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Sex Offender E-Mail Registry Signed Into Law

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the island-of-liars-and-truth-tellers dept.

Communications 459

As noted in Wired yesterday, tragedy in chaos writes, "Senator and Presidential-hopeful John McCain has managed to get a new bill signed into law, in the hope of ridding online social networks of the sexual predation of children. The 'Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008,' as it is called, calls for a database to be made in which all registered sexual offenders must also register their e-mail addresses so that MySpace, Facebook, etc. can run current and hopeful users through it, and eliminate access to the offenders. Though a noble goal, this is not very well thought out in methodology. They are asking known criminals to be honest, and are expecting them not to utilize any of the free and readily available e-mail services that exist so as to circumvent the system. There is also a potential for the crafty sex offender to possibly cause false positives by just registering an address that does not belong to them, thereby drawing in innocent bystanders."

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459 comments

Yes this makes perfect sense (4, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389647)

As the honest ones who never meant any harm will stay honest, and will be flagged as outcasts. The ones who do mean harm though, will just ignore the request to be honest and register a gmail account.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (5, Insightful)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389713)

I see it as a way to tack on more charges in the future. He didn't register?! That makes him a CRIMINAL!

And it's computer related so there goes all your electronics.

Anyway, god forbid they keep dangerous people in jail. I mean, that's what it's for, right? If they're still a danger to society at large, why the hell are they not behind bars?

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389885)

I've got a solution if you're so worried about it: stop molesting kids.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (2, Funny)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389965)

clearly that will do plenty. Meanwhile, maybe someone can register bush's private email addresses as sex offenders? Multiple times even?

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389901)

Anyway, god forbid they keep dangerous people in jail. I mean, that's what it's for, right? If they're still a danger to society at large, why the hell are they not behind bars?

So you are saying there's no recourse? Why don't you just kill them then, because that would save a lot of resources and time instead of keeping "dangerous" people indefinitely.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390157)

You're absolutely correct, even if it does seem that you're being sarcastic.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (5, Interesting)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390181)

I don't know. I thought justice was more than punishment and retribution and revenge and vengeance. ...but of course, we'd have a lot more resources without the war on drugs.

The point I'm trying to make is that jail is the stated place for dangerous people, right? Where they can be kept, supervised, and (in theory) made into a productive member of society? They were held, judged unfit to be free with the rest of us, and um... released before they were deemed safe to the population?

I'm just a stickler for definitions and people holding true to doing what they say. If jail is for dangerous people, then keep dangerous people in jail. If jail is for rehabilitation, then people to be released from jail should meet whatever criteria is set and be considered free thereafter.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389925)

A very salient point: If they're still a danger to society at large, why the hell are they not behind bars?

Answer: Because without a group of people to vilify there is no easy way to sway the mindset of the public at large. If it were not for sex offenders, it might well be that we'd be protecting the children from godless atheists or some other group. Democrats perhaps? The USA system of democracy has been tortured into a shape that requires a evil-doers in order to function. We HAVE to be at war against something or nobody will vote.

Sad but true.... According to Palin, we're engaged in an economic war right now also. Not sure when that was declared or even if the McCain campaign has spoken with her about this new war, but she has announced it. Beheading of Wall street types who don't own at least 3 cars is to begin next week.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (2, Funny)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390019)

If it were not for sex offenders, it might well be that we'd be protecting the children from godless atheists...

For that, I thank them regularly for their service to society.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (4, Insightful)

spud603 (832173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389963)

Anyway, god forbid they keep dangerous people in jail. I mean, that's what it's for, right?

You make it sound like a foregone conclusion that prison is nothing more than a way to cordon off undesirables. It may well be, but that's by no means the generally accepted fact.
For the idealists out there, prison is supposed to rehabilitative. For the Machiavellians it's a political tool of disenfranchisement.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390067)

I see it as a way to tack on more charges in the future. He didn't register?! That makes him a CRIMINAL!

Haha! You'll never catch me, internets!

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389889)

What happens if I run a business. Do I have to register all of the e-mail addys on my domain? What about dynamically-generated addresses? What about anything that gets sent to my catch all e-mail address like contests I fill out?

