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Rep. Jim Matheson adds child clause to bill

WASHINGTON — An amendment by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to help protect children against Internet predators was included in a cybersecurity bill passed by the House on Thursday.

Matheson's amendment, which passed by voice vote, requires the National Science Foundation to research ways to detect, investigate and prosecute cyber crimes, including those against children and identity theft.

"Utah's top online enforcers — the Internet Crimes Against Children task force — reports that one in five Utah teens have received an unwanted online request to engage in sexual activities or provide sexual information. One in four has been exposed to online pornography," Matheson said.

"We have got to provide the research that helps law enforcement stay a step ahead of these predators and protect our kids," he said.

The overall cybersecurity bill passed 422-5 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

This story was reported from Salt Lake City.

— Lee Davidson