As Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo knows that passing strict legislation to protect children from predators online is important; as a father of two 13 year-old girls, he believes that it is imperative.
With district attorneys, state legislators and government leader's at his side Thursday, Cuomo announced his new legislation "e-STOP" to protect children against sexual predators online.
This legislation is the nation's most comprehensive in dealing with the threat of sexual predators online. It is also the country's first mandatory ban on sexual predators from social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook.
"This is not political. It's not about Republicans or Democrats, it's about keeping our children safe," Cuomo said. "By shielding them from online sexual predators, my e-STOP legislation can help prevent more children from being victimized."
Passage of e-STOP would prohibit sexual predators from accessing social networking sites. It would require sex offenders to register all of their email accounts and user names, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers.
Online networking sites would have access to this information, giving them the ability to check these addresses against their database of users to identify any known sexual predators using their site. The violator would then instantly be kicked off of their site. They would also have the ability to prescreen and block access to convicted sex offenders.
A more comprehensive legislation involving the Internet is necessary in today's technologically advanced world.
In 1995, Meghan's Law was passed. This law was able to protect children from predators at places like a school or playground, but a lot has changed since 1995. The playground of choice today is the Internet.
Assemblyman Al Stirpe, who was in attendance and Cuomo's press conference, brought his 12 year-old daughter, Alex with him as a perfect example of why this law is important to him .