Apr 09 2003


Legislation Cracks Down on Child Pornography, Funds AMBER Alert Plan

U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children, introduced legislation aiming to protect children from sex offenders, increase funding for the AMBER Alert Plan, and commission a study on on-line child pornography.

The ‘Protecting Children Against Crime Act of 2003', sponsored by Shelby and Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) has several specific purposes:

  • The legislation will eliminate the statute of limitations, under title 18, for prosecuting certain sex crimes and child abduction offenses.
  • The bill requires that child pornographers be registered in the national sex offender registry.
  • The bill increases funding to states to enhance their AMBER Alert Communication Plans, by providing $5 million for technology enhancements for Fiscal Year 2004 - 2007.
  • The legislation calls for the National Research Council to commission a study and report to Congress concerning on-line child pornography. The study will examine if Internet Service Providers are able to track traffic on child pornography sites; it will look into who uses credit cards to buy and sell illegal child pornography on the internet; it will examine which credit card companies have a system in place to identify who is buying and selling child pornography; and finally, the commission will research options on encouraging better reporting of these illegal activities to law enforcement.
“This legislation is much needed to provide law enforcement with the tools to crack down on child pornography and recover missing children. Increasing funding for the AMBER Alert Plan is extremely important in finding missing children, because the first few hours after a child’s abduction are the most critical to his or her recovery. And as on-line child pornography becomes a larger problem in our society, this bill requires that those found guilty of this crime be listed on the national sex offender registry. The important provisions outlined in this bill will help to make our communities safer and our children more secure,” Sen. Shelby said.