Thursday, December 6, 2007

Open WiFi Access Point Concerns

Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed, in a 409 to 2 vote, the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act of 2007

If you currently have an open WiFi access point at home, own a business that provides open access, work at a college offering open wireless access, work at a library, etc you should be aware of this Bill. Here's the Bill Summary from the Library of Congress website:

Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act of 2007 or the SAFE Act of 2007 - Amends the federal criminal code to expand the reporting requirements of electronic communication and remote computing service providers (service providers) with respect to violations of child sexual exploitation and pornography laws. Requires such service providers, in reporting violations of such laws to the CyberTipline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (Center) to provide:

(1) information on the Internet identity of a suspected sex offender, including the electronic mail address, website address, uniform resource locator, or other identifying information;

(2) the time child pornography was uploaded or discovered;

(3) geographic location information for the offender; and

(4) images of such child pornography.

Requires the Center to forward each report which it receives from a service provider to a designated law enforcement agency.
Requires service providers to preserve images of child pornography for evidentiary purposes.
Authorizes the Center to provide images of child pornography reported to its CyberTipline to service providers to enable such providers to stop further transmissions of of pornographic images.
Grants service providers and the Center immunity from civil claims or criminal charges for complying the requirements of this Act, except for certain intentional or reckless misconduct.

If somebody you know or don't know uses your open network to do something illegal you could be responsible. And..... it's not just WiFi providers that need to be concerned - email account providers, Website hosts, etc will also need to comply.

Initial fines could go as high as $150,000 with additional fines up to $300,000 for repeat offenders. The Bill now goes to the Senate.

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