Georgia

Population

10,214,860

Population 0‑18

24.7%

Internet Users

76.5%

Home Internet Subscribers

72.9%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2007 – The Internet Safety Policies in Public Schools law required each local board of education to develop an acceptable use policy for use of the Internet no later than January 2007. The provision of Internet filtering software is also mandated in this legislation. If local boards of education were CIPA-compliant, they were exempt from this section.

Also by January 2007, each public library was required to develop an acceptable use policy for the Internet. The provision of Internet filtering software is also mandated in this legislation. If a public library was already CIPA-compliant, they were exempt from this section.

2009 – Per Georgia’s learning standards, the Business and Computer Science curriculum covers Internet safety and usage. From grade 6, students learn how to identify online security concerns such as cyber-predators and discuss the legal implications of hacking, virus dissemination and software piracy. Grade 7 students will additionally become familiar with strategies for online safety and learn about the importance of not sharing personal information on the Internet.

2010 – The state legislature passed the Program for Educating Students Regarding Online Internet Safety law. It required the Department of Education to develop a program to educate students on Internet safety. Each local board of education was to incorporate the program into their instructional program and teach it on their own schedule.

2011 – The Georgia State Board of Education adopted the National Educational Technology Standards for Students. The six standards are: creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking and problem solving, digital citizenship, and technology operations. The curriculum is for grades K-8.

As of August 2011, all local school boards were required by law to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying, and requiring that students found guilty of bullying on three or more occasions are assigned to an alternative school. The law’s definition of bullying includes the use of data or software that is accessed through a computer.

2012 – During the 2011/2012 school year, the average student to computer ratio in Georgia was 111:50. Of eighth grade students assessed, 32 percent had achieved the state’s 21st century skills and 74 percent were technology literate.

2015 – During the 2014/2015 school year, Georgia public schools had an average student to computer ratio of 8:5.

The same year, Georgia received a grant for a SketchUp Pro Statewide K-12 License. The grant enables teachers to use software to create 3D models, and is applicable to multiple grade levels and content areas.

Also in 2015, the state passed The End to Cyberbullying Act. It includes cyberbullying through electronic communications, whether or not the bullying took place on school property or used school equipment. Schools are to revise their own policies to comply with the new law.

Attorney General of Georgia

One of the state Attorney General’s areas of focus is human trafficking. The office’s website lists red flags of the trafficking of youth and provides definitions of human trafficking and sexual servitude, as well as a legal overview.

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia

This group provides direct services to Children’s Advocacy Centers across the state. It also aids in outreach and awareness activities, and hosts an annual conference.

GALILEO

Since 1995, the state government has funded this online library system, providing all citizens and students with access to research databases.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation

This department is tasked with investigating crimes in the state, incorporating technology into its investigations. It has a specialized Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, which is home to the Georgia ICAC Task Force.

Georgia CyberSafety Initiative (GaCSI)

The initiative is a multi-agency collaboration working together to bring the message of cyber-safety to Georgia students, schools, families, and communities. This partnership includes the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

Georgia Department of Education

The education department includes the Office of Technology Service and an instructional technology training team to help teachers use education technology. The department’s website has bullying prevention information and resources, as well as a cybersafety flowchart.

Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force

Georgia’s ICAC Task Force is housed within the state police department’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit. Its mission is to assist local and state law enforcement in developing an effective response to online enticement, child pornography cases and child sex trafficking. This includes forensics, investigations, training, victim services, prevention and awareness raising activities.

Georgia Microsoft IT Academy

The state Department of Education and Microsoft partnered to provide the IT Academy program to teachers. Educators throughout the state can access tools and resources for teaching 21st century skills, and enhance teachers’ own professional development.

Georgia Public Broadcasting: The Georgia Partnership for a Child-Safe Internet

This site contains podcasts from a range of experts on a variety of Internet safety topics, including cyberbullying and teens’ use of technology.

Georgia Virtual Learning/School

Georgia Virtual Learning provides online educational content for students, parents and educators at no cost. Georgia Virtual School is an accredited online school that works in partnership with schools and parents to offer middle school and high school courses. Classes are led by teachers and supported with an online media center and a guidance center.