El stupido.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389935)

Dear Mr McCain and to whom it may concern,

You don't know the internet. Hell, you probably don't know what HTTP even stands for, or even what a "byte" is. Please do not pass legislation until you understand the concepts of modern technology.

Going to go puke now as you continue to dance on our forefathers' graves, AC

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (0, Redundant)

morari (1080535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390171)

They know damn well that the internet is just a series of tubes!

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390261)

Exactly! They do not draw a line on this either. From what it says all offenders will be on there. Many are registered as non-predatory and non-violent and they will be blacklisted. You can get listed for having consensual sex and getting busted for doing this in a car. Others like high school kids that are 18 and have a 17 year old GF/BF can be listed if the parents force the issue.

Re:Yes this makes perfect sense (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390315)

Honest predators who didn't mean any harm?

I'm sorry Billy, I didn't mean to kidnap you and molest you in my cabin for 3 days until SWAT found you. I never meant to hurt anyone!

They should make a new domain (3, Funny)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389669)

They should make a new domain for sex offender e-mail addresses. Make every sex offender get an e-mail address at this domain and restrict their access to other free e-mail services. The domain can be called. hotmail.com

Re:They should make a new domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389717)

Don't forget slashdot.org and cmdrtaco.net.

Re:They should make a new domain (3, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389797)

They should make a new domain for sex offender e-mail addresses...The domain can be called. hotmail.com

That sounds more like a domain for their targets.

Newest craze (4, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389671)

"Your new account could not be created because your email address is on the US Federal Sex Offender List."

YOU GOT SEXROLL'D!

Re:Newest craze (4, Funny)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389883)

$1 to whoever gets McCain's email added. $100 to whoever adds all of Congress!

Re:Newest craze (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390139)

I think that social networking sites would actually implement such a feature, just so they can list it on their "how we protect your privacy" page. But man that sounds SO ridiculous.. your email address is blacklisted. Is there ANY identifying information in life more transient than an email address?!

Woo hoo! (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389673)

George_Lucas@starwars.com. He won't get away with it ever again...

Yes, it's a South Park reference.

Re:Woo hoo! (1)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389825)

We will never forget what they did to Indiana Jones.... Th.. The.. They raped him ***cry***

I have no problem with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389675)

It passes the Cutsey Acronym So You Know It's A Good Law test.

Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008

It's for the KIDS, afterall.

Re:I have no problem with it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389827)

Funny, I read it this way:

Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008

KidSpa: Where the pedos go

A good first step (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389681)

Any law to help protect innocent children from online predators is a step in the right direction.

Re:A good first step (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389753)

haha, yes, and any steps taken to curb terrorism are the right ones.

Re:A good first step (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389915)

Any law to help protect innocent children from online predators is a step in the right direction.

Why yes... How DARE we suggest that parents keep an eye on what their kid does online.

Security theatre at its worst...

Re:A good first step (5, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390069)

Yes, and the best way to do this is to place a blanket law over all sex offenders that makes it impossible to do normal things on the Internet, like starting a myspace page.

Despite what you think, not all registered sex offenders are evil people. A 19 year old kid can go out and get drunk with his buddies and moon people out of a moving car window, get caught and convicted of indecent exposure (a little girl said she saw the guys butt!) and has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, despite being no threat whatsoever to children.

I'm not trying to defend child molesters here; that is probably one of the worst crimes imaginable. I'm just saying that just because you're a registered sex offender, it does not always mean you're a kiddy porn hungry pervert.

Perhaps a better law would be one that provides funding to help teach kids on the Internet about sexual predators and give them the information they need to avoid them.

Re:A good first step (1)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390283)

Yeah! Who cares what the law entails, as long as it's protecting the children!

By that logic, any law that allows wiretapping on normal citizens of the US is a step in the right direction! It DOES protect us from the terrorists, right?

KID SPA 2008? (5, Funny)

kinthalas (102827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389683)

Seriously? Anyone else think that's a bad name?

Re:KID SPA 2008? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389849)

McCain's Kid Sex Pact

Re:KID SPA 2008? (1)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389949)

T'was my first thought also. Good job getting to it first!

