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Senators Schumer And McCain Introduce Kids Act Of 2007

Legislation would require sex offenders to register with law enforcement, enabling social-networking web sites to actively track and expel child predators

Washington, DC U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (DNY) and John McCain (RAZ) today introduced the "Keeping the Internet Devoid of SexualPredators Act of 2007," to be known as the KIDS Act, that would require registered sex offenders to submit email addresses, instant message addresses or other identifying Internet information to law enforcement to be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry. This bipartisan legislation would allow social networking websites that register with the Attorney General to crosscheck users' information against the registry to protect users from sexual predators. "Millions of teenagers log on to websites like MySpace and they, and their parents, shouldn't have to worry about running in to these predators online. Sex offenders have no business joining social networking communities especially those with teenage users and our legislation will help keep them out. We know that many predators are using the Internet to find victims. This legislation will take a big step toward keeping sexual predators out of the online neighborhoods our kids frequent." Under the proposed legislation, any sex offender who submits a fraudulent email could face jail time. Any offender caught using an unregistered email address would be in violation of probation or parole terms and face a return to prison. The senators said the registration and collection of sex offenders' email addresses will provide an invaluable tool for law enforcement because, should a sex offender provide an email found to be fraudulent, they will know that the predator is trying to evade detection. "The fight to protect our children from sexual predators has moved from the playground to the Internet. Many children who access the Internet in a safe environment such as their home or school forget that they are sharing personal information with complete strangers. By adopting this legislation, Congress would be able to provide websites with the tools to come forward with innovative solutions to protect children," McCain said. "I am pleased that both MySpace and Facebook endorse the KIDS Act. I look forward to other commercial social networking websites endorsing the bill and using the registry information after the bill is signed into law." In addition to the social networking sites, the KIDS Act has been endorsed by the American Family Association, and Rape, Incest and Abuse National Network (RAINN). Schumer and McCain are also working together on future legislation to better protect children online.