A Des Moines legislator wants Iowa to set up a system that would keep kids from getting racy or raunchy e-mail. Representative Janet Peterson is sponsoring a bill that she says would accomplish that goal. “The bill would be similar to the Do-Not-Call list for telemarketers and establish a Do-Not-E-Contact list for kids,” Peterson says. If a kid can’t legally buy or view a product, Peterson says the kid shouldn’t be getting e-mail about it.
Peterson has seen statistics showing 80 percent of kids have gotten e-mail about products that are illegal for them to purchase, and nearly half are linked to sexually-explicit websites. Peterson says Iowa wouldn’t be plowing new ground with such a Do-Not-Contact e-mail list.
Last fall, Michigan started-up a list of childrens’ e-mail addresses that are not to get adult-oriented e-mail. Peterson says the federal government has sort of thrown up its hands and failed to tackle the growing problem of unwanted e-mail — which most folks call spam and it’s up to the states to start taking action against spammers. “I think it’s important for states like Iowa to say ‘Look, parent and families and people who aren’t even parents want this crap off their computers,'” Peterson says.