Re:KID SPA 2008? (1)

ilikejam (762039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390285)

It's a continuation of CAN SPAM.

Another reason not to be a sex offender... (1)

Yeorwned (1233604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389689)

If your a sex offender, you are only allowed to register one e-mail address so you can't have seperate boxes for your personal and work related activities. Yes, this system will work out to be a live safer! Parents can now let their children meet their online friends with peace of mind.

We CAN'T really be this stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389691)

can we?

It takes all of seconds to get another email address. Why in the world would anyone use the email they were forced to 'register'.

Re:We CAN'T really be this stupid... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389867)

No we're not. The legislature, on the other hand...

Re:We CAN'T really be this stupid... (2, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390199)

Maybe. Perhaps a followup law could be that all spammers would have to register their email addresses, so we'd be protected from getting friend requests from women who want to show us their naughty web-cams.

That'd be just as effective, right?

Unenforceable (1)

speroni (1258316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389695)

There's no way.

Re:Unenforceable (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390269)

Sadly, I don't think that'll stop anyone from trying. I mean, you don't want to be SOFT on pedos, right?

$5 says it passes unanimously.

Re:Unenforceable (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390319)

Hmm. I guess I should have RTFS more closely.

this legislation isn't really bad... (3, Insightful)

MrCawfee (13910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389697)

... it's just stupid.

Myspace: Sorry, you can't create an account, you are a pervert.
Pervert: hmmmm, Eureka! I've Got It!
Hotmail: here, have an email account.
Myspace: I see you aren't a pervert now, welcome!

flaws maybe (1)

misterjava66 (1265146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389701)

Well one would hope that the law would have registration requirement, so that offenders would be required to register each new address.

Also, one would hope that the law would make it a crime to falsely register an address.

Re:flaws maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390147)

Listen to me and listen well.

YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE AWAY EVERY PROBLEM!!!

So it doesn't matter what the "law" says, it simply means additional avenues of punishment, not any actual prevention.

Re:flaws maybe (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390151)

One would also hope that there was a way to reliably be removed from said list, by proving who you are with said address.

Poor arguments against it (3, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389707)

They are asking known criminals to be honest, and are expecting them not to utilize any of the free and readily available e-mail services that exist so as to circumvent the system.

Gun laws do not prevent felons from using guns to commit crimes. They do, however, mean that felons who use guns to commit further crimes get to stay in prison for much longer because of having violated those gun laws in addition to whatever crime they committed with the gun. That's what this law is about. It won't keep some perv from using mailnator to set up a myspace page, but if they get caught trolling myspace with it, the fact that they didn't register their e-mail address means that they get a longer prison sentence. That's the whole point.

There is also a potential for the crafty sex offender to possibly cause false positives by just registering an address that does not belong to them, thereby drawing in innocent bystanders.

1. Cui bono? Why would they bother to do this, except just to be a dick?

2. I rather suspect that the penalty for supplying false information will be comparably stiff to not supplying it at all, which would seem to be sufficient deterrent.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389783)

2. I rather suspect that the penalty for supplying false information will be comparably stiff to not supplying it at all, which would seem to be sufficient deterrent.

Yes, because that works so well for keeping people from breaking laws.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389997)

In this case, you'd have a victim who'd be able to pretty easily identify the perp, so yeah, it WOULD work pretty well.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

davinc (575029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389851)

"It won't keep some perv from using mailnator to set up a myspace page, but if they get caught trolling myspace with it, the fact that they didn't register their e-mail address means that they get a longer prison sentence. That's the whole point." That may be the point, but the result is a person who has every corner of his public life stamped with a neon "hate and fear me even if you don't know the details of my case". Some 20 year old accidentally sleeps with a 16 yo who misrepresents herself as 18... fucked for life.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390025)

Nailing people who stray over the line has been the MO for years now. Zero tolerance for violence, zero tolerance for drugs, zero tolerance for weapons, no fly lists, the list goes on. Why? Fear. The more screwed you are if you cross the line, the more afraid you are supposed to be of getting near the line. Fear of government -> power in the hands of government. Fear has been the only source of governmental power, in one form or another, for decades. Fear of Russia, Fear of AIDS, Fear of Drugs, Fear of Strangers, Fear of Foreigners, Fear of Terrorists, Fear of Sex Offenders, it's all the same. The government feeds of your fear, drawing power from it. You want it to stop? Stop being afraid.

