[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2885 Introduced in House (IH)]






108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2885

 To prohibit the distribution of peer-to-peer file trading software in 
                          interstate commerce.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 24, 2003

  Mr. Pitts (for himself, Mr. John, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Pence, and Mr. 
   DeMint) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                    Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To prohibit the distribution of peer-to-peer file trading software in 
                          interstate commerce.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting Children from Peer-to-
Peer Pornography Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Peer-to-peer file trading software has been very widely 
        distributed. The most popular of these programs has been 
        downloaded over 200 million times, and at any one time, there 
        are over 3 million people using it.
            (2) Peer-to-peer systems are emerging as a conduit for the 
        distribution of pornographic images and videos, including child 
        pornography. Child pornography is easily found and downloaded 
        using peer-to-peer systems.
            (3) Child pornography has become increasingly available on 
        peer-to-peer systems. In 2002, there was a fourfold increase in 
        the number of reports of child pornography on peer-to-peer 
        systems.
            (4) Approximately 40 percent of users of peer-to-peer 
        systems are juveniles.
            (5) Juvenile users of peer-to-peer systems are at 
        significant risk of inadvertent exposure to pornography, 
        including child pornography, because searches on innocuous 
        keywords likely to be used by juveniles produce a high 
        proportion of pornographic images.
            (6) The availability of peer-to-peer systems as a 
        distribution mechanism for child pornography may lead to 
        further sexual abuse of children, because the production of 
        child pornography is intrinsically related to sexual abuse of 
        children.
            (7) Peer-to-peer systems also pose serious security and 
        privacy threats to users. Among other things, peer-to-peer 
        software often gives others access to all the files that are 
        stored on a user's hard drive, and many users, including 
        juvenile users and their parents, do not even know of these 
        threats.
            (8) In light of these considerations, it is important that 
        Federal law provide appropriate protection for juvenile users 
        of peer-to-peer systems.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal Trade 
        Commission;
            (2) the term ``juvenile'' means an individual under the age 
        of 18;
            (3) the term ``parent'' includes a legal guardian;
            (4) the terms ``peer-to-peer file trading software'' and 
        ``peer-to-peer system'' have the definition given to such terms 
        by the regulations to be promulgated under section 3(b)(1);
            (5) the term ``verifiable parental consent'' means any 
        reasonable effort (taking into consideration available 
        technology) to ensure that a parent of a juvenile receives 
        notice as described in section 3(b)(2)(A) and authorizes the 
        distribution of peer-to-peer file trading software to the 
        juvenile, including efforts such as those constituting 
        ``verifiable parental consent'' under the Children's Online 
        Privacy Protection Act of 1998;
            (6) the term ``verification of majority'' means any 
        reasonable effort (taking into consideration available 
        technology) to ensure that a recipient of peer-to-peer file 
        trading software is not a juvenile, including efforts such as 
        accepting and verifying a credit card number in connection with 
        a distribution of peer-to-peer file trading software; and
            (7) the term ``person'' means any individual, partnership, 
        corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, or other 
        entity.

SEC. 4. REGULATION OF JUVENILE ACCESS TO PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKS.

