Stop Child Predators Applauds Sens. Klobuchar, Thune for Introducing Legislation to Restrict Access to Child Pornography

Washington, DC-Stop Child Predators today commended Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) for introducing bi-partisan legislation that will help prevent the proliferation of child pornography by requiring peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing distributors to obtain the informed consent of users before information on their computers is shared. S. 3027, The P2P Cyber Protection and Informed User Act was introduced to the Senate in February. It is the Senate version of H.R. 1319, which was passed by the House of Representatives last December with wide bi-partisan sponsorship and strong support from Stop Child Predators. S. 3027 is sponsored by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and co-sponsored by John Thune (R-SD), John Kerry (D-MA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND).

P2P networks allow Internet users within the same networking program to connect with each other and directly access files from each other's computers without intermediary network hosts or servers. Napster was the first such program, and since then numerous other file-sharing programs have been launched, making P2P one of the fastest-growing uses of Internet technology. Many people use P2P software on their personal computers for legal (and illegal) file sharing.

What many people fail to realize, however, is that many of these programs can make all of their computer files available to anyone else using P2P software. Under S. 3027, P2P users would have the right to be clearly notified of which of their files are being made available to other users on the network, and be required to consent to this.

Studies have shown that users of P2P applications have unknowingly exposed sensitive information, such as tax returns, health records, business documents and other confidential files through file-sharing programs. In addition, the lack of monitoring has enabled P2P applications to sometimes be used as vehicles for distribution of illegal child pornography. While the very availability of such content on these systems is in itself abhorrent, even worse is that these files are often deliberately labeled with seemingly benign titles such as "Pokémon," "Hannah Montana," and others that appeal to children.

"Stop Child Predators applauds the sponsors of the P2P Cyber Protection and Informed User Act for recognizing that peer-to-peer file-sharing applications can make it dangerously easy to expose children to child pornography, and use them as unwitting distributors of the same. This legislation will put into place appropriate safeguards to help curb the dissemination of child pornography," said Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators.

Requiring full disclosure of file-sharing programs' capabilities, and ensuring users' informed consent to sharing their own files with others, represent concrete steps toward safer and more productive use of P2P file-sharing software.

Use of the Internet to disseminate child pornography is a pervasive problem. Read Stop Child Predators' publication, "P2P File Sharing: Pandora's Box of Child Porn?" to learn more about legislative efforts to address this Internet trend.

You can also read more about our efforts to curb the spread of child pornography online here, including a recent press release applauding the Federal Trade Commission for warning over 100 organizations of improperly releasing consumer data through P2P:

About Stop Child Predators
Stop Child Predators is a national non-profit organization that brings together a team of policy experts, law enforcement officers, community leaders, and parents to persuade state and federal lawmakers to enact policies to combat the sexual exploitation of children, and promote and protect the rights of victims.