Re:Poor arguments against it (2, Funny)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389903)

But let me tell you, it would be far more hilarious to register Sarah Palin's yahoo account than to hack it.

Re:Poor arguments against it (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389923)

2. I rather suspect that the penalty for supplying false information will be comparably stiff to not supplying it at all, which would seem to be sufficient deterrent.

You have much in common with our elected officials. They make assumptions about the laws they sign, and don't bother to read them either. As for me, I rather suspect that you will change your tune in a hurry if your name appears in the list (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you aren't already a sex offender.)

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390227)

My name would not appear in the list, since I'm not a convicted sex offender. I presume you mean that if my e-mail address showed up as registered to a convicted sex offender. If that happens, then I'll know who did it (since the registration will have his name), and can press charges against that person for falsely registering.

Note, by the way, that I'm not in favor of this law. I'm merely saying that the arguments against it that were given in the story were dumb.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390339)

(posting as AC to not undo moderation)

That would work really well, except for the fact that all of the information someone would need to put your email address on the list is publicly available in the current list of sex offender information...

Re:Poor arguments against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390249)

You have much in common with our elected officials. They make assumptions about the laws they sign, and don't bother to read them either. As for me, I rather suspect that you will change your tune in a hurry if your name appears in the list (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you aren't already a sex offender.)

Congrats, Anonymous Coward awards you the comment of the day award. You've won an ataboy and a pat on the back. Hilarious.

Re:Poor arguments against it (5, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389945)

Gun laws do not prevent felons from using guns to commit crimes. They do, however, mean that felons who use guns to commit further crimes get to stay in prison for much longer because of having violated those gun laws in addition to whatever crime they committed with the gun. That's what this law is about. It won't keep some perv from using mailnator to set up a myspace page, but if they get caught trolling myspace with it, the fact that they didn't register their e-mail address means that they get a longer prison sentence. That's the whole point.

Then why not just make the sentence more harsh for second time offenders rather than create another law to increase the time in jail?

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390071)

*cough* mod parent UP

Well duh, this way, those on the list can contact all the others on the list, and form a group! Imagine... millions(?) of them create their own group, and private little forums now!

Re:Poor arguments against it (2, Funny)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390173)

Because that's exactly what they would expect!

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390029)

There is also a potential for the crafty sex offender to possibly cause false positives by just registering an address that does not belong to them, thereby drawing in innocent bystanders.

1. Cui bono? Why would they bother to do this, except just to be a dick?

How long have you been on the Internet?

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

tragedy in chaos (1382095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390043)

Plus you have to take into account situations as those here in North Carolina. You get registered as a sex offender for buying alcohol and tobacco for minors. While yes, a crime never the less, banned from MySpace because you bought your brother or whoever a 6-pack? that's a little extreme if anything was ever to be.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390095)

It won't keep some perv from using mailnator to set up a myspace page, but if they get caught trolling myspace with it, the fact that they didn't register their e-mail address means that they get a longer prison sentence. That's the whole point.

Why is this a good thing, exactly? If they should be in jail longer, then make the jail terms for the offense that actually hurt someone longer. I really don't see how whether they used an alternate email address or not changes how much harm was done, or how long they should be in jail for as a result. The *only* way this law makes sense is if it has preventative value. And, as other have explained in more detail, it has none. The only effects are retroactive, but the only possible benefit is preventative. That doesn't sound like a good law to me.

Passing unenforceable laws only serves to lessen respect for the law as a whole.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390121)

I didn't say it was a good thing. I said that the arguments against it in the story were dumb.

Re:Poor arguments against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390105)

1. Cui bono? Why would they bother to do this, except just to be a dick?

Hasn't there already been a case of animal rights activists falsely claiming some biologist was a pedo in order to ruin him?

It's a real danger.

