For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2007
Great Falls, VA --Enough Is Enough (EIE) announced its support of the "Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act," or KIDS Act of 2007, introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ) in a letter to the senators today. The KIDS Act of 2007 will authorize the Attorney General to maintain a system that will allow commercial social networking sites to compare their database of registered users to the list of electronic mail addresses, instant message addresses, and other similar Internet identifiers of persons in the National Sex Offender Registry.
"The KIDS Act of 2007 represents an important step towards Internet safety and reflects the type of proactive solutions generated from increased partnerships between the government, enforcement and corporate community," said EIE President Donna Rice Hughes. "While there is no 'silver bullet' for protecting children from Internet dangers, this legislation will help to provide another protective barrier for millions of children logging onto social networking sites."
Earlier this year, MySpace.com, the leading social networking site, in partnership with Sentinel Tech developed and donated technology to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that allows Web sites and other third parties to effectively identify, remove and block convicted sex offenders from online community. The KIDS Act of 2007 provides the mechanism for this new technology to be effective by placing any electronic identifying information belonging to a convicted felon, including e-mail and instant message addresses, into the National Sex Offender Registry and allows social-networking sites to cross-check user information against the registry.
"Most parents would be surprised to learn that prior to this important legislation, sex offenders were not required to provide any identifying Internet Information to the National Sex Offender Registry," said Rice Hughes. "Sexual predators often disguise their identities and age to gain access to children on social networking sites, and are often impossible to detect online."
The KIDS Act of 2007 will impose fines and/or prison terms of up to 20 years for age misrepresentation with the intent to use the Internet to engage in criminal sexual content with a minor. This bill would also allow law enforcement to fine or imprison any offender who fails to register their correct information or who fails to update any new email address, instant message address, or other similar Internet identifier.
"Despite recent measures to increase Internet safety, many sex offenders commit acts of sexual abuse for well over a decade before they are caught, if they are caught at all," cautioned Rice Hughes, continuing, "unfortunately, sexually aggressive offensives are often plea-bargained down to an offense that does not meet the Sex Offender Registry criteria. Parents must remain proactive and educated about the safety rules and software tools available to protect their children and families."
The KIDS Act of 2007 has been cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Barack Obama (D-IL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Ted Stevens (R-AK). The companion legislation, H.R. 719 was introduced by Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND).
Contact: Enough Is Enough®