Keep Georgia Safe

This nonprofit organization provides safety education and crime prevention training in Georgia. It runs media campaigns and online outreach programs, part of which focus on cyberbullying and Internet safety.

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia

A state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, this nonprofit group aims to prevent child abuse, raises public awareness, conducts research on child abuse in Georgia, and conducts advocacy activities.

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws in Georgia: Strengthening Protection for Georgia's Children (2015)

M. Johnson

This paper examines Georgia’s mandated reporting law and evaluates its sufficiency for protecting children in the state.

Cyberbullying Among School-Aged Adolescents and Teens: A Policy Review and Recommendations for Georgia (2013)

B. Bennett

This paper synthesizes cyberbullying research among school-aged children and describes current policies in place to address it.

An Empirical Case Study of a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative in Georgia (2012)

D.J. Schober, S.B. Fawcett, S. Thigpen, A. Curtis, R. Wright

This empirical case study describes Prevent Child Abuse Georgia’s effort to prevent child sexual abuse by educating communities throughout the state on supporting preventive behavior.

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia: A Look at Management and Marketing (2009)

N.R. Tullis

This paper evaluates Prevent Child Abuse Georgia's challenges and provides recommendations to the organization.

Information Literacy and Flexible Scheduling for Elementary Media Centers: A Quantitative Study in Southeastern Georgia (2008)

S.G. Warner

This study addresses social change through the adoption of district and state policies that mandate flexible scheduling in media centers across all grade levels.

Bridging the Digital Divide: The Story of the Free Internet Initiative in LaGrange, Georgia (2003)

M. Keil, G.W. Meader, L. Kvasny

This paper describes the Free Internet Initiative in LaGrange, Georgia, which largely fell short of its goal to bridge the digital divide.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

The age of consent in Georgia is 16 years old.

In Georgia, crimes designated as misdemeanors carry a maximum term of 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000. Misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature carry a maximum term of 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.

