14-208.15A. Release of online identifiers to entity; fee.

(a) The Department of Public Safety may release registry information regarding a registered offender's online identifier to an entity for the purpose of allowing the entity to prescreen users or to compare the online identifier information with information held by the entity as provided by this section.

(b) An entity desiring to prescreen its users or compare its database of registered users to the list of online identifiers of persons in the statewide registry may apply to the Department of Public Safety to access the information. An entity that complies with the criteria developed by the Department of Public Safety regarding the release and use of the online identifier information and pays the fee may screen new users or compare its database of registered users to the list of online identifiers of persons in the statewide registry as frequently as the Department of Public Safety may allow for the purpose of identifying a registered user associated with an online identifier contained in the statewide registry.

(c) The Department of Public Safety may charge an entity that submits a request for the online identifiers of persons in the statewide registry an annual fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). Fees collected under this section shall be credited to the Department of Public Safety and applied to the cost of providing this service.

(d) The Department of Public Safety shall develop standards regarding the release and use of online identifier information. The standards shall include a requirement that the information obtained from the statewide registry shall not be disclosed for any purpose other than for prescreening its users or comparing the database of registered users of the entity against the list of online identifiers of persons in the statewide registry.

(e) An entity that receives:

(1) A complaint from a user of the entity's services that a person uses its service to solicit a minor by computer to commit an unlawful sex act as defined in G.S. 14-202.3, or

(2) A report that a user may be violating G.S. 14-190.17 or G.S. 14-190.17A by posting or transmitting material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity,

shall report that information and the online identifier information of the person allegedly committing the offense, including whether that online identifier is included in the statewide registry, to the Cyber Tip Line at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which shall forward that report to an appropriate law enforcement official in this State. The offense is committed in the State for purposes of determining jurisdiction, if the transmission that constitutes the offense either originates in the State or is received in the State.

(f) An entity that complies with this section in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability resulting from either of the following:

(1) The entity's refusal to provide system service to a person on the basis that the entity reasonably believed that the person was subject to registration under State sex offender registry laws.

(2) A person's criminal or tortious acts against a minor with whom the person had communicated on the entity's system. (2008-220, s. 9; 2009-272, s. 2; 2014-100, ss. 17.1(o), (r).)