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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?