SENATE, No. 75



STATE OF NEW JERSEY

208th LEGISLATURE



PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 1998 SESSION





Sponsored by:

Senator ANDREW R. CIESLA

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator WILLIAM L. GORMLEY

District 2 (Atlantic)









SYNOPSIS

"High Technology Crimes and Interactive Computer Services Protection Act"; appropriates $400,000.





CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.



An Act concerning high technology crimes, supplementing Title 53 of the Revised Statutes and Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, and appropriating $400,000.



Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:



1. This act may be known and shall be cited as the "High Technology Crimes and Interactive Computer Services Protection Act."



2. As used in this act:

"Interactive computer service" means an information service such as a 'chat room', 'newsgroup' or 'e-mail' that allows network communication among multiple users and shall include, but not be limited to, the Internet, bulletin board systems (BBS) and proprietary online services.

"Juvenile" means a person under 16 years of age or believed to be under 16 years of age.

3. There is created in the Division of State Police of the Department of Law and Public Safety a High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit. It shall be the responsibility of this unit to:

a. Implement the toll-free "hot line" telephone service for children and their families created in section 4 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill).

b. Conduct investigations in which computers, telecommunications devices and other high technology instruments are the vehicles for the commission of criminal acts or are the objects of the investigation. The crimes shall include but shall not be limited to computer manipulation crimes, illegal online activities, telecommunications crimes and thefts of computer related technologies.

c. Provide technological support to investigative units in the division concerning the search, seizure, evidence preservation, forensic recovery and analysis of all computer systems seized by the division or any other law enforcement agencies within the State requesting such technical assistance.

d. Provide training for division personnel and other law enforcement agencies throughout the State in computer, telecommunications and other high technology crimes.

e. Monitor existing laws and proposed legislation that focus on high technology and computer crimes, and identify and recommend further legislation if required.

4. The High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit shall establish and maintain on a daily basis a 24-hour toll-free hot line telephone service. The service shall allow for the immediate notification of a duty detective knowledgeable in the investigation of high technology crimes and interactive computer services, under the direction of the superintendent. The hot line service shall receive and respond to inquiries or complaints from the public reporting high technology crimes, generally, where an immediate response is necessary to protect life or property or both; preserve evidence; or properly investigate reported crimes through the identification, subsequent arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

The hot line shall be available for the reporting of bona fide complaints by the families of juveniles who may be subject to unsolicited contacts on interactive computer services from persons suspected of being age 18 or over who:

a. Attempt to identify the age, gender, sexual orientation or sexual interests of a juvenile in a manner that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that such attempts are motivated by an intention to use such information for unlawful purposes;

b. Initiate or otherwise engage in sexually explicit messages or dialogue with a juvenile;

c. Generate or reproduce text, data, computer programs, sounds, visual images or moving video images for a juvenile that depict specified sexual activity as defined in paragraph (4) of N.J.S.2C:34-3;

d. Generate or reproduce a visual artistic representation containing any specified anatomical area as defined in paragraph (3) of N.J.S.2C:34-3 for a juvenile; or

e. Solicit material from a juvenile that would contain or does contain any specified anatomical area as defined in paragraph (3) of N.J.S.2C:34-3.



5. The High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit shall establish and maintain a World Wide Web page. The web page shall include but not be limited to guidelines and recommendations on computer ethics, proper methods for reporting high technology crimes, safe computing practices for children and their families, the use of the hot line established under section 4 of this act, and methods to filter, screen or block the receipt of objectionable material on interactive computer services.

The Division of State Police shall conduct a continuing educational program designed to inform educational, civic and business groups on the emerging issues of high technology crimes including those perpetrated through the use of interactive computer services.



6. Every district or regional board of education shall include instruction, in an appropriate place in the curriculum, on the potential risks and dangers posed to children by persons who use interactive computer services for illegal purposes. This instruction shall be adapted to the age and understanding of elementary and secondary school pupils. The instruction shall include information concerning the safe computing guidelines contained on the World Wide Web page and the use of the toll-free hot line both of which are established by the New Jersey State Police High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit pursuant to P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill). The Department of Education shall develop guidelines and curriculum materials for utilization by local school districts on the the ethical use of computers and the potential risks and dangers posed to juveniles by persons who use interactive computer services for unlawful purposes .



7. There is appropriated to the Department of Law and Public Safety $400,000 to carry out the purposes of this act. This appropriation shall supplement, but not supplant, funds currently provided for the operation of the New Jersey State Police High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit.

8. This act shall take effect on the first day of the fifth month after enactment, but the superintendent may take such prior administrative actions as may be necessary to establish the telephone hot line authorized by this act.





STATEMENT



The purpose of this bill is to protect New Jersey residents from cyber-criminals who prey on the public via interactive computer networks, such as the Internet, and other high technology systems.

The bill creates in law a High Technology Crimes and Investigation Support Unit within the Division of State Police. The unit is charged with investigating computer manipulation crimes, illegal online activities, telecommunications crimes, thefts of computer-related technologies, and related activities. This unit was established administratively in January 1997 and is staffed by three State troopers and one civilian analyst. The unit's existing functions are codified in the bill.

The bill also establishes within the unit a 24-hour toll-free hot line telephone service. The hot line would be available to the public to report crimes involving computers, the Internet or other high technology instruments or services where an immediate response is necessary to protect life or property, preserve evidence or otherwise provide for proper investigation. Hot line personnel would notify a duty detective trained in high technology crime investigations and knowledgeable in the workings of the Internet and other interactive computer services.

The bill requires the unit to publish a World Wide Web page on the Internet concerning computer ethics, safe computing practices and the proper methods for reporting high technology crimes on the toll-free hot line. In addition, the State Police would conduct an educational program to inform educational, civic and business groups on the emerging issues of high technology crimes and interactive computer services such as the Internet.

Also, the bill requires boards of education to include instruction on the risks and dangers of the use of the Internet and other interactive computer technologies such as bulletin boards and the "chat rooms" of online services. Such advice would be age-related and taught in the elementary and secondary grades. This small addition to the school curriculum would include information about the hot line telephone service and the role of children and families in reporting questionable computer contacts. Guidelines and curriculum materials would be developed by the Department of Education.