Two new pieces of legislation, that are likely to be of interest to librarians working with teens, were just signed into law:
- The KIDS Act (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act) which requires all convicted sexual offenders to register their email addresses and IM names in the National Sexual Offender registry.’ Websites can use the information in this database to help guarantee that those online are safe from sexual offenders. For example, as reported in a post on the Facebook blog, Facebook plans to monitor the registry to make sure that those listed are not able to sign-up for the service.
- Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act was merged with the Broadband Data Improvement Act. The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act is the piece of legislation drafted after the demise of the original Deleting Online Predators Act.’ The new Act, signed into law on Monday, requires schools to teach web safety.’ As reported in eSchoolNews “The legislation also establishes an ‘Online Safety and Technology Working Group’ charged with evaluating online safety education efforts, parental control technologies, filtering and blocking software, and more.”The need to teach safety as opposed to banning all access to social networking sites is an important step forward in legislation related to technology in schools and libraries.’ ‘ ‘ Although, I do wonder how the federal government will handle evaluation of online safety efforts. Is that evaluation really possible?’ I also wonder about the fact that the children’s protection act was merged with the broadband act. While both have to do with the Internet and access, it does seem like an odd pairing and makes me question what will actually happen in the long run.
By the way, I learned about the passage of both of these by keeping up with the social, a blog sponsored by CNET.
Schools and communities across the country are searching for ways to address issues of cyberbullying and social networking behavior with students. One organization has created a unique, empowering curriculum that helps teachers and other community leaders tackle the issues head on. Check them out at http://www.faceourselves.com