Michigan Considering Computer CP Reporting Bill

Tod Hunter
LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate is considering a proposal that would require computer technicians to notify the police if they happen to find child pornography while working on a customer's computer.

The proposal would amend a current law that makes such notifications confidential by making them mandatory.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland. Computer technician Dan Tomaszewski brought the issue to Kuipers last year after his company found child pornography while repairing the computer of a Grand Rapids resident. Although his company reported the discovery to law enforcement, there was no law requiring it to do so.

"The most important thing is, right now, we are not required to report any cases of child pornography," Tomaszewski said.

The proposed law would not permit computer technicians to search a computer specifically for the images.

"ASACP created the CP hotline as a way to facilitate the reporting of child pornography and it is our hope that anyone who comes across suspect CP will report it," ASACP CEO Joan Irvine told XBIZ. "However, by making CP reporting mandatory by computer technicians you are putting them in the position where they may feel they must investigate all computers they repair for images. If government agencies want to make a difference, they need to focus on stopping those who create child pornography. ASACP is an integral part of the Financial Coalition against Child Pornography which believes to stop CP you have to stop it from being profitable by targeting the flow of money to those creating it."

Laws requiring computer technicians to report child pornography they see while working have been passed in at least five states — Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota — according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.