Cornyn Proposes Plan to Stop Internet Predators
September 16, 2002
HOUSTON Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced his support for a plan that will crack down on Internet predators.
Cornyn endorsed the Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002 H.R. Bill 4263 proposed by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio). He also said he supports doubling the size of the Department of Justices Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act will make it a federal crime to create and distribute a computer image of a minor engaging in a sexually explicit act, Cornyn said at a campaign event at the Ripley House a center that provides social services to thousands of children, youth and seniors in low-income areas of Houston.
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate noted that a recent federal court ruling held that child pornography on the Internet is free speech. That ruling is clearly not in line with Texas values, said Cornyn. Its another reason why we need this legislation as well as more good conservative federal judges like the well-qualified, Texas-native Priscilla Owen.
Cornyn pointed out that the World Wide Web has many good uses: The Internet has created enormous learning opportunities, in our classrooms and in our homes. It has expanded horizons and opened the door to a world of possibility for our children. But, he added, The Internet has also created opportunities for new kinds of criminals from computer hackers and identity thieves to child predators and pornographers.
To help combat these new kinds of criminals, Cornyn announced his support for doubling the Department of Justices Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. We must give law enforcement at all levels the tools to fight those who would exploit our most precious resource our children, he said. Cornyn applauded the FBI for taking a leadership role in coordinating the efforts of the law enforcement community to fight against child pornography and child predators. Combating this serious problem requires the collaboration and cooperation between government law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local level, he added.
As Attorney General, Cornyn established the Texas Internet Bureau, which helped crack down on traffickers of child pornography and others who use the Internet to victimize children. The Texas Internet Bureau participated in the indictment of five men who met a 12-year-old girl in an Internet chat room and arranged a meeting in which she was sexually assaulted. The Bureau also caught a Grand Prairie schoolteacher who lured what he thought was a 14-year-old Austin girl to an Austin hotel room. The girl, in fact, was one of the Internet Bureau investigators.
If elected to the U.S. Senate, Cornyn said he will build on his record as Attorney General in defending societys most vulnerable.