Feeds

McCain wants child porn rules for US message boards

Social networking sites too

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Social networking sites and message boards face the same regulatory burden as internet service providers (ISPs) in a new bill proposed by ex-US presidential candidate John McCain. McCain wants sites to report all child pornography to authorities.

Currently only ISPs have a duty to report suspected child pornography-related activity to the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. McCain's bill, though, extends that duty to social networking sites, and to all sites that carry message boards.

McCain's proposed law is mainly aimed at sex offenders, but contains the demands on social networking sites within it. It says that site operators who know of any activity relating to child pornography must "make a report of such facts or circumstances to the CyberTipline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children."

McCain's proposed law says that it applies to any "social networking site, chat room, message board, or any other similar service using the internet."

The proposed law has been read twice by the Senate and must now be referred to a committee for discussion. It says that convicted sex offenders in the US will have to register their online identities with the authorities if new laws being proposed are passed.

If the bill became law it would create a significant extra regulatory burden on many sites, since a wide variety and large number of sites host message boards. The law would likely carry heavy penalties for site operators who did not notify authorities when offending material was posted.

Amidst fears that social networking sites have made it easier for sexual predators to target young people, McCain has also proposed in his law that sex offenders identify all their online aliases to authorities.

McCain last week introduced a proposal for his bill, Stop The Online Exploitation Of Our Children Act, which orders that convicted sex offenders register all email addresses, instant messaging names and chat room names so that they could be identified online. McCain proposed a 10 year jail sentence for those who fail to do so.

The biggest social networking site MySpace last week said that it would ban sex offenders from signing up to the site. This would, though, depend on a system of registration of digital identities such as that proposed by McCain.

The state of Virginia has also proposed a similar law. Attorney General Bob McDonnell backs the plan. "We require all sex offenders to register their physical and mailing addresses in Virginia, but in the 21st century, it is just as critical that they register any email addresses or IM screen names," he said. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.