H. B. 3106
(By Delegates Reynolds, Fleischauer,
T. Campbell, Lawrence, Hunt, Sobonya, Caputo,
Ellem, Poore, Skaff and Walker)
[Introduced January 11
, 2012; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-14-1, §15-14-2 and §15-14-3; all relating to regulation of the use of Internet by children.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-14-1, §15-14-2 and §15-14-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. REGULATION OF USE OF INTERNET BY CHILDREN.
As used in this article:
“Child” means a person who is less than eighteen years of age.
“Electronic mail address” means a destination, commonly expressed as a string of characters, to which electronic mail may be sent or delivered.
“Internet or any other computer network”, without limitations, means:
(1) The computer network commonly known as the Internet and any other local, regional or global computer network that is similar to or is a predecessor or successor of the Internet;
(2) Any identifiable site on the Internet or such other computer network;
(3) A website or other similar site on the World Wide Web;
(4) A site that is identifiable through a Uniform Resource Location;
(5) A site on a computer network that is owned, operated, administered or controlled by a provider of Internet service;
(6) A list server;
(7) A newsgroup; or
(8) A chat room.
“Provider of Internet service” or “provider” means any person, for a fee or other consideration, provides subscribers with access to the Internet.
A person has “reasonable cause to believe” if, in light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances which are known or which reasonably should be known to the person at the time, a reasonable person would believe, under those facts and circumstances that an act, transaction, event, situation or condition exists, is occurring or has occurred.
§15-14-2. Internet service provider required to provide product or service to regulate an monitor child’s use of Internet under certain circumstances.
(a) If a provider of Internet service knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a subscriber resides within West Virginia, the provider shall make available to the subscriber a product or service which enables the subscriber to regulate a child’s use of the Internet service provided to the subscriber if such a product or service is reasonably and commercially available for the technology utilized by the subscriber to access the Internet service. The product or service must, subject to such availability, enable the subscriber to:
(1) Block all access to the Internet;
(2) Block access to specific websites or domains disapproved by the subscriber;
(3) Restrict access exclusively to specific websites or domains approved by the subscriber; and
(4) Allow the subscriber to monitor a child’s use of the Internet service by providing a report to the subscriber of the specific websites or domains that the child has visited or has attempted to visit, but could not access because the websites or domains were blocked or restricted by the subscriber.
(b) For the purposes of subsection (a) of this section, a provider of Internet service is deemed to know that a subscriber resides within West Virginia if the subscriber identifies West Virginia as his or her place of residence at the time of subscription.
(c) If a product or service described in subsection (a) of this section is reasonably and commercially available for the technology utilized by the subscriber to access the Internet service, the provider of Internet service:
(1) Will provide to the subscriber, at the time of subscription, notice of the availability of the product or service described in subsection (a) of this section. The notice must be provided to the subscriber by electronic mail or in a written form through another reasonable means.
(2) May make the product or service described in subsection (a) available to the subscriber either directly or through a third-party vendor. The provider or third-party vendor may charge the subscriber a fee for the product or service.
§15-14-3. Violation constitutes deceptive trade practice; institution of civil penalties.
(a) Any violation of this article by a provider constitutes a deceptive trade practice and is punishable by institution of a civil penalty, payable to the Department of Health and Human Resources, in the amount of $2,000 for each day the provider violates this article
(b) The Attorney General may bring an action against a provider to recover the money. Prior to bringing suit, the Attorney General shall give the provider notice of the provider’s noncompliance with this article and the liability. If the provider complies with this article, not later than thirty days after the date of notice, the violation is cured and the provider is not liable for a civil penalty.
(c) If a civil penalty is enforced it will not exceed $60,000.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to regulate the use of the Internet by children. Adopting rules that call for Internet providers to provide parents with Internet blocking software.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.