HB 535 Would Improve Parents’ Ability to Protect Children

State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) today announced that the House has passed House Bill 535, which increases the rights of parents or guardians to monitor the electronic communications used by their children.

Specifically, HB 535 exempts a parent, or anyone acting as a guardian over a minor child, from the prohibition against intercepting from their child a wire, oral or electronic communication. This definition includes communication in which the child participates, is a recipient of a message or is the intended recipient, so long as the interception is made in good faith for the child’s protection.

“The Internet obviously provides useful tools for young people in Ohio, but there are also definite risks,” said Rep. Brian Hill, the bill sponsor. “It is necessary that we have necessary laws in place so parents have the ability to protect their children from those who wish to do them harm. This bill will support parents who seek to protect their children by remaining vigilant over their child’s online activity.”

Rep. Hill began crafting HB 535 after speaking with Muskingum County Judge Eric Martin, who brought the issue to his attention.

“After hearing of this matter from Judge Martin, I felt that not only as a legislator but also as a father, that we need to strengthen our laws to assist parents in protecting their children,” Hill said. “As Father’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of the responsibility I took on when becoming a father and I thank my colleagues and Judge Martin for their assistance through the legislative process.”

The bill passed the House unanimously and will now head to the Senate for further consideration.



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