January 31, 2006

Legislative Activity


January 31, 2006

The Honorable Frank J. Mautino
Committee on the Judiciary II – Criminal Law
Illinois House of Representatives
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8400

Dear Representative Mautino:

On behalf of the nearly 400 members represented in Illinois advertising federations, we are writing to ask you to oppose House Bill 572, which would mandate the creation of a registry designed to prevent businesses from sending inappropriate e-mails to minors.

While the purpose of the bill is well intentioned, implementation raises a number of very troubling issues. First and foremost, a registry will actually increase the danger to children, not reduce it. The Federal Trade Commission expressed "grave concerns" about such registries and has stated that "the possibility that such a list could fall into the hands of the Internet's most dangerous users, including pedophiles, is truly chilling."

A registry also raises serious First Amendment issues rising from the chilling effect it would have on marketers' communications with legitimate customers. Because marketers have no way of confirming the physical location of the owner of an e-mail address, even those with no good faith reason to believe any customers reside in Illinois are at risk of sanctions of they do not comply. Even if the registries were not more likely to hurt than help children, the cost and administrative burden on businesses far outweigh any benefit that could arise.

We respectfully request that you opposed House Bill 572. Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

Chicago Advertising Federation
4700 W Lake Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025-1485
www.chicagoadfed.org

Northern Illinois Ad Fed
P.O. Box 1827
Rockford, IL 61110
www.niadfed.org