2005-11-11 / Community

Weiner: Keep Cops Personal Data Off Internet

Representative Anthony Weiner, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Patrick J. Lynch, President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) have urged Congress to pass legislation designed to keep personal data about police officers and judges off the Internet.

Last year, a Queens man previously found guilty of harassing a New York City police lieutenant posted a website revealing the addresses, phone numbers, hangouts, and children’s names of New York City police officers. The site even included photographs of undercover cops, who rely on anonymity to do their jobs.

But because there is no law preventing individuals from posting personal information on the Internet, the New York Police Department could not force the site to be taken down. Weiner’s legislation would change that and make it illegal for sensitive personal data that could endanger the life of a police officer, a judge, a court officer, or a firefighter to be posted in a threatening or intimidating way on the Internet.

Earlier this year, after family members of a federal judge in Chicago were found brutally murdered, authorities discovered a website that posted the judge’s home address, family photographs and violent threats against her.

Weiner and Lynch called on Congress to act quickly and pass the Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act. If passed, the bi-partisan bill introduced by Weiner and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) will prohibit personal information, which could endanger the life of a law enforcement officer, to be posted on the Internet.

“I want to thank Congressman Weiner for fighting in Washington to protect New York City police officers,” said Lynch. “We cannot accept any intimidation of our officers and need laws that allow prosecution of those that threaten them or their families.”

“New York City cops put their lives on the line everyday to protect this city,” said Weiner. “Intimidating or threatening a cop should be considered illegal, whether it’s done in person, over the phone, or on the Internet. This bill will protect the personal information of our cops, judges and firefighters and I urge all my colleagues in the House to vote yes.”

The bill, which has the support of the PBA and the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), is expected to come to the House floor this week for a vote. The PBA is the largest police union in the country and represents 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.


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