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Biden signs Ossoff-sponsored online child safety bill | | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff

ATLANTA – Legislation U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., introduced to protect children from online abuse and exploitation has been signed into law.

President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan REPORT Act Tuesday, which Ossoff introduced in partnership with Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

The bill requires websites and social media platforms to report crimes involving the trafficking and enticement of children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Companies that knowingly and willfully fail to report child sex abuse material on their sites will face increased fines.

“My bipartisan law with Senator Blackburn will ensure tech companies are held accountable to report and remove child sex abuse material and to strengthen protection for kids online,” Ossoff said. “At a time of such division in Congress, we successfully brought Republicans and Democrats together to protect kids on the internet, and now our bill is law.”

“Children are increasingly looking at screens, and the reality is that this leaves more innocent kids at risk of online exploitation,” Blackburn added. “Under this law, Big Tech will now be required to report trafficking, grooming or enticement of children found on their sites.”

Ossoff chairs the Senate’s Human Rights Subcommittee, while Blackburn serves as the panel’s ranking Republican. An investigation they launched early last year to assess the safety of children in foster care found lax oversight by federal and state child welfare agencies when it comes to missing children.

Ossoff cited audits of multiple states that found 45% of missing child incidents were not reported to the NCMEC and that most missing children were not screened for sex trafficking after they were recovered.

The NCMEC endorsed the REPORT Act as well as a companion bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The REPORT Act provides critical child safety improvements,” said Michelle DeLaune, the NCMEC’s president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to prioritize the safety of children online because every child deserves a safe childhood.”

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