Secretary of State to run registry protecting children from adult Internet and phone ads
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Families encouraged to register on the Michigan Child Protection Registry
LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is urging Michigan families to block electronic adult ads, messages and pornography from reaching children by joining the Michigan Child Protection Registry. Studies show an increasing number of young people are using Internet-based devices, with children as young as age two using tablets, mobile phones and computers.
Similar to the National Do Not Call Registry, the Michigan Child Protection Registry is a free and secure program that families can use to block adult-oriented ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography, online gambling and illegal drugs from reaching their email inboxes, cell phones or instant messenger IDs. Once a family has entered their information, companies that send messages that advertise or link to prohibited products or services are required to remove them from their mailing lists within 30 days.
Johnson, who has a teenage daughter, said the registry helps provide a frontline defense for parents in an ever-expanding electronic playing field.
"It's a struggle for parents to just keep up with the new social media sites and the online games our kids are using," she said. "But this registry is an easy and simple way to put some controls in place."
The registry, which was transferred from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to the Secretary of State's office by Executive Order, has been an active program in the State of Michigan for more than nine years.
Gov. Rick Snyder said transferring the registry to Johnson's office will better help shield families from unwanted adult advertising.
"I am confident that, under the leadership of Secretary of State Johnson and with the department's resources, the program will deliver the best possible service for Michigan families," Snyder said.
Former Senate majority leader Mike Bishop was the original sponsor of the legislation creating the registry and remains a strong advocate for greater Internet safety provisions for children.
"One of my proudest accomplishments as an elected member of government was the passage of my bill to protect children from online predators," Bishop said. "I am pleased to see that my friend and our Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, and her able staff, will be on duty for our children. The Child Protection Registry is in great hands."
Johnson, who has an ongoing interest in child protection issues, believes housing the registry within the Secretary of State's office makes sense. "Our department has contact with more Michigan citizens than any other state agency and that provides an ideal opportunity for us to advance the mission of this registry and protect our children," she said.
The Michigan Child Protection Registry blocks registered contact points for three years or until the youngest child with access to the contact point reaches the age of 18. Registrations may be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period. For more information or to join the registry, please visit ProtectMiChild.com.
To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit www.michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/michigansos. Online services are available at www.expresssos.com.
Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).
For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520.