Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) and the New York State Senate today passed comprehensive legislation that would increase and enhance protections for all New Yorkers and children from dangerous sex predators on the Internet. The legislation entitled the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) passed with bipartisan support and now awaits action in the State Assembly.
The legislation was developed in conjunction with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and has been endorsed by all five New York City District Attorneys.
“The Internet has become an important and powerful tool in our advancing society worldwide,” Padavan said. “While the rapid growth of the Internet has brought together the entire world providing for new means of instant communication and networking, it has also become a place where twisted and dangerous sex offenders lurk. With this groundbreaking legislation, New York is setting the national standard when it comes to combating sex predators on the Internet and ensuring that all New Yorkers, especially children, can use the Web safely.”
Under the legislation all sex offenders must register their Internet account and any identifiers with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service. This would allow social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to ban sex predators from using their site. Additionally, the e-STOP legislation requires restricted usage of the Internet, as a condition of probation or parole, for sex offenders who used the Internet to commit the offense or are designated as Level 3 offenders.
The Senate also passed legislation today that creates the new felony offense of Computer Sex Crime. This legislation will increase the criminal penalties for anyone found guilty of using a computer to commit a sex crime against a child.
Passage of this legislation comes following the issuance of a report last year by the New York State Senate Majority entitled “Protecting Children in the Internet Age.” This report called for a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed at keeping our children safe on the Internet including establishing Internet service provider warnings and the creation of stronger penalties for sexual predators that use the Internet to commit their crimes.
“e-STOP incorporates all the important and essential components when it comes to protecting our children on the Internet,” Padavan said. “Through vigilance, increased communication, strong criminal penalties and access to information, parents will have peace of mind and law enforcement will have the tools they need to police Internet.”