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Sex Offenders Must Hand Over Online Passwords

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the give-it-up dept.

Privacy 630

mytrip writes "Privacy advocates are questioning an aggressive Georgia law set to take effect Thursday that would require sex offenders to hand over Internet passwords, screen names and e-mail addresses. Georgia joins a small band of states complying with guidelines in a 2006 federal law requiring authorities to track Internet addresses of sex offenders, but it is among the first to take the extra step of forcing its 16,000 offenders to turn in their passwords as well."

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Constitutionality (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274675)

Yay Big Brother!

Seriously, if these people have done their time, leave them the fuck alone.

Re:Constitutionality (4, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274745)

Equality under the law is a Gaussian distribution from law offenders of a kind to law offenders of another kind. A bit like 2+2=5 for large values of 2. Some people are always a bit more equal than others.

Re:Constitutionality (-1, Troll)

Hamoohead (994058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274887)

If these people have fucked children, fuck em and never leave them the fuck alone.

Re:Constitutionality (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274951)

"Sex Offender" != "Child Molester" (!= "Pedophile" for that matter, not that it's relevant)

You can get tagged as the former for getting caught urinating in public in some places. Yeah, I'm fine with banning child molesters from social networks and forcing at least a reasonable degree of transparency in their online activity (I can see no reason they'd have to give up their banking passwords, etc.), but do you think it's fair that someone who got cited for doing something stupid after having a bit too much to drink would have no online privacy, period? Because if so, please get the fuck out of my country.

But think of the children (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274975)

Who - the children? Dont you think they have suffered enough allready!

Re:Constitutionality (2, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274925)

Heh, they should also make them use dialup. A very slow loading connection would give them time to think "man, this is actually kind of gross". A good 20k should be enough for any sex offender!

Re:Constitutionality (4, Insightful)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275055)

Scratch that, not every sex offender necessarily looked at kiddie porn - my ignorant mistake. What actually made me remember was a neighbor that moved in a while back that had to do the door-to-door signature thing, and when I asked him what he did he said he got caught pissing in the bushes by the wrong cop back when he was in his twenties, and now he's registered for life.

Its kind of sad for those situations really, because for one I didn't even know you could get registered for that, and now that poor guy who probably just had to pee really bad now has to get sigs and (if he lives in Georgia) hand over his internet passwords. Pissing in the bushes apparently lands you on the same level of shame as Gary Glitter these days.

Re:Constitutionality (5, Insightful)

Kibblet (754565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275207)

YEah, my neighsbor said he pissed in public and got arrested and put on the list. LAter on I found he sexually assaulted a 14 year old -- after he was picked up again for assaulting a 16 year old. But hey, yeah, he "pissed on a bush". I can understand not trusting the government, but that doesn't mean that you can trust the criminal, either. Don't let your hate for the government mean your common sense goes out the window.

Re:Constitutionality (4, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275233)

and when I asked him what he did he said he got caught pissing in the bushes by the wrong cop back when he was in his twenties
 
Just getting arrested doesn't mean he has to be on the sex offender list - he had to also get charged by the wrong DA and sentenced by the wrong judge. And all this time he hasn't written to the governor for a pardon? If the arrest record DOES show '~20 yro pissing in bushes while drunk in view of underage passersby' then the gov would probably take pity. With all the registration whatnot he has to go through you can probably verify his story. If you feel sorry for him and his story is true you can write to the governor yourself in support of his pardon request.

Re:Constitutionality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275033)

Yay Big Brother!

Seriously, if these people have done their time, leave them the fuck alone.

That's the thing. Sex offenders are among the MOST likely to offend AGAIN and REPEATEDLY, even after they have been "rehabilitated." Personally, I have no problem with this. These perverts lost all of their rights to a private life once they forcefully or otherwise invaded the privacy of someone else.

