Gwinnett Daily Post

A measure that U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath has been working on for five years to protect children from online exploitation became law this week.

The REPORT Act that President Joe Biden signed into law on Tuesday included the END Child Exploitation Act that McBath had repeatedly tried to get passed on its own. McBath first filed her measure in 2019, and again in 2021 and 2023 before it was eventually merged into the REPORT Act.

“As modern technology advances and evolves, so do the risks and threats facing our children,” McBath said. “We must give parents and law enforcement every tool necessary to put an end to child abuse and exploitation on the internet.

“I am so pleased that my legislation was included in the package that President Biden signed into law (Tuesday). As a mother, I will never stop fighting for the safety of our children in their classrooms, at home, and online.”

McBath’s END Child Exploitation Act, which had a bipartisan set of co-sponsors, was designed to extend the period during which technology companies have to keep information about child sexual abuse images that they report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The idea is that making the companies keep that information for longer periods of time will help law enforcement as they investigate child exploitation.

The ultimate goal is that the added assistance will mean law enforcement has a greater chance of bringing missing children home and holder perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Representatives and senators from both sides of the aisle worked together to assemble the bipartisan package of efforts that became the REPORT Act, which is aimed at stopping online child abuse.