Relates to offering parental controls for internet services; allows the attorney general to bring a civil action against any internet provider that violates certain requirements.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to offering parental controls for internet services
PURPOSE: Would require Internet access providers provide "parental controls" products to parents in order to make sure children can safely and securely use the Internet.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the Public Service Law by adding a new Article 12 that includes the following provisions.
§ 300. Definitions, This section defines "child," "Internet or any other computer network," "Internet access provider," and "interactive computer service."
§ 301. Parental controls. This section requires all Internet access providers to offer products or services allowing parents to control their child's use of the Internet. The products and services must allow parents the ability to block access to specific websites or domains; restrict a child's access to specific websites that are approved by the parents; and allow the parents to monitor a child's use of the Internet.
The bill provides an exception for certain types of wireless services providers for which parental control technology may not yet be available; the bill requires such providers to offer parental control technology when it is reasonably and commercially available.
§ 302. Enforcement. This section authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action against any Internet access provider that violates this article to enjoin the violation and to recover up to one hundred dollars per violation, or up to one thousand dollars for a pattern or practice of such violations.
Section 2 is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Cyberspace is the new playground for young people to meet and congregate. However, it is a place that can possess the same problems that exist on traditional playgrounds, such as bullying (or "cyberbullying"). There are numerous examples where children have been exposed to real danger on the Internet. In many instances, young people engage in conversations in chat rooms, talk with others on social networking websites, and visit web pages, not suspecting that the individual on the other end may not have the best intentions. The results can be tragic, or unsettling.
Physical danger is not the only peril that young people face on the Internet. Young people can access inappropriate information and sites, such as violent and pornographic images and gambling sites, "term-paper mill" sites, mp3 download sites, and a variety of legal content that parents may not wish their children to encounter. Further, the Internet
easily allows young people to be defrauded when filling out information on Internet and other forms that could result in identity theft.
As a community, and as parents, we need to make certain that our children can access the Internet in a safe and secure way. Therefore, it is critical that parents are offered easy access to, and are made aware of, "parental controls" software so that they can block certain websites and monitor a young person's use of the Internet.
This bill requires that Internet access providers offer such services. In many cases, Internet access providers do. However, it is imperative that all providers offer parents the service. Furthermore, this bill does not mandate parents use parental controls. It simply requires that the services are offered.
Other states have introduced similar legislation. For example, the Legislature in the state of Georgia introduced legislation that included parental controls (see Senate bill 474 at § 39-5-2).
This carefully constructed bill will make sure all Internet access providers offer parental controls, so we can collectively protect our children on the Internet.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.5171/A.625A - Referred to Rules 2008-09: S.7353B/A.10692B - Rules
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 180th day after is shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1060 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. PARKER, KRUGER, PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to offering parental controls for internet services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a new article 12 to read as follows: ARTICLE 12 INTERNET PARENTAL CONTROLS SECTION 300. DEFINITIONS. 301. PARENTAL CONTROLS. 302. ENFORCEMENT. S 300. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE: 1. "CHILD" MEANS A PERSON WHO IS LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 2. "INTERNET OR ANY OTHER COMPUTER NETWORK" MEANS THE COMPUTER NETWORK COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE INTERNET AND ANY OTHER LOCAL, REGIONAL OR GLOBAL COMPUTER NETWORK THAT IS SIMILAR TO OR IS A PREDECESSOR OR SUCCESSOR OF THE INTERNET. 3. "INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDER" MEANS AN ENTITY THAT PROVIDES CONSUMERS WITH PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. 4. "INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICE" MEANS ANY INFORMATION SERVICE, SYSTEM, OR ACCESS SOFTWARE PROVIDER THAT PROVIDES OR ENABLES COMPUTER ACCESS BY MULTIPLE USERS TO A COMPUTER SERVER, INCLUDING SPECIFICALLY A SERVICE OR SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND SUCH SYSTEMS OPERATED OR SERVICES OFFERED BY LIBRARIES OR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. S 301. PARENTAL CONTROLS. 1. IF AN INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDER KNOWS OR HAS REASON TO KNOW FROM REGISTRATION DATA IN ITS POSSESSION THAT A SUBSCRIBER CURRENTLY RESIDES WITHIN THIS STATE, THE PROVIDER SHALL MAKEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00990-01-1 S. 1060 2
AVAILABLE TO THE SUBSCRIBER A PRODUCT OR SERVICE WHICH THE PROVIDER REASONABLY BELIEVES MAY ASSIST THE SUBSCRIBER TO CONTROL A CHILD'S USE OF THE INTERNET; PROVIDED HOWEVER, THAT INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDERS THAT PROVIDE INTERNET ACCESS VIA SPECTRUM REGULATED BY THE FCC, PURSUANT TO 47 USC 301 ET SEQ OR ITS SUCCESSORS, SHALL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION WHEN SUCH TECHNOLOGY IS REASONABLY AND COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE. THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE MUST ENABLE, IN A COMMERCIALLY REASONABLE MANNER, THE SUBSCRIBER TO: (A) BLOCK A CHILD'S ACCESS TO SPECIFIC WEBSITES OR DOMAINS; (B) RESTRICT A CHILD'S ACCESS EXCLUSIVELY TO SPECIFIC WEBSITES OR DOMAINS APPROVED BY THE SUBSCRIBER; AND (C) ALLOW THE SUBSCRIBER TO MONITOR A CHILD'S USE OF THE INTERNET SERVICE BY PROVIDING A REPORT TO THE SUBSCRIBER OF THE SPECIFIC WEBSITES OR DOMAINS THAT THE CHILD HAS VISITED OR HAS ATTEMPTED TO VISIT BUT COULD NOT ACCESS BECAUSE THE WEBSITES OR DOMAINS WERE BLOCKED OR RESTRICTED BY THE SUBSCRIBER. 2. IF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION IS REASONABLY AND COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE TECHNOLOGY UTILIZED BY THE SUBSCRIBER TO ACCESS THE INTERNET SERVICE, THE PROVIDER OF INTERNET SERVICE: (A) SHALL PROVIDE TO THE SUBSCRIBER, AT OR NEAR THE TIME OF SUBSCRIPTION, NOTICE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. (B) MAY MAKE A PRODUCT OR SERVICE DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION AVAILABLE TO THE SUBSCRIBER EITHER DIRECTLY OR THROUGH A THIRD- PARTY VENDOR, AND MAY CHARGE FOR THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE. S 302. ENFORCEMENT. 1. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY BRING A CIVIL ACTION AGAINST ANY INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDER THAT VIOLATES THIS ARTICLE TO ENJOIN THE VIOLATION AND MAY RECOVER A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE OR, FOR A PATTERN OR PRAC- TICE OF SUCH VIOLATIONS, OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER VIOLATION. 2. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL IN ANY WAY LIMIT RIGHTS OR REMEDIES WHICH ARE OTHERWISE AVAILABLE UNDER LAW TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR ANY OTHER PERSON AUTHORIZED TO BRING AN ACTION UNDER THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.