  • Georgia Code (O.C.G.A.) § 16-5-40. Kidnapping. A person commits this offense when he/she abducts or steals away another person unlawfully and holds the person against his/her will. This offense is punishable by 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment if the victim was 14 or older, and life imprisonment or a sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment and life probation if the victim was younger than 14 years old.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-5-46. Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude. A person commits the offense of trafficking for sexual servitude when a person subjects another person or maintains another person in sexual servitude; or knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, provides, or obtains another person for the purpose of sexual servitude. The age of consent or the accused lack of knowledge of the victim’s age is no defense. The sexual history or history of commercial sexual activity of the trafficking victim shall be excluded from evidence if it will prejudice, confuse or mislead the jury. In this section, sexual servitude means sexually explicit conduct or performance for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised or received, and where the conduct is induced or obtained through coercion or deception of a person. Any person who commits this offense is guilty of a felony and is liable to 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000. A person commits this crime against a person under 18 years old through coercion or deception is guilty of a felony and is liable to 25 to 50 years or life imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47. Posting Model Notice with Human Trafficking Hotline Information in Businesses and Internet. As of September 2013, the following businesses must post a notice regarding human trafficking, and providing the human trafficking hotline phone number, in English and Spanish in public restrooms and another conspicuous location: adult entertainment establishments, bars, airports, rail stations, bus stations, truck stops, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and hotels. Law enforcement shall notify any business that has failed to comply, and if it does not correct the violation within 30 days it is liable to a misdemeanor charge and may be punished by a fine of up to $500. The owner of such an establishment guilty of a second or subsequent offense has committed a high and aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-5-90. Stalking. Defines stalking as, among other definitions, contacting another person without consent for the purpose of harassment or intimidation. This explicitly includes contact by computer, computer network, or by any other electronic device. Stalking is a misdemeanor. Second and subsequent convictions felonies, punishable by imprisonment for one to 10 years.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-5-110. Notification of Conviction and Release from Confinement of Sex Offenders. When a person convicted of a crime, for which he/she is required to register, makes his/her first report to a sheriff after being released from confinement, placed on probation or upon establishing residency in the county, the sheriff shall publish a notice of conviction and release about the person to the community.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1. Rape. Defines the offense as forcible carnal knowledge with a female against her will, or where she is less than 10 years old. A person found guilty of rape may be sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole, with a minimum term of 25 years.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2. Sodomy; Aggravated Sodomy. States that where a person performs a sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another a crime is committed. The maximum sentence for this is 20 years’ imprisonment. The offense is aggravated when the victim is under 10 years old. This carries a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years. If the victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of sodomy is 18 or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, then he/she is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-3. Statutory Rape. This section states that anyone who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16 is guilty of statutory rape, punishable by imprisonment for between one and 20 years. Where the offender is aged 21 or above, an aggravated sentence of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment will apply. The section also states that where the victim is at least 14 but under 16 and the offender is aged 18 or under and no more than four years older than the victim, then the offense is classed as a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4. Child Molestation; Aggravated Child Molestation. Defines the offense as committing any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of a child under the age of 16. It also details the transmission by any electronic device of images of a person engaging, inducing or participating in an indecent or immoral act on a child under the age of 16. The section allows for sentencing as a misdemeanor where the victim is aged between 14 and 16 and the perpetrator is 18 or younger and no more than four years older than the victim. Otherwise, for a first offense there is a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years. For second and subsequent offenses the prison term minimum is set at 10 years, with a maximum sentence of 30 years, unless the state gives notice prior to trial that it intends to seek a life sentence. The more serious offense of aggravated child molestation is defined as child molestation in conjunction with an act of sodomy or where the offender physically injures the child. This carries a prison term of up to life imprisonment – with a minimum term of 25 years, followed by lifetime probation, if it is agreed that a full life term is not needed. Where the victim is aged between 13 and 16, the offender is aged 18 or under and no more than four years older than the victim, and the charge for aggravated child molestation was based on an act of sodomy, the offense will be treated as a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5. Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes. Defines the offense as soliciting, enticing or taking a child under the age of 16 to any place for the purposes of indecent acts or child molestation. The sentence for this offense is 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment, unless the offender is 18 or younger, no more than four years older than the victim and the victim is aged between 14 and 16 years or age in which case it is deemed to be a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-5.1. Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority; Sexual Assault by Practitioner of Psychotherapy Against Patient; Consent Not a Defense; Penalty Upon Conviction for Sexual Assault. A person who has disciplinary or supervisory authority over another person commits this offense when he/she is the principal, assistant principal, teacher or an administrator at any school and engages in sexual contact with an individual enrolled at the same school, among other listed offenses. Consent of the victim is no defense. A person convicted of this crime shall be punished by imprisonment for one to 25 years and/or a fine of up to $100,000, provided that a person who sexually assaults a child under the age of 16 shall be punished by imprisonment for 25 to 50 years. If the victim is between the ages of 14 and 16 and the actor is 18 years old or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-15. Solicitation for Sodomy. States, among other things, that anyone who solicits a minor under the age of 18 to perform or submit to an act of sodomy for money is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for a term between five to 20 years in addition to a fine of between $2,500 and $10,000.