Senate Passes Anti Child Porn Bills

Senate Passes Anti Child Porn Bills
Tod Hunter
WASHINGTON — Long-delayed legislation that would make it easier to prosecute people engaged in child pornography passed in the Senate on Tuesday by voice vote.

The measure combines two bills passed by the House last year. One closes a loophole that resulted from a federal court ruling that images obtained on the Internet were not necessarily submitted across state lines and thus subject to federal authority over interstate commerce.

The other allows prosecutors to include money laundering as a tool in child pornography cases and makes it easier to prosecute those who repeatedly view child pornography. This bill now must go back to the House for another vote.

“It is essential that we remain vigilant in the fight against child pornography. Therefore, it is important that we close legal loopholes in order to protect children and convict offenders,” ASACP CEO Joan Irvine told XBIZ. “Since 90 percent of commercial CP is distributed from organized crime from Eastern bloc countries and 5 percent comes from Japan, the most effective tool we have is to stop the flow of money to child pornographers. ASACP participates in the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography for this exact purpose.”

The two bills were part of a package of 35 bills that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., put together from largely non-controversial measures that Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and other Republicans had stopped from moving forward, either because they wanted debate time or objected to the costs. Reid tried to pass all 35 in one package several times recently, but Coburn has stood in the way.

Only four of the 35 bills, the two mentioned plus two more involving information for parents of children with Down's Syndrome and a nationwide registry for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, passed.

Reid said he would continue to try next year to pass the bills, which include measures focused on specific illnesses, child protection and preservation of the environment.

Congress is expected to adjourn this week for the upcoming November elections.

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