Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), who has prosecuted child exploitation cases in the federal and military systems, today introduced the Targeting Child Predators Act in order to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to bring child predators to justice.
“Investigations targeting child predators should not yield an inch when it comes to bringing these predators to justice,” DeSantis said. “These suspects cannot be given the opportunity to destroy evidence and cover their tracks once law enforcement starts to investigate their nefarious activity. The Targeting Child Predators Act is a sensible reform that ensures that Internet Service Providers provide law enforcement a limited window of time to investigate before notifying the suspected child predator of the existence of a lawfully-issued subpoena. This will help make sure that these online predators are swiftly prosecuted and that our children are protected."
Law enforcement can often obtain the IP address of a suspected child predator and then subpoena Internet Service Providers (ISP) for the user information attached to the IP address. ISPs may then inform the user of the law enforcement inquiry, enabling suspected child predators to wipe clean their accounts and delete potential evidence. The Targeting Child Predators Act would require that Internet Service Providers, in the case of child exploitation, wait 180 days prior to disclosing to a specific user that their information was requested by law enforcement.
Original cosponsors include Reps. Mike Bishop (MI-08), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Steve King (IA-04), Scott Peters (CA-52), John Ratcliffe (TX-04), Lamar Smith (TX-21), and Mimi Walters (CA-45).
Supporting organizations include the National Association of Police Organizations and the National District Attorneys Association.