Re:Constitutionality (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275127)

Like a previous poster pointed out Sex Offender != Child Molester != Pedophile. Seriously, there are lots of ways to become a "sex offender" without even having anything to do with kids. Such things like urinating outside can force someone to be registered as a "sex offender" seriously, yes, there are some really sick people out there that are sex offenders but there are even more who really didn't do anything bad (no, peeing on a tree does not qualify as being a sex offender in most people's consciousnesses)

Re:Constitutionality (0, Flamebait)

Sidzilla (710875) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275037)

Part of the condition of their release from prison is that they give up rights that you and I take for granted and treasure. They wanted to put their dick where it didn't belong so much that they were willing to risk those rights. They gambled and lost, so to hell with them. I hope they put RFID chips in them and track them like the animals they are.

Re:Constitutionality (3, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275143)

"Part of the condition of their release from prison is that they give up rights that you and I take for granted and treasure."

Err...where do you live where this is the case? I think with sex offenders, like with any criminal conviction, once you do your time...pretty much all rights are restored (except in some states where voting and gun ownership is revoked for felons, but, not in all states).

"They wanted to put their dick where it didn't belong so much that they were willing to risk those rights."

Err...not all sex offenders are men. Recenly, a teenage girl was convicted of a sex offense for sending pics of herself to other teens....so, she is marked for life with this now? Some college kids get picked up at Mardi Gras for getting a little too drunk and urinating in public...and that can carry a sex offense conviction..they should be marked for life?

Hell, it seems that laws today, are making it easier for someone convicted of bank robbery or homicide after prison that someone that might have 'flashed' someone....which really harmed no one long term.

Re:Constitutionality (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275231)

Look, like other posters have pointed out Sex Offender != Child Molester != Pedophile. The main problem is, someone who did something stupid once (like deciding to pee on a tree rather than indoors) that didn't harm anyone but just managed to make the wrong cop mad, gets stuck on the same list as the guy who raped 10 kids. What we really need is a ranking of things.

Level 1 is small things like indecent exposure, etc. Which has 6 months of tracking and then its wiped off your record.

Level 2 is small things that are considered to be morally bad but did not harm anyone such as child pornography. Which has 2 years of tracking and is not wiped off your record but would not be publicly listed.

Level 3 are things in which people were harmed, but the offender has made positive steps towards rehabilitation. This has 15 years of tracking and is not wiped off your record. Such people would be publicly listed and for the 15 years might have to give online info.

Level 4 are things in which people were harmed and no or little steps were made towards rehabilitation. This has life tracking and is not wiped off your record. They would be publicly listed and would have to give out info. This could be lowered down to level 3 after 5 years if positive steps towards rehabilitation were taken.

Our current system makes people who have had minor, trivial offenses equivalent to those who have raped children which is about the same as punishing someone who stole $25 worth of goods to a guy who killed 3 people.

Re:Constitutionality (-1, Flamebait)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275241)

They are felons for the most part and are prohibited from associating with other felons.
Figure it out Sex Offender Sympathizing NIGGER.

You MUST be a PEDO.

We should kill ALL sex offenders and their supporters. Prevent repeat offenses.

Re:Constitutionality (1, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275345)

No.

For similar reasons, we do not "leave [other] convicts the fuck alone". Perhaps you should find out what parole and warrant officers do, or what a felon has to do after they get out of jail. Just because they've done their time doesn't mean that they're suddenly less dangerous to the surrounding populace. Indeed, if you take the time to talk to a psychologist, you'll find that there are a handful of behavioral disorders which are currently considered incurable, and that sexual predators are among them.

When you commit any felony, you permanently lose rights. That's one of the founding principles of our legal system. That's been there ever since the Shakers originally designed the system.

Maybe you should find out what depo-provera is, before you get so worked up over a password. Many of these people are forcibly chemically castrated. This is really a tiny thing compared to the rest of the life-long things that happen to these people.

BRILLIANT! (0, Troll)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274695)

'Cause everyone knows that an adult who would abuse sexually abuse or rape someone is otherwise a perfectly law abiding citizen and wouldn't even THINK of using an anonymous account or a proxy.

