of these Cyber-Cafes. We have been forced with the responsibility of establishing regulations to ensure that welfare of our youth is no longer jeopardized."

Senator Golden continued, "By requiring oversight and regulation of Cyber-Cafes, this legislation is responding to problems which put patrons in danger. We must realize that the current lack of regulation inside these cafes is pouring onto our streets in the name of danger."

Senator Golden’s legislation which seeks to amend the General Business Law in Relation to Cyber-Cafes includes the following:

6. Hours of Operation; access by minors: Limits hours of operation to 7 a.m.-1 a.m. daily, or 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; prohibits minors from entering or remaining in a cyber-cafe on any weekday after 10 p.m., unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, or between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on school days; requires notice be posted advising of time restrictions pertaining to minors

7. Violation: A first violation results in a $1,000 increase in the renewal fee; a second violation, finally adjudicated, results in an immediate revocation of the operating certificate. [The purpose is to make the cyber cafes police themselves, not to drive them out of business]

8. Patron Identification/Record-Keeping: Require patrons to provide proper identification with a driver’s license or other photo-ID, and require the cyber-café to maintain a record for a five-year period of the name and IP Address, i.e., the computer used. The purpose of the record-keeping is to trace back use of the computer in the event of a police action or terrorist apprehension elsewhere. The information would only be made available to police and federal enforcement agencies; compilation of a list or sale of a list would be prohibited.