State legislators including Republican leader Tom Cross made the rounds in Will and DuPage counties, trying to drum up support for a package of proposed laws they say will keep the Internet safe for children. The laws would be among the toughest in the nation.
The so-called cornerstone of the legislation is a measure that would require Internet sites such as MySpace to obtain written parental permission before kids could post profiles. (How's that going to work?)
Another measure would ban sex offenders from using sites like MySpace and Facebook. You'd think this would already be a condition of parole, but the state attorney general found some 1,800 registered sex offenders using MySpace.
Another tricky proposal would require Web site operators to verify ages and personal information before profiles go up on the Internet. And adults who misrepresent their age to solicit juveniles would be subject to felony charges.
What do you think of all this? Can Illinois do this alone, or should it act with other states or seek federal legislation regarding Internet sites? How well do you think Internet sites are protecting children without legislative intervention? And why is it that for the last several legislative sessions Illinois lawmakers seem unable to approve critical budget and policy legislation, but sex offender crackdowns sail through so it looks like they're getting SOMETHING done?