Weiner Sponsors Sexual Predator Bill
Representative Anthony Weiner, joined by Congressmen Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Paul Gillmor (R-OH), Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John McCain (R-AZ), announced the KIDS (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators) Act of 2007, a bill to require sex offenders to register their e-mail and instant message addresses with the National Sex Offender Registry.
Under the bill, the Department of Justice will make this information available to social networking sites to compare with user profiles in order to protect children from sexual predators online. The bill would also make it a crime for anyone over the age of 18 to misrepresent their age with the intent to use the Internet to engage in criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
The legislation follows a comprehensive study of New York State's sex offender database completed by Weiner. The study found that over 85% of registered sex offenders in New York City live less than five blocks from schools, and 670 sex offenders live within just two blocks. Some offenders are even closer, permanently residing less than 500 feet away from unwitting parents, educators and children.
The "Kids Act" implements one of Weiner's six recommendations to keep a closer eye on sex offenders both near school grounds and online. Weiner also proposed stricter GPS tracking of sex offenders, tougher enforcement of registration laws and more public disclosure of sex offender data.
"Sadly, the Internet is the predator's venue of choice today," said Weiner. "We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children."