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-6-22.1. Sexual Battery. States that a person commits an offense if they intentionally make physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without their consent. A conviction for this offense carries punishment in line with that for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. A second conviction increases the sentence to between one and five years’ imprisonment. A person convicted of this offense against any child under 16 shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-11-90. Prohibition on nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions. A person violates this section if he/she knowingly and without consent of the person depicted electronically transmits, or causes to be transmitted, a photographic or video depicting nudity or sexually explicit conduct of an adult when the transmission or post is harassment or cause financial loss to the depicted person. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor, and on a second or subsequent violation is guilty of a felony, punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100. Sexual Exploitation of Children; Reporting Violation; Forfeiture; Penalties. Defines the offense as to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any minor to engage in or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual medium depicting such conduct or performance. The section also states that it is illegal to create, reproduce, publish, promote, sell, distribute, give, exhibit, or possess with intent to sell or distribute any visual medium which depicts a minor or a portion of a minor’s body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct, or to advertise or sell the like. Bringing such material into Georgia is also an offense, as is simple possession. The section requires anyone responsible for producing or processing visual or printed matter to report any violations under this section to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and provide immunity from civil liability. Failure to report the offense is a misdemeanor. Allows for forfeiture of property by those considered to have profited from the sale or distribution of depictions in violation of this section. The penalty for this felony offense is a prison term of five to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000, unless the victim is related to the perpetrator in which case no fine is levied.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.1. Electronically Furnishing Obscene Material to Minors. Defines the offense as deliberately furnishing a minor (an unmarried child of 18 years of age or younger) with obscene material by electronic means. This offense is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. A person violating this code is guilty of a misdemeanor if the minor receiving the obscene materials was at least 14 years old, the minor gave permission to receive the materials, and the defendant was 18 years old or younger.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.2. Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. Defines the offense as (among other definitions) making, transmitting or reproducing an image of a child, or receiving or exchanging details about a child including name or contact details for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Chat rooms, bulletin boards and email are all specifically included as means of communication. This felony carries a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, and each violation of this section is to be treated as a separate offense. It is unlawful for any person to use a computer wireless service or internet service to seduce, solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to do so, to another person whom the offender believes to be a child or any person having custody of a child. This is a felony punishable by one to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. A person commits the offense of obscene internet conduct with a child if he/she has contact with someone he/she knows to be or believes to be a child via a computer wireless service or internet service, and the contact involves any matter containing explicit verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse that is intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire or either person. An offense is a felony punishable by one to 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000. For any of the above offenses, when the child is at least 14 and the defendant is 18 years old or younger, the crime is a misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.3. Obscene Telephone Contact; Conviction; Penalties. Defines the offense of have sexually explicit aural contact with a child under the age of 14. A person 17 years old who commits this crime is guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor. If the offender is less than 21 years old, he/she is guilty of a misdemeanor. The judge may probate the sentence regardless of the offender’s age on the condition that the he/she undergoes mandatory psychological counselling. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender is guilty of a felony and is subject to imprisonment for one to five years.
  • O.C.G.A. § 16-12-101 - 105. Sale or Distribution of Harmful Material to Minors. Anyone who knowingly sells or loans for monetary consideration or otherwise furnishes or disseminates to a minor material that is sexually explicit is guilty of this offense. Anyone who sells or furnishes to a minor an admission ticket to a sexually explicit motion picture, show or presentation, or sells or furnishes to a person under 21 years old an admission ticket to premises whereon there is a show or a performance containing sexually explicit nudity of live performers or similar conduct is also guilty of this offense. It is unlawful for a person to falsely represent his/her age to unlawfully procure material or an admission ticket as described in this section. It is illegal for any person to knowingly exhibit sexually explicit or similarly offensive material at public newsstands or other businesses in public places. A person who violates this section shall be punished with a civil fine of $250 to $500 for each violation. Each day in violation of this subsection shall constitute a separate offense.
  • O.C.G.A. § 39-5-2. Notification to Subscribers of Products that Limit, Restrict, or Monitor a Minor’s Use of the Internet. Requires Internet access providers to make available products which can block access to specific websites or restrict a minor’s access to the Internet. The product must also allow the subscriber to view websites which have been visited or blocked by the product. The provider may levy a charge for this service.
  • O.C.G.A. § 39-5-4. Report of Certain Information; Failure to Report Required Information; Penalties. Requires an interactive computer service which does business in the state to report any violation of Georgia’s child pornography laws to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline. Such a company that knowingly and willfully violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and on a second or subsequent offense is guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor.
  • O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12. State Sexual Offender Registry. Defines a range of offenses which require an offender to register as a sex offender. Requires the offender to register with the state within a set period of time after release from prison or upon moving into the state. Among the information details to be supplied by the offender are email addresses, usernames or passwords. Law enforcement agencies are to inform the public of sex offenders living in their community. An individual who fails to comply with this section or provides false information is guilty of a felony punishable by one to 30 years’ imprisonment. Upon a second offense, the defendant is punishable by imprisonment for five to 30 years.
  • O.C.G.A. § 42-1-15. Restriction on registered offenders residing, working, or loitering within certain distance of child care facilities, churches, schools, or areas where minors congregate; penalty for violations; civil causes of action. Registered sex offenders are prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet of any child care facility, school, church or area where minors congregate. No registered sex offender may be employed by or volunteer at any child care facility, school, church, or business located within 1,000 feet of such a place. An individual who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a felony and is liable to 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment.