ISPs Must Now Report Child Porn in Canada

Dec 8, 2011 4:00 PM PST

OTTAWA — A new law designed to require Internet services providers to report incidents of child pornography was enacted today in Canada.

The new law, Bill C-22, makes it a crime to fail to comply with reporting duties and dovetails from a bill that died in Canada's Parliament about two years ago.

The law extends beyond ISPs by including those who provide Internet access, hosting or email services, including such services as Google and Facebook, as well as adult websites that act in the interactive space.

ISPs must report to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection any tips they may have about sites where child pornography is being made publicly available. They must also preserve evidence for police if they believe a child pornography offense has been made using the service they provide.

Bill C-22 has a two-year statute of limitations and creates fines for a first offense of no more than $1,000, but repeat offenders can be fined upwards to $10,000 with imprisonment for not more than six months.

Companies, including the ISPs, that fail to report child porn will be fined no more than $10,000, upwards to $100,000 for repeat offenses.

Tim Henning, ASACP's executive director, said that the organization supports initiatives by international governments that assist law enforcement efforts to indentify instances of online child sexual abuse.

"The suppliers of Canadian Internet services have a responsibility to report child sexual exploitation crimes, committed using their services, when made aware of them," Henning told XBIZ. "It also makes sense that they act to assist law enforcement by preserving crucial data related to those crimes. MP Robert Goguen is correct in his assessment that law enforcement can't fight this battle alone.

"Some of these crimes involve children that are at immediate risk and therefore their chances of being rescued can very much depend on timely and accurate information. The global community must stand together to send a clear message that the sexual abuse of our children will not be tolerated by society."

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