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5/26/2016 House passes Ackerman bill requiring online providers to supply certain information to the attorney general
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) that would add certain offenses to a list for which online providers would be required to supply information to the attorney general.

The bill (2016-H 7542) would add online impersonation and electronic dissemination of indecent materials to minors to the group of offenses for which an internet service provider must provide subscriber account information to the attorney general or to the state police upon proper service and with certification that the information is necessary for an official criminal investigation or prosecution.

“It’s important for the law to keep up with technology to stay one step ahead of criminals,” said Representative Ackerman. “One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that law enforcement officials can rely on the cooperation of internet service providers when there is an official investigation regarding these crimes. The problem of online personation and electronic dissemination of indecent materials to minors is very serious. This legislation will make the job of the state police and the attorney general that much easier.”

Under the legislation, an internet service provider would be required to disclose subscriber account information consisting of the name, address, IP address and telephone numbers associated with the account to the attorney general or to the superintendent of the Rhode Island state police upon proper service, and with certification that the information is necessary for an officially documented criminal investigation or prosecution of a criminal complaint.

“The General Assembly has done admirable work in enacting criminal statutes to protect those most vulnerable online,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.  “While we now have the statutes to prosecute these perpetrators, law enforcement also needs the tools to properly investigate these crimes.  Enactment of this legislation will provide law enforcement a critical tool in the protection of Rhode Islanders, especially our children.”

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Shelby Maldonado (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls), Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence), K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick), now heads to the Senate, which has passed similar legislation (2016-S 2631) introduced by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston).

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903