Michigan Registry Protects Children from Spam

When a contact point, such as an e-mail address, receives an ad for items such as pornography, tobacco, gambling, alcohol and illegal drugs, it sends a message to the attorney general's office.

by / July 2, 2008

Michigan's Protect MI Child registry today marked its third anniversary, helping to protect thousands of Michigan children from illegal electronic messages. The registry is administered by the Michigan Public Service Commission, an agency within the Department of Labor & Economic Growth.

The registry, which was established on July 1, 2005, gives parents and others the opportunity to register e-mail addresses, instant message IDs, mobile text messaging devices and fax numbers to which children have access.

"Children face real risks every time they turn on a computer," noted MPSC Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu. "The Protect MI Child Registry provides parents and others with a practical way to protect children from harmful material found throughout the electronic world."

Over 6,000 individual electronic addresses have been registered. In addition, schools and organizations have registered over 220 e-mail domains, leading to another 118,000 children being protected by the registry. Also, over 600 instant message IDs, mobile text messaging devices, and fax numbers have also been registered.

Registered contact points are protected by law from receiving messages that promote products or services that are legally prohibited for children. Examples include pornography, tobacco, gambling, alcohol and illegal drugs. Senders of prohibited messages are required to remove registered contact points from their electronic mailing lists within 30 days of the registration.

Contact point registrations are effective for three years or until the youngest child with access to the contact point reaches the age of 18. It is important that current registrants whose contact points are near expiration renew their registration. Registrations may be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period. Registration is free and the process is easy.

A complaint may be filed by going to. The Michigan Attorney General's office is responsible for the enforcement and investigation of complaints. A first violation is a misdemeanor; subsequent violations are felonies. Civil penalties may also be sought.

A Consumer Alert with more details about the Protect MI Child registry is available on the MPSC's Web site under telephone alerts.