Re:Poor arguments against it (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390333)

Gun laws do not prevent felons from using guns to commit crimes. They do, however, mean that felons who use guns to commit further crimes get to stay in prison for much longer because of having violated those gun laws in addition to whatever crime they committed with the gun. That's what this law is about. It won't keep some perv from using mailnator to set up a myspace page, but if they get caught trolling myspace with it, the fact that they didn't register their e-mail address means that they get a longer prison sentence. That's the whole point.

If it's easier to prove that a specific offender is using an unregistered email address than it is to prove that a specific offender committed a sex crime then maybe this law's helpful. But as probably everyone here knows it's pretty damned hard to tie a random hotmail/yahoo/gmail account to an individual.

Otherwise I just don't see the point of this law. The honest offenders won't have access to the sites. The dishonest offenders won't be visible until a serious crime is committed.

The contention that this law allows longer sentencing doesn't make any sense: don't procedures already exist for setting Federal sentencing guidelines eg "three strikes"? So why introduce more legislation?

In my opinion this is useless marketing fluff and really won't protect children in any meaningful way.

Here's a fun one: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389711)

What if someone accidentally registered info@johnmccain.com [mailto] ?

[It's the go-to direct address for McCain's contact page [johnmccain.com] ]

Re:Here's a fun one: (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389841)

"someone" would have to be someone subject to the law - a convicted sexual predator. "registration" implies tying an e-mail address to a specific individual. If that address got registered, it'd be easy to find out to whom it was registered. From there, it's one or two steps to either finding whoever fraudulently registered the address or fixing it.

Re:Here's a fun one: (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390091)

Now if, say, 700 thousand sex offenders registers all the personal addresses of all the family members of all the congresscritters who supported said law... that might be far more hilarious.

Re:Here's a fun one: (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389943)

What if someone accidentally registered info@johnmccain.com [mailto] ? [It's the go-to direct address for McCain's contact page [johnmccain.com] ]

Why, many people would applaud such a person as a hero.

Dear sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389719)

You are bringing the practice of law making into disrepute and deserve to be punched in the cock.

I hope (but doubt) there is a good appeal process (1)

OneMemeMofo (901314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389723)

Wow, if this puppy is retroactive it will only be a matter of time before dishonest people start running politician's emails through it.I suppose you have enough of them denied a myspace or facebook campaign site because they are on a sex offender list and it eventually will have an appeal process... Hope that trickles down to us little people too.

God help anyone wrongly convicted (3, Insightful)

davinc (575029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389729)

Can't imagine spending my life with that albatross around my neck when I wasn't the one to shoot it.

let me just say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389733)

it is amazing how idiotic our 'leaders' are.

Re:let me just say... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390061)

it is amazing how idiotic our 'leaders' are.

Well, it is impressive in its own way, but not surprising. Think of it as entropy in action. This process of Congressional devolution has been going on since this nation was founded, it's just that now we're reaching a critical stage. We should have been selecting for intelligent leadership for the past couple of centuries ... instead, we selected for personal aggrandizement and incompetence.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap. And boy, are we getting reaped.

Profit! (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389801)

1) Pee in bushes
2) Get on sex offender list
3) Threaten to sign up others' email addresses
4) Collect blackmail $

Well, step #4 is tricky. It's probably more likely to be used for revenge or random abuse than profit.

Re:Profit! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390103)

Well, step #4 is tricky. It's probably more likely to be used for revenge or random abuse than profit.

Yeah, when it turns out that the guy you signed up really is a sex offender, and the bastard bends you over a desk ... well.

Sounds nice, but evil at the same time (1, Troll)

maliqua (1316471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389821)

perhaps that is going a bit to far to have them banned from social networking sites and who knows what else in the future simply monitoring there actions when registered minors is involved is probably best. I'm not in support of child molesters but if they have served there time they deserve the same rights and freedoms as the rest of us including the ability to socialize online with there legitimate friends, perhaps even dating sites.. (adult dating sites ;)

Real purpose /= stated purpose (2, Interesting)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389829)

Once again the politicians, with solemn faces, intone "Save the Children!" and pass a law the only demonstrable purpose of which is to make them look caring to constituents too ignorant to see it's flaws.

