Internet Safety Bill: Big Brother or Necessary to Protect Our Kids? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Internet Safety Bill: Big Brother or Necessary to Protect Our Kids?

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
47th District Attorney Randall Sims 47th District Attorney Randall Sims

Some are calling it Big Brother. Others are calling it the dark side of internet safety. But, several Texas lawmakers are calling it necessary to protect your children.

In February, 90,000 sex offenders were taken off mySpace... But Texas US Senator John Cornyn says we can't stop there. That's why he is proposing legislation to increase tracking of online offenders. mySpace, Facebook, Chatrooms... It's easier than ever for online predators to harm your children. That's where Senator Cornyn's proposed Internet Safety Act comes in. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was in Amarillo on March 11th and spoke highly of Cornyn's proposed bill. "That is a new federal tool that's going to provide additional federal legislation that will allow the feds to do a better job of aggressively attacking this problem."

In hopes of helping law enforcement track online predators, current law requires internet service providers to keep track of every website you visit for three months at a time. Cornyn wants to increase that to two years. 47th District Attorney Randall Sims says, "We can subpoena that information, usually by a Grand Jury." Sims says that would help his office prosecute offenders. "I'm not naive enough to think that we're going to catch these guys the first time. More often than not there is a long track history."

But others say it's not right for our personal website history to be tracked so extensively, some even going as far as calling it big brother. Sims responds by saying, "It's big brother, it's an extra expense to the companies because they have to store it, but what's a child's life worth?" Senator Cornyn's office says the cost to keep records for an extended period of time will vary from company to company.

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