Bill S1489-2009

Relates to requiring filtering software on computers in public libraries and schools to prevent minors from viewing indecent materials

Relates to requiring filtering software on computers in public libraries and schools to prevent minors from viewing indecent materials.

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  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • Feb 2, 2009: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S1489

TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring filtering software on computers in public libraries and schools to prevent minors from viewing indecent materials

PURPOSE :

To prevent minors, by requiring the installation of filtering software on school and library computers, from viewing inappropriate sexual images on the Internet.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

Section 1 -- Requires school districts to purchase software, regardless of the cost, to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate sexual images on the Internet.

Section 2 -- Requires the Education Commissioner to require schools and libraries to install software to filter-out inappropriate Internet sexual content. Additionally, the Commissioner is required to establish a list of approved Internet filtering software.

Section 3 -- This section requires all libraries covered by section 253-A of the Education Law to install software on computers to filter-out Internet sexual content that would be inappropriate for minors.

Section 4 --This section requires all libraries receiving state aid to install software on computers to filter-out Internet sexual content that would be inappropriate for minors.

Section 5 -- Establishes the effective date of the act.

JUSTIFICATION :

Throughout New York State, schools and libraries provide free Internet access to students, families, and other interested individuals. The Internet, as we all know, is a terrific tool for today's students.

Unfortunately, the Internet is also filled with inappropriate, sexually explicit, and obscene material that no minor should be able to view. In fact, some estimate that twenty percent of all web sites contain pornography.

Minors need to be protected from this material. This bill seeks to take the modest step of requiring school and library officials to install software that would prevent minors from accessing these images and web sites.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

S.6516/A.10044 of 2005-2006 S.2298/A.4481 of 2007-2008

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

Undetermined.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however that sections one, three and four of this act shall take effect on the one hundred fiftieth day after this act shall have become a law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1489 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 2, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sens. DeFRANCISCO, GRIFFO, LARKIN, LAVALLE, MAZIARZ, SEWARD, VOLKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring filtering software on computers in public libraries and schools to prevent minors from viewing indecent materials THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 751 of the education law, as amended by section 4 of part A of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, is amended and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows: 3. No school district shall be required to purchase or otherwise acquire software programs, the cost of which shall exceed an amount equal to the software factor multiplied by the sum of the public school district enrollment and the nonpublic school enrollment in the base year as defined in subparagraphs two and three of paragraph n of subdivision one of section thirty-six hundred two of this chapter UNLESS SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT IS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE COMPUTER PROGRAMS OR OTHER SYSTEMS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO FILTER OR BLOCK MATERIAL THAT IS HARMFUL TO MINORS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 235.20 OF THE PENAL LAW, PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER. 5. A SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVING AID UNDER THIS SECTION MUST COMPLY WITH REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FORTY-TWO OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS TITLE. S 2. Section 305 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 42 to read as follows: 42. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS REQUIRING PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHICH UTILIZE TELECOMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTER, DATA, THE INTERNET, AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS, TO UTILIZE COMPUTER PROGRAMS OR OTHER SYSTEMS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO FILTER OR BLOCK MATTER THAT IS DEFINED AS HARMFUL TO MINORS UNDER SECTION 235.20 OF THE
PENAL LAW. THE INTERNET SHALL BE DEFINED AS AN INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER NETWORK OF BOTH FEDERAL AND NON-FEDERAL INTEROPERABLE PACKET SWITCHED DATA NETWORKS WHICH USERS MAY ACCESS THROUGH A SERVICE PROVIDER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PUBLISH A LIST OF SOFTWARE APPROVED BY IT FOR SUCH PURPOSE AND SHALL MAKE SUCH LIST AVAILABLE ON ITS WEBSITE. S 3. The education law is amended by adding a new section 253-a to read as follows: S 253-A. INTERNET ACCESS IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY. 1. AS USED IN THIS SECTION THE TERM "INTERNET" MEANS A MATRIX OF NETWORKS THAT CONNECTS COMPUTERS AROUND THE WORLD. 2. IF A PUBLIC LIBRARY OFFERS INTERNET ACCESS SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC, THE GOVERNING BODY OF SUCH LIBRARY SHALL BE MANDATED TO INSTALL SOFTWARE ON COMPUTER TERMINALS WHICH ACCESS THE INTERNET TO RESTRICT SUCH COMPUT- ERS FROM RECEIVING MATTER THAT IS OBSCENE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 235.00 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR THAT IS DEFINED AS HARMFUL TO MINORS UNDER SECTION 235.20 OF THE PENAL LAW. S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 272 of the education law is amended by adding a new paragraph m to read as follows: M. EACH PUBLIC LIBRARY WHICH PROVIDES COMPUTER INTERNET ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC SHALL INSTALL SOFTWARE OF A TYPE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT WHICH RESTRICTS ACCESS TO MATERIAL THAT IS OBSCENE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 235.00 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR THAT IS HARMFUL TO MINORS, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION 235.20 OF THE PENAL LAW, ON ANY COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OR SERVICE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC USE. S 5. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however that sections one, three and four of this act shall take effect on the one hundred fiftieth day after this act shall have become a law.

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