I hope the USA government has a lot of disk space (2, Interesting)

Palinchron (924876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389835)

As the owner of a domain, I possess a countably infinite number of email addresses. All of them are mine, and I can use them when I feel like it. If I ever were to appear on this list, I suspect the USA government will run out of disk space before I run out of email addresses.

The same holds for anyone with a gmail account, by the way, with the *+username@gmail.com addressing scheme and all.

Alternative motive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389837)

I'm kind of wondering though if this list may end up being used to just spam them into the next century.

"Yeah, Uncle Sam likes it when you get spam faster than you can delete it. Click away dirty boy, click away..."

The only use for this law is to stack charges (2, Insightful)

Halo- (175936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389845)

I would be surprised if this law prevented even a single case of contact between a known offender and a child.

The only thing it will ever be used for is to tack another charge onto the sentences of repeat offenders if they are found to have not registered. (Which is a good thing, but is a side-effect...)

The same result could be obtained by simply increasing the punishment for sexual offenses. This would cost less are possibly deter more (since it could be across the board, and not just for reoffenders who got caught and then discovered to be in non-compliance) Of course, it wouldn't allow MySpace to slap a happy "sex-offender free zone!" sticker on their website, and wouldn't let McCain play the "See, I know about the Internet... kinda... and I protect children! Yea me!" card.

I suppose it will also be fun to see how this is spun as a groundbreaking wonderful thing in tonight's debate.

Re:The only use for this law is to stack charges (4, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390163)

The only thing it will ever be used for is to tack another charge onto the sentences of repeat offenders if they are found to have not registered. (Which is a good thing, but is a side-effect...)

A good thing? Really? I'd prefer a legal system that doesn't play shenanigans to add years to convicts' sentences, whatever the crime. If you want harder sentences for an offence, make the sentences harder, don't corrupt the legal process with this kind of crap.

Tagging (3, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389865)

Someone please tag this 'youhavegottobekiddingme'!

Do these politicians even run this drivel past their kids. Surely a 10 year old could point out the flaws in these bills...

Wow (1)

rcuhljr (1132713) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389881)

This is a ship full of fail they've created here.

Doesn't Congress Call for Testimony Anymore? (1)

LeafOnTheWind (1066228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389887)

It seems like these days Congress believes they're experts at everything. Legislation on the internet? We don't need to hear from engineers or computer scientists or anyone else with credentials in the field cause, goddamn, getting a juris doctor gives you a doctorate in everything.

I think this is happening more and more, especially in the sciences, as laymen try and insinuate that scientists actually don't know any more than them. Just 30 years ago a scientific opinion would have been worth much more.

I'm not sure what's responsible for this change in attitudes (perhaps the general anti-intellectual culture in the United States) but it's very discouraging that its become so prevalent in legislation. To be sure there are some Congressmen that still respect the opinions of the experts but I am disheartened at the amount of clearly poorly thought out technical legislation that has come out of both parties. Unlike many though, I'm not going to play the cynical middle ground and say both parties are equally horrible. The Republican Party has of late, especially with evolution, portrayed an absolutely disgusting portrait of some of America's brightest scientists and their work.

Still, slap a "protect the children tag" on it and I'm sure that a number of pathetic pandering Democrats will jump on it like always.

Re:Doesn't Congress Call for Testimony Anymore? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390367)

Even when they do call for expert testimony, it rarely changes any minds. Most of these laws (which are redundant and/or unconstitutional) are simply there to make it easier to get re-elected by "thinking of the children".

The Law is Broken (2, Insightful)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389905)

Right now no one will revise the law, but we must 'Protect the children!' but it seems that more and more the ones being caught in these laws aren't the ones we care about.

Right now there is no difference (to you, the one that reads the 'sex offender list' when someone moves onto your block) between the creepy older man that molested dozens of children and the 18 year old that had a 17 year old boyfriend/girlfriend in High School.

How about the 16 year old couple that got child pornography charges for keeping private photos of each other?

How about the 15 year old girl [unitedliberty.org] that could be forced to register as a sex offender for the next 20 years?

Yes, those dangerously disturbed should be kept away from the innocent, but you really want this kind of signal to noise? Do you really want your law enforcement to waste their time arresting High Schoolers with like-aged significant others?

