NY Lawmakers Propose Bill To Make Social Networks Safer

MySpace, Facebook back legislation

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New York lawmakers have introduced legislation aimed at protecting minors from sexual predators on social networking sites.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. Joseph Bruno and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver released details of the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-Stop), which would prohibit convicted sex offenders from accessing social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.

Passage of the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers. That information would then be shared with social networking sites that would be able to prescreen and block access of convicted sex offenders.

Sex offenders who had used the Internet to commit their offense would have their Internet usage restricted by the state’s parole board. It would be a parole violation for a convicted sex offender to change email addresses without alerting authorities within five days.

"With the Internet, sexual predators have found an ideal tool to prey on the innocent with anonymity," said Attorney General Cuomo.

"While government has enacted dramatic protections from sex offenders in recent years, existing laws have not kept pace with the rapid advances in technology."

Both MySpace and Facebook support the proposed legislation and have agreed to use the new registry information to block sex offenders from the sites. MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam said, "This bill complements technology we’ve already put in place to remove registered sex offenders from our community and is a comprehensive approach to protecting Internet users from predators."

Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly said, "The e-STOP Act will enhance Facebook’s existing use of technology and social rules to build a safer and more trusted environment for its users."


NY Lawmakers Propose Bill To Make Social Networks Safer
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