    (a) Acts Prohibited.--It is unlawful for any person to distribute 
peer-to-peer file trading software, or to authorize or cause peer-to-
peer file trading software to be distributed by another person, in 
interstate commerce in a manner that violates the regulations 
prescribed under subsection (b)(2).
    (b) Regulations.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate regulations 
that--
            (1) define the term ``peer-to-peer file trading software'' 
        for purposes of this Act, with such definition to encompass 
        computer software that enables the transmission of computer 
        files or data over the Internet or any other public network of 
        computers and that has as its primary function the capability 
        to do all of the following--
                    (A) enable a computer on which such software is 
                used to transmit files or data to another such 
                computer;
                    (B) enable the user of one such computer to request 
                the transmission of files or data from another such 
                computer; and
                    (C) enable the user of one such computer to 
                designate files or data available for transmission to 
                another such computer, but which definition excludes, 
                to the extent otherwise included, software products 
                legitimately marketed and distributed primarily for the 
                operation of business and home networks, the networks 
                of Internet access providers, or the Internet itself; 
                and
            (2) require any person who distributes, or authorizes or 
        causes another person to distribute, peer-to-peer file trading 
        software in interstate commerce to--
                    (A) provide clear and prominent notice to each 
                recipient of peer-to-peer file trading software, before 
                the peer-to-peer file trading software is provided to 
                the recipient, that use thereof may expose the user to 
                pornography, illegal activities, and security and 
                privacy threats;
                    (B) check for the do-not-install beacon described 
                in subsection (c)(1) and not transmit peer-to-peer file 
                trading software to any computer with such beacon;
                    (C) obtain verification of majority, or if a 
                recipient is a juvenile obtain verifiable parental 
                consent, before the peer-to-peer file trading software 
                is provided to the recipient;
                    (D) ask whether or not each juvenile recipient of 
                peer-to-peer file trading software is a child under the 
                age of 13;
                    (E) comply with the provisions of the Children's 
                Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (15 U.S.C. 6501 
                et seq.) as to all information collected from children 
                in connection with the distribution of peer-to-peer 
                file trading software;
                    (F) ensure that the peer-to-peer file trading 
                software has the capability to be readily disabled or 
                uninstalled by a user thereof, and prominent means to 
                access clear information concerning the availability 
                and use of that capability;
                    (G) if the peer-to-peer file trading software has 
                the capability of automatically causing a user's 
                computer to function as a supernode or other focal 
                point for the transmission of files or data, or 
                information about the availability of files or data, 
                among other computers on which such software is used, 
                ensure that such software does not exercise that 
                capability unless the user receives clear and prominent 
                notice thereof and thereafter takes affirmative steps 
                to enable that capability;
                    (H) if the peer-to-peer file trading software has 
                the capability of disabling or circumventing security 
                or other protective software on, or features of, the 
                user's computer or network, including a firewall, 
                software that protects against viruses or other 
                malicious code or a do-not-install beacon or other 
                parental control, ensure that such peer-to-peer file 
                trading software does not exercise that capability 
                unless the user receives clear and prominent notice 
                thereof and thereafter takes affirmative steps to 
                enable that capability;
                    (I) if such person does not reside in the United 
                States, designate a resident agent for service of 
                process in the United States, and file with the 
                Commission such designation and the address of the 
                office or usual place of residence of the agent;
                    (J) maintain reasonable records of its compliance 
                with the requirements set forth in this paragraph; and
                    (K) establish and maintain reasonable procedures to 
                protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of 
                personal information contained in such records.
    (c) Technological Measures.--The Commission shall--
            (1) not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment 
        of this Act, in consultation with the Under Secretary for 
        Technology of the Department of Commerce, develop and make 
        readily available to the public functional requirements for 
        standard ``do-not-install'' beacons that provide an effective 
        technological means for parents to record on their computers 
        their desire that users not install or use peer-to-peer file 
        trading software on those computers;
            (2) make available to the public a list of do-not-install 
        beacon products that have been certified by their producers as 
        conforming to such functional requirements; and
            (3) if in any study required by section 6, it appears to 
        the Commission that any commonly-used peer-to-peer file trading 
        software does not have the capability required by subsection 
        (b)(2)(F), promptly make readily available to the public 
        information necessary to enable parents to disable or uninstall 
        such software on their computers, and if necessary to allow 
        parents to do so readily, develop and make available 
        technological means for parents to disable or uninstall such 
        software on their computers.
    (d) Enforcement.--A violation of the regulations prescribed under 
subsection (b)(2) shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an 
unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 
18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 
57a(a)(1)(B)). In the case of any action arising under this Act against 
a person that does not reside in the United States and has distributed 
peer-to-peer file trading software, or authorized or caused peer-to-
peer file trading software to be distributed by another person, in 
interstate commerce without designating an agent as required by 
subsection (b)(2)(I), service of process may be made by filing the same 
in the office of the Commission.

SEC. 5. ACTIONS BY THE COMMISSION.