As for the non violent offenders that no one is really worried about, well, too bad - they should have waited until her 18th birthday.

Re:BRILLIANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274757)

So you're pro sexual-abuse and against consensual sex?

Re:BRILLIANT! (3, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274953)

In Georgia, they might as well be the same thing. Recall the fairly recent case [nypost.com] of a 17 year old male who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for consensual sex with a 15 year old girl.

Note that the article states that a judge, against the D.A.'s wishes, is trying unsucessfully to get him a lighter deal - 12 months minus time served for "aggrivated child molestation".

Re:BRILLIANT! (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275221)

Whos 18th birthday? The tree they peed on? The beer they drank that made them have to piss?

Combine this with not being able to delete account (3, Insightful)

localroger (258128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274703)

...and you are better off swimming across the Rio Grande in the wrong direction than complying with this. This almost makes the county that makes you live under a bridge look sane by comparison.

Re:Combine this with not being able to delete acco (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275125)

...and you are better off swimming across the Rio Grande in the wrong direction than complying with this. This almost makes the county that makes you live under a bridge look sane by comparison.

Actually, Mexican law is pretty easy on getting into it. From the American border, you just need about 25Â last time I lived 30 mins from the border for college. Even if the price doubled, 50Â to get into the country? What a steal!

Can I be the first to say... (4, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274707)

...this won't work? Or is that redundant because this is slashdot, and people here aren't idiots? I mean seriously, do these bureaucrats ACTUALLY believe sex offenders won't just make more accounts, or are they pretending to do something important(tm)?

Re:Can I be the first to say... (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274785)

this is slashdot, and people here aren't idiots

You must be new here.

Re:Can I be the first to say... (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275047)

No, I'm new here!

Oh, shit. Wrong account...

New Here (1)

be new here (1431563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275075)

No, I be new here!

Re:Can I be the first to say... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275145)

this is slashdot, and people here aren't idiots

You must be new here.

I'm an idiot, you insensitive clod!

It's not meant to work. (1, Insightful)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275137)

It's meant to be an excuse to toss people into jail when they slip up. It'll either be unenforced but used to toss someone in jail when the prosecutor has a bug up his ass over someone otherwise innocent, or be unevenly punished across racial/class/whatever strata.

Nearly the entirety of US law is built for this purpose.

Re:Can I be the first to say... (1)

rachit (163465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275153)

its worse.

a) if you worked for the government and are a pervert, just use convicted guy's identity and then you'll be able to do what you want and pin it on someone no jury will believe.

b) if the perv is dumb enough to use the account, he can now make the case that he's not the only one with access to that account, therefore he didn't do it.

Re:Can I be the first to say... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275277)

Not only that, but they keep changing the damned rules so much we can pretty much all be called "sex offenders". It used to be there was no such things as "sex offender"-there was rapist, and there was child molester. And that worked pretty well but it just wasn't Big brother enough for the "Save teh childrenz!" types. Of course those damned save the childrens types always seem to forget that a good 80%+ of all child molestation is done by RELATIVES and NOT the evil boogie man hiding in the Internet tubes. So as others have pointed out if you are 17 and get a BJ from your 15 year old GF you are a "sex offender", you piss on a bush in some states you are now a "sex offender", and as we saw on Slashdot yesterday if you look at ANY hentai, or if your friend sends you a lame ass dirty Simpsons cartoon, well guess what? You are now a "sex offender" too!

This is nothing but a big brother style power grab, nothing more. it quite being about protecting kids when they replaced rapist and child molester with their nice blanket term of "sex offender" which it is quickly becoming apparent can mean ANY damned thing. Did you scratch your balls in public? Sex offender! This crap passed insane a few exits back IMO and we have gone into full blown Mccarthy style witch hunting. It frankly disgusts me as an American that we have fallen so far. If this keeps up there won't be any freedoms left at all, they will just run up the "sex offender" or "terrorist" flag every time they want to take something else from us.

