Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help safeguard children from Internet pornographers and other predators.
The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 would provide for tougher penalties for child pornography and other sex-related crimes involving children and give law enforcement more tools to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of minors.
вЂњOur children in Utah and across the U.S. are more at risk than ever before,вЂќ said Hatch. вЂњFar too many individuals across the country are brazenly sharing child pornography without fear of being caught or retribution. This bill will help change that by equipping law enforcement with the tools they need to combat the sexual exploitation of children wherever it occurs. It also will send a loud and clear message to the perpetrators of these heinous crimes that they can no longer hide behind a cloak of anonymity.вЂќ
вЂњKeeping our kids safe should be one of our highest law enforcement priorities,вЂќ said Klobuchar. вЂњAs a former prosecutor, I know the challenges that new technologies pose to law enforcement agencies pursuing child predators. This will help ensure that key agencies have the tools they need to go after these criminals and bring them to justice.вЂќ
Some key provisions in the legislation would:
- Make it a crime to financially facilitate access to child pornography;
- Require Internet service providers to retain information such as subscriber network addresses for a minimum of 18 months;
- Expand existing authority to issue administrative subpoenas while investigating federal offenses involving the sexual exploitation or abuse of children;
- Protect child witnesses and victims in criminal investigations from intimidation and harassment; and
- Enhance criminal penalties or sentences for crimes such as child pornography or the sex trafficking of children.
Hatch and Klobuchar introduced the bill after meeting with and receiving input from law enforcement groups, financial institutions, communications companies and child advocates.