UPDATE 12/7/12: President Barack Obama signed this bill into law on December 7, 2012.
On November 26, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan bill H.R. 6063, otherwise known as the Child Protection Act of 2012, which focuses on protecting children from child pornography, sexual abuse, and trafficking by enhancing law enforcement's ability to protect children and find perpetrators of these crimes. It is now in President Obama's Pending Legislation, to either be signed into law or vetoed.
H.R. 6063 addresses child pornography, minor witness protection, and child sex trafficking, in addition to amending the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008. According to The Library of Congress Thomas website, some of the key provisions of this bill are as follows:
- The federal criminal code would be amended to increase the prison term from 10 to 20 years for possession etc. of child pornography depicting children 12 years of age and younger.
- A U.S. district court would be required to issue a protective order on their own motion under certain circumstances that would prohibit harassment or intimidation of a minor victim or witness.
- Funds for the national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force would be reauthorized, with the Attorney General being given authority to actually double training funds for task force members and other executive and judicial officials.
- The Attorney General would be required to appoint a senior official at the Dept. of Justice to be the National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, who would be responsible for coordinating the National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction.
- The U.S. Marshals would be authorized to issue administrative subpoenas in their investigations of unregistered sex offenders.
Govtrack.us states that this bill has a 42 percent chance of being signed into law, based on the bill's sponsors and cosponsors. A quick review of the news items associated with this bill does not give much away. I will update this blog post when I have come across an update on the bill's status.