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Be it enacted by the Senate and House ofRepresentatives of the United States ofAmerica in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Parents Against Predators Act of 2007" aka "PAPA"
SECTION 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds that--
- sexual predators approach minors on the Internet using chat rooms, social networking websites, and online gaming websites, and, according to the United States Attorney General, one in seven has received unwanted sexual solicitation on the Internet by a stranger; that there are approximately 600,000 convicted sex offenders in the National Sex Offender Registry; and that approximately 100,000 have gone missing from the National Sex Offender Registry; that 10,000 of the most dangerous sex offenders are currently on parole: and
- It is estimated that a sexual assault occurs every 2.5 minutes in thethe United States and more than 200,000 people in the United Statesare victims of sexual assault; 1 in every 6 females and 1 of every 33 malesin the United States have been victims of rape or attempted rape, accordingthe Department of Justice; The Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureauof Investigation rank rape second only to murder in the hierarchy of violent crimes: and
- sexual predators can use these chat rooms and websites to locate, learn about,befriend, and eventually prey on children by engaging them in sexuallyexplicit conversations, asking for photographs, and attempting to lure andseduce children into a face to face meeting; and
- with the explosive growth of popular teen directed chat rooms, online/multi-user gaming and social networking websites, it has become more difficult to monitor and protect minors from those devious intentions, particularly when children are away from parental supervision; and
- sexual predators congregate where supervision is absent; and
- there remains a digital divide between parents and children as it pertains to parents being ill educated about online websites and the strategies needed to keep children safe within this environment; and
- The worst criminals are: repeat rapists, child molesters and murderers. If these Individuals are left untreated, there is a very high likelihood that they will re-offend once released, according to prosecutors; and recidivism rates of sex offenders range from less than 5 percent to more than 50 percent, multiple studies have shown.
SECTION 3. "Parents Against Predators Act" (PAPA)
Federally mandates that all Internet Service Providers (ISP's) websites providing electronic communication to minor children (including, chats, social networking, and online/multi-user gaming):
- would have their auto-responder cross reference against the National Sex Offender Registry when an individual attempts to subscribe to their service.
- would have these website's "login" auto-responders cross check against the National Sex Offender Registry when existing subscribers sign in, in the event that their name is now listed as a convicted sex offender.
- In the case of websites such as Myspace.com that cater to both minors and adults, the individual whose name is on the National Sex Offender Registry would be prohibited from those areas in which minors congregate and an icon would flag their name as being a registered sex offender in the event that minors who lie about their ages get into the area on that site catering to adults.
- segregate children from adult areas within their site so that minor children who electronically communicate for the purpose of social networking and entertainment will not be in the same communication areas as adults, such as is done with the website, Myspace.com.
- sex offenders are prohibited from using an alias/false identity online. Screen names and other identifiers must include their legal name. (Instead of: firstname.lastname@example.org, the screen name would be email@example.com or a variation of same.)
- sex offenders must use their legal name when subscribing to websites and Internet service providers (ISP's).
- sex offenders must register their computers and all internet enabled communication devices in their legal name.
- sex offenders are prohibited from engaging in online chats, online/multi-user gaming, and social networking with minors.
- Under penalty of perjury, sex offenders are prohibited from lying about their age when communicating online.
- A Registered Sex Offender must include any and all online screen names in their profile on The National Sex Offender Registry.
- The National Sex Offender Registry must include the online screen names of all registrants, so that anyone can search a screen name to see if behind that screen name is a registered sex offender.
SECTION 4. Financial Impact to websites:
(a) The server code will be made available to websites. (Myspace.com has the server code and allegedly, has made the offer to provide it free to websites.)
SECTION 5. Liability: Websites/ISP's who remain compliant:
(a) The names of sex offenders will come directly from the National Sex Offender Registry.
SECTION 5a. Liability: Websites/ISP's who are not compliant:
- Financial Penalty (To be determined)
- First Offense:
Financial Penalty (To be determined)
- Second Offense:
Increased financial penalty
SECTION 5b Revenue from penalties:
- Internet Safety Education and
- Cost of policing and enforcement
SECTION 6. Educational Websites:
- The value of electronic communication between minor children who are students, and adults who are their teachers is recognized as an integral part of 21st Century education. In keeping with that need, only those websites affiliated with an accredited institution of learning will be:
- (a)allowed to provide electronic communication between its registered students/minors and its faculty/adults
- (b)each time the adult/teacher logs in, the login auto responder will cross check against the National Sex Offender Registry to ensure that that teacher is not a convicted child sex offender.
SECTION 6a. Rewards for Compliance by Schools:
- Criteria requirement for a school achieving a "Blue Ribbon" or "Distinguished School" status.
SECTION 6b. Financial Impact
SECTION 7. Enforcement:
- Sexual predators often re-offend. If/when their computers/email correspondence is examined, whether as a condition of their parole or as a suspect in a crime, law enforcement will see if they have complied with PAPA or not. If not, then they will be charged for each infraction with which they did not comply.
SECTION 8. Sex Offender Sentancing:
- To make an impact, the sentence must be severe. An overview of non-compliance issues with PAPA include: Using an alias without including legal name; not registering screen name and email address(es) used for social networking/multi-user gaming; not registering the I.P. addresses of computer(s) and other internet enabled communication devices; using another computer for social networking purposes; using someone else's screen name/email address either with or without their knowledge; and lying about their age online, and repeat offenders.
- Minimum sentence requirements:
- (a) It is a well known fact that certain judges give less than 1 year sentences to some sex offenders who violate children, and then others give multi-year sentences to 18 year old boys who had consensual sex with their under-age girlfriends. The latter offenders should not be classified as sex offenders. It is not these individuals that the public is worried about. On the other hand, the public is worried about the sex offender who violates children.
- Rehabilitation with punishment:
- (a) There should be an effective treatment program that combines rehabilitation with punishment, as opposed to a strictly punitive sentence, knowing that someday The offender will be released. "Multiple studies have shown that recidivism rates of sex offenders range from less than 5 percent to more than 50 percent, depending on the type of crime and other factors, such as treatment while incarcerated. Studies have shown that Incest abusers are less likely to re-offend than pedophiles who attack children at random, and treatment appears to help some offenders. According to a study of 195 adult male sex offenders in Vermont, the sexual re-offense rate for offenders who completed the states's treatment program was 5.4 percent, versus a 30 percent rate for those who refused treatment or did not complete it." (http://www.vnews.com/sexcrimes/politics3.htm)
SECTION 9. Sex Offender Classification:
- Separate less serious offenders, such as ones convicted of indecent exposure, frommore serious offenders, such as child rapists, or the high school senior who inappropriately touched his freshman girlfriend and didn't even have intercourse with her, or engaged in consensual sex. That young man should not come out of prison with a record and labeled a sex offender.
- (a) Implement categories for sex offenders.