By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN
The Associated Press
July 3, 2005
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Parents can now sign up for what Michigan
officials say is the nation's first registry aimed at keeping spammers
from sending children inappropriate e-mail. The new law bans sending
messages to children related to such things as pornography, illegal or
prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearms or fireworks.
Parents and schools will be able to register children's e-mail
"From my perspective as a parent, I'm horrified by what comes in" to
her three children's e-mail accounts, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said
during a news conference Thursday. "This will put an end, we hope, to
inappropriate e-mail getting to our children."
Signing up for the registry is free, and parents soon will be able to
add their children's instant message IDs, mobile phone numbers, fax
numbers and pager numbers.
E-mail senders must comply with the new law by Aug. 1. Violators face
up to three years in jail or fines up to $30,000 if convicted of
breaking the law, and could face civil penalties of up to $5,000 per
Some Internet safety experts have said anti-spam laws have been
difficult to enforce and others worry the lists will give hackers a
way to get access to a large database of children.
Public Service Commission Chairman Peter Lark said safeguards,
including encryption of e-mail addresses and other information, will
keep the Michigan registry secure.
Utah is getting ready to set up a similar registry for children there.
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