And the worst part is as long as there aren't people publicly fighting against this BS the public will go right along with it and dance themselves right into a police state. And as this thread has proven, as long as you say it is for those eveil "sex offenders" there are way too many that will happily sign our freedoms away. Just fucking sad.

"Anonymous" (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274731)

I wonder how many accounts they will get named "Anonymous"...

Re:"Anonymous" (0)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274817)

These guys should just tell the state authorities to "LURK MOAR LOLOLOLZ"

Nice. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274739)

Because no one would ever log into a website with a known sex offender's password and make incriminating posts in order to have said offender sent back to prison. Seriously, what will be the penalty when (not if) this happens?

Power to the official paedophiles? (1)

Blancmange (195140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274941)

The set of paedophiles also includes orifiers of the CIA, the FBI, the police, court judges and city councillors.

This law, which gives those paedophiles the legal power to use another paedophile's account anywhere, anytime is a paedophile's dream come true.

Re:Power to the official paedophiles? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275061)

The set of paedophiles also includes orifices of the CIA, the FBI, the police, court judges and city councillors.

Spellcheck is sometimes quite witty.

Re:Nice. (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275121)

I was going to post pretty much the same thing. Ignoring kids using their parents' email accounts, the only reason anyone ever has for taking someone else's password is to pose as them. There is exactly zero valid reason for anyone to be forced to give up their passwords.

Perhaps more importantly, as soon as those registered sex offenders turn in their passwords, those accounts are effectively compromised. That means that from that point forward, they are free to sexually prey upon anyone online without any risk of successful prosecution. In effect, by requiring these people to give their passwords away to third parties, they are giving sexual predators a free pass to do pretty much anything they want online....

Wow. Two stories about state governments run by idiots on Slashdot today alone. That has to be some kind of record....

Re:Nice. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275175)

In my books that qualifies as identity theft (or at least intentionally misrepresenting yourself online, in the places where that's illegal), but chances are that they'd instead receive a medal from the mayor.

First Reaction (5, Insightful)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274759)

My first reaction was that this is a grievous and unnecessary violation of privacy that would lead to nothing more than snooping by bored civil servants.

But FTFA:
"Staton said although the measure may violate the privacy of sex offenders, the need to protect children "outweighs a lot of the rights of these individuals."

So it's alright then...

Re:First Reaction (3, Funny)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274829)

Yeah, as long as it's for the childrun...

Re:First Reaction (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274843)

I die a little inside every time someone says something is more important that the rights set down in our earliest documents. You know, the ones we wrote in response to England's tyranny. I can't believe anyone could actually believe something like that while living in this country.

Re:First Reaction (5, Insightful)

SLi (132609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275011)

To me it's a sign of hope that some people living in the US question some of the things written in the Constitution.

While I agree that in this case the law is bad, I very much despise blind trust in any document (a piece of paper if you will) written by humans. The Founding Fathers were exceptionally wise men, but far from the gods many Americans make them.

Besides, you know, the Constitution has been amended a large number of times too.

Please, just stop worshipping the Constitution blindly. I guess it comes from the American education. Don't they teach critical thinking there at all?

Re:First Reaction (4, Informative)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275193)

Besides, you know, the Constitution has been amended a large number of times too.

Please, just stop worshipping the Constitution blindly. I guess it comes from the American education. Don't they teach critical thinking there at all?

Do you realize that the foundation for the explicit right to privacy is actually an amendment, itself? Specifically, the 4th.

Re:First Reaction (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275079)

I die a little inside every time someone says something is more important that the rights set down in our earliest documents. You know, the ones we wrote in response to England's tyranny. I can't believe anyone could actually believe something like that while living in this country.

How do you know we're not all Brit expats?

Re:First Reaction (1)

goga_russian (544604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275197)

whatcha gonna do about it? i guess its cute seeing USSR come alive once more, just in a different continent.