    (a) In General.--The Commission shall enforce this Act, and the 
regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act, in the same manner, by 
the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as 
though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade 
Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a 
part of this Act. Any entity that violates such regulations shall be 
subject to the penalties and entitled to the privileges and immunities 
provided in the Federal Trade Commission Act in the same manner, by the 
same means, and with the same jurisdiction, power, and duties as though 
all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act 
were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.
    (b) Effect on Other Laws.--Nothing contained in this Act shall be 
construed to limit the authority of the Commission under any other 
provisions of law.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS BY STATES.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Civil actions.--In any case in which the attorney 
        general or other appropriate authority of a State has reason to 
        believe that an interest of the residents of that State has 
        been or is threatened or adversely affected by the engagement 
        of any person in a practice that violates the regulations of 
        the Commission prescribed under section 3(b)(2), the State, as 
        parens patriae, may bring a civil action on behalf of the 
        residents of the State in a district court of the United States 
        of appropriate jurisdiction to--
                    (A) enjoin that practice;
                    (B) enforce compliance with the regulations;
                    (C) obtain damages, restitution, or other 
                compensation on behalf of residents of the State; or
                    (D) obtain such other relief as the court may 
                consider to be appropriate.
            (2) Notice.--
                    (A) In general.--Before filing an action under 
                paragraph (1), the attorney general or other authority 
                of the State involved shall provide to the Commission--
                            (i) written notice of that action; and
                            (ii) a copy of the complaint for that 
                        action.
                    (B) Exemption.--
                            (i) In general.--Subparagraph (A) shall not 
                        apply with respect to the filing of an action 
                        by an attorney general or other authority of a 
                        State under this subsection, if the attorney 
                        general or other authority determines that it 
                        is not feasible to provide the notice described 
                        in that subparagraph before the filing of the 
                        action.
                            (ii) Notification.--In an action described 
                        in clause (i), the attorney general or other 
                        authority of a State shall provide notice and a 
                        copy of the complaint to the Commission at the 
                        same time as the attorney general or other 
                        authority files the action.
    (b) Intervention.--
            (1) In general.--On receiving notice under subsection 
        (a)(2), the Commission shall have the right to intervene in the 
        action that is the subject of the notice.
            (2) Effect of intervention.--If the Commission intervenes 
        in an action under subsection (a), it shall have the right--
                    (A) to be heard with respect to any matter that 
                arises in that action; and
                    (B) to file a petition for appeal.
    (c) Construction.--For purposes of bringing any civil action under 
subsection (a), nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent an 
attorney general or other authority of a State from exercising the 
powers conferred on the attorney general or other authority by the laws 
of that State to--
            (1) conduct investigations;
            (2) administer oaths or affirmations; or
            (3) compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of 
        documentary and other evidence.
    (d) Actions by the Commission.--In any case in which an action is 
instituted by or on behalf of the Commission for violation of any of 
the regulations of the Commission prescribed under section 3(b)(2), no 
State may, during the pendency of that action, institute an action 
under subsection (a) against any defendant named in the complaint in 
that action for violation of that regulation.
    (e) Venue; Service of Process.--
            (1) Venue.--Any action brought under subsection (a) may be 
        brought in the district court of the United States that meets 
        applicable requirements relating to venue under section 1391 of 
        title 28, United States Code.
            (2) Service of process.--In an action brought under 
        subsection (a), process may be served in any district in which 
        the defendant--
                    (A) is an inhabitant; or
                    (B) may be found.

SEC. 7. STUDY.

    The Commission shall conduct an annual study concerning peer-to-
peer file trading software, including the availability of child 
pornography and other pornographic images and videos using such 
software, security and privacy threats posed by such software, use of 
such software by juveniles, the ability of parents to control access to 
and use of such software by juveniles, the degree of compliance with 
and the effectiveness of this Act, and any legislative recommendations 
that may be warranted. The Commission shall submit a report to the 
Congress setting forth the results of each such study. The Under 
Secretary for Technology of the Department of Commerce shall provide to 
the Commission such staff and resources as necessary for the Commission 
to perform its duty efficiently and in accordance with this section.

SEC. 8. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    Sections 4(a), 5, and 6 of this Act take effect on the date that is 
18 months after the date of enactment of this Act.
                                 <all>