Bills would protect children on Internet

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Citing Internet danger to children, the House voted Tuesday to expand wiretap authority to target molesters who find young victims online and to establish a new domain for kid-friendly Web sites.

The wiretap measure, approved 396-11, would allow investigators to seek wiretaps for suspected sexual predators to help block physical meetings between molesters and children they meet via the computer.

Lawmakers cited the recent death of Christina Long, a sixth-grader from Danbury, Conn., in urging passage of both bills. Police say she was strangled and her body dumped in a ravine by a 25-year-old man she met in an Internet chat room.

"The threat to our children is real," shouted Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., the chief sponsor of the wiretapping measure.

Wiretaps could be authorized for people suspected of engaging in child pornography, of trying to get children to perform sexual acts for money or of traveling to or bringing children for sexual activity.

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