Relates to educating children on the harms of electronically sending and posting certain images of themselves.
Ayes (5): Montgomery, Schneiderman, Huntley, Duane, McDonald
Ayes W/R (1): Marcellino
BILL NUMBER: S5680
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the executive law and the penal law, in relation to educating children on the electronic sending and posting of certain images
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : This bill would require the office of children and family services to establish an educational outreach program to promote the awareness of the potential long-term harm to adolescents' privacy that may arise from text messaging, emailing or posting on the internet images and photographs of themselves that are provocative in nature. Also, to provide an affirmative defense to young persons for certain acts with regard to the possessions and dissemination of such images and photographs of themselves.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1 amends the executive law, which directs the office of children and family services to establish an educational outreach program to promote the awareness of text messaging, emailing and internet posting among adolescents, and create a campaign to address the potential long-term harm that may arise as a result of adolescents sending, receiving or posting on the internet images and photographs of themselves that include, but are not limited to, provocative or nude images. This outreach campaign may be accomplished through radio, print, television public service announcements, advertisements, posters, internet postings, and other channels, and carried out in conjunction with community organizations, educators, and other public and private efforts.
Section 2 amends the penal law by adding a new section 40.20 to provide an affirmative defense to certain acts by young persons where the defendant is less than four years older than the individual who received, sent or posted an image or photograph at issue in a criminal charge and where that individual expressly or implicitly acquiesced in the defendant's conduct.
JUSTIFICATION : The prevalence of text messaging, emailing and internet usage has led to unanticipated forms of communication, particularly among adolescents. Many adolescents are engaging in the sending, receiving and posting of images or photographs which are provocative in nature. This activity has the potential to impact teens' privacy interests and may even lead to criminal charges.
One national study found that as many as 20 percent of teens have sent or posted nude or seminude photos of themselves. In general, adolescents and their parents and caregivers, are unaware of the potential harm. This legislation would promote awareness of text messaging, emailing and posting of provocative images by adolescents and encourage adolescents to consider the harm related to such conduct. Further, this bill addresses the issue of criminal prosecution of adolescent conduct that was not intended under certain criminal acts by creating an affirmative defense.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, that the section on the educational outreach program shall take effect ninety days after it shall have become law.