Naming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25389917)

they have an anti-child predator act and they call it KID SPA? really?

not really expecting criminals to be honest (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389931)

IANAL, but the idea with these kind of laws is usually to create a lesser charge that can be used as leverage to prevent a greater crime for occurring. In this case, a sex offender can be taken offline for having their email address on a kid's forum, without having to wait for them to start a relationship with a minor. It's important to be very cautious about these kinds of laws, but in this case, I have to cautiously agree.

Enforcement by Penalty (1, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389933)

Prior to this bill no crime was committed by registering a free e-mail account when you are a sex offender. Now when Joe Sex Offender gets caught on a social network site using an illegal e-mail account he can be charged with at least one crime. Which is enough to throw him in prison for a longer time so the authorities can hold him while they investigate other crimes that he may have committed.

Then at trial he's being charged with multiple crimes and faces a much harsher punishment.

It will deter the "honest" sex offenders from using social networking sites thereby keeping them away from at least one source of temptation. The "dishonest" sex offenders will be more likely to be taken off the street if they're caught.

So this bill is a no-lose proposition. If a sex offender doesn't obey the law they're just as difficult to catch as before but they are slammed in sentencing if they do get caught. As worst it only makes things more difficult for the sex offender when they're caught. At best it keeps them off the social networking sites.

Too late (2, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389969)

Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008

So... when did the "Getting rid of the sexual predators and deviants already on the internet act" get passed?

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390375)

Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008

So... when did the "Getting rid of the sexual predators and deviants already on the internet act" get passed?

Because GRISPDAIA doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Seriously? (3, Funny)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25389973)

This can't be real, can it? Did he threaten to clog their tubes if they didn't comply?

Sigh. [govtrack.us]

No rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390059)

Who cares that these sex offenders have served their time and returned to society? They have no rights and shouldn't expect to be able to get jobs or engage in normal social activities again. How DARE they expect to be able to register on something like MySpace and talk to friends! They don't deserve friends. They're scum!

Do Not Fly List (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390097)

The "Do Not Fly List" is for people who are considered not too dangerous to be arrested for (whatever action), but are considered too dangerous to fly.

Here you have another kind of these lists.

Resolve the problem by the roots, take computers away from children :-)

No catchy acronym this time? (1)

ElGanzoLoco (642888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390197)

I can't believe they couldn't find a catchy acronym this time, like with the PATRIOT Act back in 2001!

C'mon guys, use some imagination! How about the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Dirty Icky Erotomaniac Pedophiles, Offenders, Rapists and Nazis Act" : the KIDDIEPORN Act. Brilliant, right?

Oh, wait...

Sounds about as useful as airport security (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390217)

There isn't much they can actually do, but there's lots of reasons to try. Make people feel safe, make themselves look good, etc. That said, I'd wouldn't be surprised if it did help catch the odd crazy, but at the cost of lots of wasted time effort, money, and lots of false positives.

Poorly Designed and Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390239)

Sorry McCain, but parents and kids already have the email addresses they need to be worried about. Seeing as most sex crimes are performed by family members they just need to check their own address books.

Not only is this law full of problems but it will be overall ineffective against preventing sex crimes.

Hey editors: This isn't McCain's bill! (5, Informative)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25390341)

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-431 [govtrack.us]

Sponsor: Sen. Charles Schumer [D-NY]

Co-Sponsors:
Cosponsors [as of 2008-10-15]
Sen. Ted Stevens [R-AK]
Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]
Sen. John Kerry [D-MA]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]
Sen. Barack Obama [D-IL]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R-AZ]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I-CT]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-ME]
Sen. Michael Crapo [R-ID]
Sen. Arlen Specter [R-PA]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D-SD]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-LA]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Sen. Charles Grassley [R-IA]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX]
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]
Sen. David Vitter [R-LA]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]

Any reason you feel like mentioning McCain but not Hillary, or the fact that they were merely co-sponsors? Or the fact that the vote was in fact, unanimous?

Submit form URL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25390363)

Where's the URL? There's a bunch of email addresses I'd like to submit. Say benedictxvi@vatican.va...

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