http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/t...ssages-223910?Arizona is considering legislation that would let parents see the text messages on the phones of their children, if they're under the age of 18. The bill is proposed by a state senator who has six daughters -- with understandable concerns for their safety and the safety of other minors who might be victims of harassment or bullying.
Senate Bill 1219 would let wireless carriers charge parents to see their kids' text messages, which right now can only be viewed by parents who obtain a court order. If the law passes, carriers would still need to get consent first from the minor before allowing parents to view the messages.
“If I have a 13-year-old being harassed via text, I can’t call and get those texts,” State Sen. Rich Crandall, who's proposing the law, told the Arizona Republic. “This bill will allow me to at least pay to see the text messages for my children."
CTIA, the trade industry association that represents U.S. wireless carriers, is against the legislation, saying it will not only conflict with federal law, but also be unrealistic.
"Under federal law, electronic communication service providers must obtain consent from the content originator, which would be the children, not their parents," said Jamie Hastings, CTIA vice president, external and state affairs, in a statement to msnbc.com.
"Effectively obtaining consent is quite unworkable. Moreover, even if consent was obtained, consent does not last indefinitely for all future communications; effective consent can be revoked at any time. Ultimately, there is no way for a wireless provider to know whether consent obtained in the past still applies to text messages sent several months or years later. If this law was passed, a service provider, once receiving a parental request, would have to either independently obtain consent from a minor child or risk violating either state or federal law."
The bill has been approved by the state Senate's Judiciary Committee, but has some more hurdles ahead. It requires approval by the state Senate, then the House and finally, the governor.
Another state senator proposed a less-complicated, but also less virtuous approach for parents who want to see their kids' text messages.
"Why don't you take a flashlight and go in the closet and read the texts?" said state Sen. Judy Burges, a member of Judiciary Committee who voted against the legislation.