Congressman Seeks Second Life Ban In Schools, Libraries - InformationWeek
03:49 PM
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Congressman Seeks Second Life Ban In Schools, Libraries

Illinois' Mark Kirk hopes to quash online sex predators lurking around the virtual world by reviving the 2006 Deleting Online Predators Act.

An Illinois Congressman wants to ban Second Life in school and libraries.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk said Second Life and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have grown increasingly popular, attracting both children and online predators.

"According to a U.S. Department of Justice survey, one-in-five kids have been sexually solicited online," Kirk explained in a news announcement. "As new technologies develop, more disturbing revelations unfold. Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual 'rape rooms,' brothels and drug stores. If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will."

Kirk is focusing on Second Life as he attempts to gain support for the stalled "Deleting Online Predators Act." He criticized Linden Labs for failing to use an age verification features in its registration process.

Second Life issued a statement saying it takes steps to prevent children from accessing adult locations in the virtual world but the process isn't perfect.

Kirk held a press conference on the issue this week and sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting a consumer alert. He said teens in Second Life are engaging in prostitution, drug use, and other inappropriate behaviors.

"Drug dealers and predators routinely attempt to contact users in the real world once a meeting happens in Second Life," he said.

He introduced the DOPA bill in 2006 to prevent children from accessing social networking sites and chat rooms unless they do so for "legitimate educational purpose" under adult supervision. It would also require the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission to warn consumers about Internet dangers and review social networking sites.

It passed the House by a 410-15 vote but died in the Senate. It now has 91 co-sponsors.

Although MySpace has taken several steps to increase security for youth and improve filters that weed out sex offenders, Kirk took aim at that social networking site as well. He said that children's detailed personal information can easily be accessed on the site.

People under 13 are prohibited from joining the site. People ages 14 and 15 have secure profiles, which prevent adults from viewing personal details and befriending them unless they already have access to the teen users' full names and e-mail addresses.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll