Establishes the class E felony of dissemination of false missing child information.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to dissemination of false information about a missing child
PURPOSE: To establish a class E felony of dissemination of false missing child information.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one adds a new section 240.49 to the penal law, dissemination of false missing child information.
JUSTIFICATION: Across the United States there have been numerous false Amber Alerts being sent out via e-mail and text message. These false alerts prompt concerned citizens to contact law enforcement agencies who find out from authorities that such alerts are fake. These false alerts can have negative effect on public awareness and diminish such awareness when an official Amber Alert is issue by authorities. These false alerts, which are spread by electronic means (i.e. e-mail, text message, Facebook, and Twitter), only diminish the effectiveness of a authentic and genuine Amber Alert. Legislation is needed in New York to prevent someone from disseminating false alerts to the public. This bill would make it a class E felony for someone who knowingly and falsely generates, by electronic or any other means, information that would make the public believe that an official alert has been issued on a child that has been abducted or kidnapped. Currently, all official Amber Alerts are initially broadcasted through the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and if people have questions regarding the validity of an alert they can view them through the United States Justice Department at AmberAlert.gov.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.6226 - Referred to Codes/A.10125 - Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, next succeeding the date on which it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2937 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to dissemination of false information about a missing child THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.49 to read as follows: S 240.49 DISSEMINATION OF FALSE MISSING CHILD INFORMATION. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DISSEMINATION OF FALSE MISSING CHILD INFORMATION WHEN, KNOWING THE INFORMATION HE OR SHE REPORTED, CONVEYED, CIRCULATED OR DISSEMINATED IS FALSE OR BASELESS, HE OR SHE STATES OR REPORTS, BY ANY MEANS, THAT A CHILD IS A MISSING CHILD AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN-E OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW. DISSEMINATION OF FALSE MISSING CHILD INFORMATION IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04609-01-1