Re:First Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275245)

This is just the beginning. Just wait until the puppet Obama yanks the internet and replaces it with the completely government controlled version. Here comes the New World Order :-(

Re:First Reaction (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274881)

If you're going to strip people of their rights, start with a group/groups that everyone hate(s). Then anyone protesting is clearly pro-[group everyone hates] so they are untrustworthy and suspect themselves. Works for anti-west terrorists. Worked for Bush. Worked for Pol Pot. Worked for McCarthy. Worked for Hitler. Worked for Stalin.

So, why do you want to help rapists, notseamus?

Re:First Reaction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275097)

Clearly, his reply of

So it's alright then...

Shows that he, in fact, does not agree with the ideology. Let me play Devil's Advocate for one moment. The American Revolution did not happen until:

a. the system was broken for long enough
b. people were generally unhappy with the broken system
c. an event that "broke the camels back" happened

The only good that could come from legislation like this is that it puts us that much closer to the breaking point. Unfortunately, at this rate, the revolution will take nearly a century. Hopefully, history remembers us as the disgruntled serfs... Unhappy about how things are, too weak to affect change. That's how most of us feel.

History repeats itself? (1)

goga_russian (544604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275257)

great someone is thinking:

"start with a group/groups that everyone hate(s)" http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Image:Martin-Niemoeller.jpg [nationmaster.com] pasted from that link They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

oh crap ! (1)

goga_russian (544604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275325)

"start with a group/groups that everyone hate(s)"

they started with the Muslims, remember??? !!!

Re:First Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275227)

This is getting ridiculous. The mere thought of one group deserving more rights than another is appalling.

Since when did the rights of a child outweigh the rights of a man or woman? I thought 'All men were created equal" ?

Regardless of what they did, nobody has the right to treat anyone differently, especially if they have served their time.

Maybe we can bring back the scarlet A's for all the adulterers and divorced people again too...

Do you think the Jews would mind wearing the Star of David again? After all, being a christian country, the rights of the Christians should come first.

Maybe we should have all the homosexuals wear those holocaust pink triangles too. We must make sure the rights of the straight men are protected from being oggled by a gay.

In fact, we whould brand men who oggle women too.

What's next?

Re:First Reaction (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275279)

So it's alright then...

When you are convicted of a crime there are certain consequences.

Your life is never going to be the same.

When the crime is a felony - when the crime is a sexual offense - when the victim is a child - these consequences loom larger.

Much larger -

- and that isn't going to change.

It can be instructive to take a hard look at the registry of sex offenders for your county.

Who they are.

Where they are.

How they made the list - and why - in all likelihood - they will never leave it.

You will learn something about their victims.

The crimes can be unfathomable - the rape of an infant.

Nothing in their world is as the geek imagines it - and you will end the session farther to the right politically than when you began.

Okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274769)

That's chunkylover53@aol.com. All one word. @ AOL.com.

stupidity (2, Interesting)

StuartFreeman (624419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274789)

As a Georgia resident, my opinion on this is that if they're still dangerous we should keep them in jail.  This half-assed stuff just weakens civil liberties for law abiding citizens.

It's going to be tough... (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274799)

It's going to be hard to fight this sort of "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" type of thing. I mean, what are you? A pedophile? After all, only sex offenders that haven't yet been busted would object, right? So which is it? Little boys or little girls?

Unenforcable (2, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274805)

Three words: I can't remember.

Re:Unenforcable (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275283)

I get the feeling that you'll be back in jail for failing to provide a password.

Terminology (5, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274807)

Remember what "Sex Offenders" means.

It means people who raped others, or abused others.

It means people who were accused of rape or abuse and couldn't defend themselves.

It means 23-year-olds who were caught sleeping with their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 18-year-olds who were caught sleeping with their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 17-year-olds who took photographs of themselves naked, to send to their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 17-year-olds whose 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend, unasked, took pictures of themselves naked and sent them.

It means people who were driving cross-country late at night, couldn't find a public bathroom, stopped off behind a bush at 3am in the morning, and were arrested for "public indecency".

Fall into any of the above categories? You're already shunned for life, and now, you'll have to turn over all the keys to your privacy to a bunch of government workers. But don't worry, I'm sure the well-paid honorable government employees wouldn't dream of breaching the privacy of a bunch of sex offenders.

