Va. Bill Targets Third-Party Processors

Rhett Pardon
RICHMOND, Va. — Third-party credit card processors beware: The state of Virginia is close to passage of a bill that would criminalize the act of processing transactions used for online child pornography.

Under SB348, individuals found guilty of the offense could face 2-10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

“This statute would put credit card companies on notice,” said Gene Fishel, assistant attorney general in the computer crimes division of the state Attorney General’s office. “These companies grease the wheels of child pornography.”

The bill’s language targets companies that “knowingly facilitating the payment” with sites that involve children younger than 18, making it a felony for individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations or joint ventures.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Janet D. Howell, passed the state Senate Courts of Justice Committee by a 15-0 vote on Monday and has been sent to the Senate Finance Committee.