Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Assemblymember Toni Atkins Targets Online Predators
Assemblymember Toni Atkins looks to update California's antiquated laws aimed at protecting children from online predators.
In Assembly Bill 1817, Atkins hopes to make it harder for sexual predators to target children online by adding computer technicians to the list of professionals that are required to report cases of alleged child abuse. As of now that list includes teachers, school and day care administrators, social workers, probation officers, and photo lab techs, to name a few.
The fact that photo lab workers are on the list but computer technicians are not goes to show the need for an update, says Atkins.
"...Predators used to take photos of their victims and send the film out to be developed. Because of this, photo lab technicians are required to report child abuse if they see it in the photos they process. Nowadays, very few people develop film. The preferred method of exchanging images of sexual abuse is through the Internet.
"As our society evolves, so must our laws in order to ensure that we protect the innocent. Predators have changed with the time, but our laws remain in the Stone Age."
The bill is expected to go to committee for review later this month.
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