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Keeping Kids Safe Online

Kentucky's Attorney General says it's past time to crack down on sex offenders, who use the internet to target kids.

A bill to prohibit sex offenders from using social networking site was heard in a legislative committee on Wednesday.

A similar bill was filed last year, but didn't get signed into law, despite a lot of legislative support.

Specifically, House Bill 315 would require sex offenders to update their email addresses and on line identities and includes sanctions for predators who use web sites like My Space and Facebook.

The bill also gives more power to police to arrest and convict criminals who try to contact kids over the internet. It would also give more power to police in requiring the forfeiture of property, such as computers and cars used in sex offenses against minors.

It would create a crime of phishing, which police say is popular with internet criminals. That's when people send messages to email accounts in attempts to get personal information in order to steal identities.

But the main focus of the bill is to go after sexual predators who target children and teenagers.

"You know, we know that kids many of them are being solicited online. We know that only 25% of those ever report it to an adult, or someone at school or to a law enforcement officer. We know that in the last year and a half, Myspace alone has removed 90,000 sex offenders," said Attorney General Jack Conway.

Last year, the bill unanimously passed the House but, according to Conway, stalled in the final hours of the General Assembly. This year, it has 21 cosponsors and Conway says he's optimistic it will pass.


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