Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

MADIGAN'S BILL TO COMBAT INTERNET CHILD PORNOGRAPHY MOVES TO GOVERNOR'S DESK AFTER SENATE PASSAGE

UNIQUE LOCATION DATABASE WILL AID INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS

Chicago ─ If legislation passed today is signed by the Governor, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Illinois will become the first state to establish a database that will aid her office and other law enforcement in tracking down and prosecuting child pornographers.

Senate Bill 697 unanimously passed the Illinois Senate today. The bill, drafted by Madigan and sponsored by Senator A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Joliet) and Representative Esther Golar (D-Chicago), now goes to Governor Blagojevich for his signature.

Senate Bill 697 features five key components:

  • Requires persons convicted of child exploitation offenses to provide their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to law enforcement upon conviction.

  • Requires persons convicted of child exploitation offenses to register their IP addresses as part of the information provided to the sex offender registry.

  • Requires that offenders on parole or monitored supervised release must consent to law enforcement searches of any computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular phones and other devices that are under their control and are capable of accessing the Internet or storing electronic files. Under the provisions of SB 697, these searches are authorized only to allow law enforcement to verify the offenders IP address and ensure compliance with other parole conditions.

  • Establishes the Illinois Cyber-Crime Location Database (ICLD) and authorizes the Attorney General and law enforcement to collect, store and use IP addresses to investigate and prosecute child pornographers

  • Creates the offense of aggravated child pornography for those who possess, manufacture or distribute child pornography involving children under the age of 13.

An IP address consists of a unique string of numbers assigned by an Internet provider to identify a particular Internet account. When an Internet user sends content over the Internet, it carries with it the users' IP address. As a result, law enforcement investigators who obtain child pornography transmitted via the Internet may be able to determine the IP address used to send the pornography and follow the address directly to the specific account used to download or exchange the child pornography.

According to law enforcement reports, over the past two years, more than 56,000 individual IP addresses engaged in some form of trading or distribution of child pornography. Based on this number, Madigan said, it is clear that incidents of trading and distributing child pornography over the Internet are increasing.

"IP addresses are critical evidence left at the scene by suspected high-tech child pornographers," Madigan said. "When signed, this new law will be a key tool in the investigation and prosecution of child pornography," Madigan continued.

Senate Bill 697 will establish Illinois as the first state to give law enforcement the ability to compile records of IP addresses and online activity of child pornographers that later can be used in criminal trials and also creates the Illinois Cyber-Crime Location Database to hold this information.

"This bill will help law enforcement to protect our children from exploitation by child pornographers who use the Internet," said Wilhelmi. "I am pleased that the Senate unanimously voted to approve this important legislation to safeguard our children."

"The sexual exploitation of children is something that should never be done or shared among pedophiles on the Internet," Golar said. "When this bill is signed into law, Illinois will become a leader on this issue by creating Illinois Cyber-Crimes Location Database to assist law enforcement in effectively investigating Internet child pornography."

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