Fry introduces House bill targeting suspected online child predators
WASHINGTON (WMBF) - South Carolina Congressman Russell Fry (R-S.C.) has filed a new bill aiming to crack down on suspect online child predators.
Fry’s office announced Thursday that the congressman has introduced the Targeting Child Predators Act of 2023 to the House of Representatives.
The office explained that when investigating child exploitation over the Internet, authorities can match an IP address to an alleged predator and obtain a subpoena. They also claimed that Internet Service Providers often immediately inform users of the subpoenas, which can prompt suspects to erase their digital footprints.
Under the bill, subpoenas could be issued that would ban ISPs from notifying a targeted user that the information has been requested. Fry’s office stated It would also only apply in cases involving suspected child exploitation.
It would also require law enforcement to certify that if the ISP notified the user, it could lead to them endangering themselves or others, fleeing from prosecution, destroying evidence, intimidating a potential witness or otherwise jeopardizing an investigation.
“Targeting vulnerable and innocent children is one of the worst crimes imaginable,” Fry said in a statement. “Law enforcement should have every tool at their disposal to find these predators and bring them to justice.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
Fry’s office noted that the bill has support from the National Sheriff’s Association and a similar bill previously passed in the House.
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