WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A bill co-sponsored by U.S Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz which will crack down on those who deal in child pornography on the web is on its way to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Child Protection Act (H.R. 6063) which provides law enforcement officials with “additional resources to combat the growing threat of child pornography and online exploitation of children.”
The U.S. passed the bill, which was co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), in voice vote last August.
According to Smith, child pornography on the internet has increased, on average, 150% per year which may make it the fastest growing crime in America.
“This bill ensures that the spread of child pornography online is addressed aggressively and quickly, and ensures that investigators have every available resource to track down predators and protect our children,” said Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida). “With the input of law enforcement officials and child protection advocates, we crafted this bipartisan, common-sense legislation to help stop child exploitation.”
Under the Child Protection Act maximum penalties for child pornography offenses that involve prepubescent children or children under the age of 12 increase from 10 to 20 years. The bill also allows a federal court to issue a protective order if it determines that a child victim or witness is being harassed or intimidated and imposes criminal penalties for violation of a protective order.