That could never happen.

Re:Terminology (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274977)

It means 23-year-olds who were caught sleeping with their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

Yeah, if I was lucky enough to get a 23 year old (hot) girlfriend when I was 17 (or even now, for that matter), I sure as hell wouldn't tell the police the next day! Where I live they'd probably laugh in my face anyway!

Re:Terminology (2, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275303)

What we really need (well, among other things) is to stop pretending there's some magic dividing line that separates "children" from "adults" at the age of 18 with these laws, especially since nature starts encouraging sexual activity pretty far before that (a little thing called "puberty"). One day, you're a helpless babe that needs special protection via a slew of these laws, and the next day, you're old enough to pick up a rifle and kill people for your country. Riiight...

People who perform vicious, terrible acts against other human beings, especially young children, deserve the full wrath of the law. This seems to be a backlash against too many instances of molesters given unbelievably light sentences, early parole despite being a clear risk for repeat offense, and so on. It's maddening that we have to swing back and forth like this without finding a reasonable solution in the middle.

Sigh... Where did the common sense go?

Re:Terminology (5, Insightful)

lamapper (1343009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275331)

Remember what "Sex Offenders" means.

It means people who raped others, or abused others.

It means people who were accused of rape or abuse and couldn't defend themselves.

It means 23-year-olds who were caught sleeping with their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 18-year-olds who were caught sleeping with their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 17-year-olds who took photographs of themselves naked, to send to their 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend.

It means 17-year-olds whose 17-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend, unasked, took pictures of themselves naked and sent them.

It means people who were driving cross-country late at night, couldn't find a public bathroom, stopped off behind a bush at 3am in the morning, and were arrested for "public indecency".

Fall into any of the above categories? You're already shunned for life, and now, you'll have to turn over all the keys to your privacy to a bunch of government workers. But don't worry, I'm sure the well-paid honorable government employees wouldn't dream of breaching the privacy of a bunch of sex offenders.

That could never happen.

You hit the nail on the head here. Anyone who molests a baby and/or child, IMO, you can shoot them and society would be better off. The problem is the definition of child. At 15 with my 18 year old girl friend, leave me alone. And at 16 with her 19, again, leave me alone....etc, etc...

Many would have arrested my girlfriend, simply because she was 18, never mind that we started dating when I first turned 15 and she was already 17 and did not have sex until just shy of a year later. (For those of you who think she should have been arrested, this is why I never told anyone and I would certainly not have told you! If I were your child, you have obviously lost the war even if you win that battle as you have lost my trust and I would NEVER talk to you again about anything...as soon as I was 18 I would have left you cold and never looked back!)

These issues are hardly black and white, and too many conservatives have a problem with the gray areas. I do not and my preference for judges are those that use the brain they have and apply the law appropriately to the situation. Mandatory sentencing is simply wrong.

So for me, 15 is old enough if the person you are having sex with is in your peer group, however, 14 is not. That is my arbitrary cross to bear. And this runs against laws in at least two states where a person can be married younger than 15. That magic word "marriage" and morality is somehow placated...please.

As usual, the devil is in the details and one persons hell is another person's heaven.

Personally I think people need to stay out of other peoples business as long as another person is NOT being harmed.

Can we legislate morality, sure we can, the intelligent question is should we? I think not.

P.S. Do NOT get me started about the teenager who lied to me, told me she was 18, when I was 21, I believed her. We dated for over a month before something she said simply did not add up and I finally got her the truth out of her, that she was 15. I had no choice but to drop her like a hot potato due to her age alone, however I did NOT like the fact that it hurt her. Thank goodness I was not one to rush into sex at that stage of my life or I might have ended up in a compromising position. The whole month I was in her home, she was in my home, never saw her parents who traveled and obviously trusted her enough to leave her on her own. Another reason I assumed she was 18, her parents were in Europe and she was in the US on her own.

