This has to be the dumbest idea i’ve ever seen. NJ is trying to force social Networks and dating sites to conduct background checks on anyone signing up to their sites. The key wording here is “social referral services”. This will probably be one of the biggest stories in 2008 if it goes through, as it will open the door to all kinds of regulation on the internet in the US.
d. “Internet dating service” means a person or entity directly or indirectly in the business, for profit, of offering, promoting or providing access to dating, relationship, compatibility, matrimonial or social referral services principally on or through the Internet.
f. “Member” means a customer, client or participant who submits to an Internet dating service information required to access the service for the purpose of engaging in dating, relationship, compatibility, matrimonial or social referral.
OPW — Jan 14 — Emily Hackett from the Internet Alliance sent me the following note…
The NJ Governor is going to sign this bill unless he gets email from affected constituents, e.g. on line daters and dating and social networking industry doing business in New Jersey, asking for a veto SB 1977. You are our last and best hope for a veto. It is the 11th Hour in NJ. Governor John Corizon can at any moment sign, and has until Jan. 15th at noon to sign, the first online dating bill in the 50 states. The very powerful Senate Leader Cody included SB 1977 in a trio of bills trumpeted as increasing online safety. We at the Internet Alliance believe offering criminal background checks for online daters provides a false sense of security. We also think online dating is an activity and an industry that does not need to be regulated. Finally, we think the bill as written is unconstitutional. We are afraid when this bill passes in New Jersey it will open the floodgates for regulation of dating and social network sites. Click here for email address and more info.