[House Report 106-949]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-949

======================================================================



 
                  SUPPORTING INTERNET SAFETY AWARENESS

                                _______
                                

  October 10, 2000.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Bliley, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                       [To accompany H. Res. 575]

  The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 575) supporting Internet safety awareness, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the resolution as amended be 
agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
Committee on Government Reform Oversight Findings................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     4

                               Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

  That the House of Representatives--
          (1) urges the citizens of the United States to recognize and 
        support educational programs that make surfing on the Internet 
        safe and fun;
          (2) supports initiatives to educate parents, children, 
        educators, and community leaders about the enormous 
        possibilities and the potential dangers of the Internet;
          (3) urges all Americans to become informed about the Internet 
        and to support proactive efforts that will provide Internet 
        safety for children and for future generations to come; and
          (4) expresses the sincere appreciation of the House of 
        Representatives for the thousands of law enforcement officials 
        who are aggressively working to protect America's children 
        while they are online.

                          purpose and summary

    The Internet provides a vast new array of opportunites and 
benefits. From improved communications to electronic commerce 
to telemedicine, the Internet has much to offer and deliver to 
the American people. Unfortunately, this technology is being 
used by criminals in society to take advantage of all 
Americans. Some people are using the Internet in harmful ways 
to spread their destructive material or aid their criminal 
activity. There has been a spread of obscene material, child 
pornography, and children exploitation as the Internet's 
popularity has increased.
    Over the years, the law enforcement community has been 
called upon to improve enforcement of current law. They have 
also been asked to tell Congress where current law needs to 
change in order to reflect new technologies.
    H. Res. 575 will not stop criminal activity but it will 
increase America's understanding of the problems created by 
using the Internet and promote efforts to increase safety 
awareness by America's parents and children.

                  background and need for legislation

    The Internet has experienced exponential growth over the 
past several years. The Internet connects millions of host 
computers in more than 250 countries and is growing. According 
to a recent study by the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration (NTIA), approximately one-third of 
all Americans use the Internet in the United States.
    Given the ubiquitous nature of its structure and operation, 
the Internet provides an opportunity to share and transmit 
large levels of information for many different purposes. It 
also allows communications between people near and far. These 
activities have helped fuel the surge in telecommunications and 
electronic commerce industries and the corresponding economic 
benefits currently experienced by U.S. economy overall.
    While the benefits of the Internet have been well 
documented, the problems created with such a network have also 
been documented at length. Over the last few years, significant 
harmful activity has increased as the Internet has grown. Some 
of these problems involve the migration of activity that occurs 
independent of the Internet (e.g., fraud) while others are 
heightened because of the new communications medium (e.g., 
pornography). Many of these issues have been addressed in one 
form or another through action by the Committee. For instance, 
the Congress enacted the Child Online Protection Act in 1998 as 
an effort to increase the protection of children from accessing 
harmful, pornographic material.
    Congress has tried to balance the need to keep U.S. 
businesses free from unnecessary government regulation in both 
the analog and digital environments, while addressing the use 
of the Internet for criminal or harmful behavior. Congress also 
has looked to the law enforcement community to increase its 
effort to stop and prevent harmful actions occurring over the 
Internet. In addition, Congress has looked to promote consumer 
and public appreciation of the problems that can arise through 
Internet use via hearings, reports and other matters.

                                hearings

    The Committee on Commerce has not held hearings on the 
legislation.

                        committee consideration

    The Full Committee met in open markup session on October 5, 
2000, and ordered H. Res. 575 reported to the House, with an 
amendment, by a voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            committee votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering H. 
Res. 575 reported. A motion by Mr. Bliley to order H. Res. 575 
reported to the House, with an amendment, was agreed to by a 
voice vote.
    The following amendment was agreed to by a voice vote:

          An amendment by Mr. Green, No. 1, adding recognition 
        for law enforcement and their efforts to protect 
        America's children while they are online.

                      committee oversight findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has not held oversight 
or legislative hearings on this legislation.

           committee on government reform oversight findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, no oversight findings have been 
submitted to the Committee by the Committee on Government 
Reform.

   new budget authority, entitlement authority, and tax expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H. 
Res. 575, a resolution supporting Internet safety awareness, 
would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                        committee cost estimate

    The Committee believes that H. Res. 575 will not result in 
any costs to the Federal government.

                  congressional budget office estimate

    The cost estimate provided by the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974 was not timely received by the Committee.

                      advisory committee statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   constitutional authority statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power 
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes.

                  applicability to legislative branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             section-by-section analysis of the legislation

    H. Res. 575 identifies a number of findings related to the 
problems facing Americans and increasing Internet safety 
awareness. These findings include: (1) the Internet provides 
citizens of the United States with the technology for research, 
education, entertainment, and communication; (2) millions of 
Americans, many school libraries and classrooms, and many 
public libraries are connected to the Internet; (3) more than 1 
out of 5 missing 15- to 17-year-old teenagers have disappeared 
because of someone they met while chatting on the Internet; (4) 
there are an estimated 10,000 Internet websites designed for or 
by individuals who have a sexual preference for children; (5) 
there are an estimated 200 million pages of pornography, hate, 
violence, and abuse on the Internet; (6) there are multitudes 
of strangers who use the Internet to enter homes, talk to and 
``groom'' children, and will take indecent advantages of those 
children if given a chance; and (7) children have been raped, 
assaulted, kidnaped, and deprived of their innocence by 
individuals they met on the Internet.
    In order to help promote Internet safety awareness, the 
resolution recognizes the view of the House of Representatives 
that (1) citizens recognize and support educational programs 
that make surfing on the Internet safe and fun; (2) initiatives 
to educate parents, children, educators, and community leaders 
about the enormous possibilities and the potential dangers of 
the Internet; (3) all Americans to become informed about the 
Internet and to support proactive efforts that will provide 
Internet safety for children and for future generations to 
come; and (4) express the sincere appreciation of the House of 
Representatives for the thousands of law enforcement officials 
who are aggressively working to protect America's children 
while they are online.

         changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.