I feel very sorry for the people who get lied to as I did, have sex with someone that is under the age of consent for their state, say 15 or 16; the parents find out and press charges. As a 17 year old teenager to get saddled with the label sex offender and have it follow you forever is simply pathetic and should NEVER happen. Yet it does. It most certainly does. Especially awful when the young lady is promiscuous [slashdot.org] already and goes out of her way to get sex...life is not fair is it.

what is the point? (5, Insightful)

a302b (585285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274809)

What is the point of this? If the sex-offenders have already been caught and tried, then what does this prove? If they have already been sentenced, then any incriminating evidence is merely extra. If they haven't been tried, then can't they plead the "5th"? Finally, if this is to deter them from doing heinous acts in the future, then what is to stop them from opening another account?

To me, this smacks of government types trying to set a legal precedent for taking over peoples passwords, online identities, etc. Because it is the evil sex offenders, the public won't care. Then later the government can say: "But there is a precedent for taking passwords; its been done for a long time." Then the public shrugs and figures that if it has been going on for a while, then it can't be all that bad. And another personal liberty is thus erased.

i am on not on Sex Offenders side (4, Interesting)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274825)

i think this violates the 5th amendment in my view, cause you are givin' up information stored in your head up to be used against you.

Choice quote from the article (5, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274857)

From the article:

State Sen. Cecil Staton, who wrote the bill, said the measure is designed to keep the Internet safe for children.

The Internet isn't safe for children. That's why parents should do their job and know what their kids are doing online not using the government to create a nanny-state.

Re:Choice quote from the article (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274993)

Ok, let's be honest here. "Parents should know what they're kids are doing online" is the go-to answer we have to respond to bogus "think of the children." charges.

It isn't easy. I sure know I was going around behind my parents back back when I was thirteen and I figured out what usenet was for.

Now it's one thing for kids to be looking at age-inappropriate entertainment while Mom and Dad are at work, it's quite another thing for them to be in contact with sexual predators. This is very much the domain of law enforcement.

Parental concerns may be a headache for childless internet citizens, but we should remember that it is a serious and legitimate problem, even if the steps people take to solve it aren't always well taken.

Re:Choice quote from the article (1)

Subverted (1436551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275169)

Now it's one thing for kids to be looking at age-inappropriate entertainment while Mom and Dad are at work, it's quite another thing for them to be in contact with sexual predators. This is very much the domain of law enforcement.

It seems you have missed the point of Colmore's post... Children should not be on the internet alone, especially not if they are at an age where they dont have the ability to make decently thought out decisions(lets say

I mean, really...how hard is it to watch your kid while they do what they want to do online for a set amount of time?

For a kid the internet isnt something that should be constantly available. A decent comparison would be junk food and nutritious food. The internet is like junk food and books/family activities/parental involvement is nutritious food...

Given the independent choice what do you think kids are going to choose?

Re:Choice quote from the article (1)

Subverted (1436551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275203)

Damn...*Matt Perry's post...

Re:Choice quote from the article (2, Insightful)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275185)

Are you a parent that watches your kid all the time or are you the lazy one who wants the internet to be policed by law enforcement? The parent should be the first line of defense as to what your kid(s) look at or whom they talk too online. Lazy parents simply should not have had kids or they can suffer the consequences of their actions, or lack there of. Children should be educated and taught NOT to meet people from online. Even myself having a 4yr old son I think this law is ri-goddamn-diculous. I will take care of my son an educate him properly on internet use and whom he can and can not talk to.

Re:Choice quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275045)

--The Internet isn't safe for children. That's why parents should do their job and know what their kids are doing online not using the government to create a nanny-state.

Yes it is (provided the children understand that giving out name, address, email, phone number to sites == bad). Most sex offenders already knew the victim for a while, so that's virtually a non-issue. And no, seeing pr0n at age 7 (which you probably already saw in a James Bond movie at age 3) will not scar you for life.

Re:Choice quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275053)

Actually the internet is safe for children. Set your homepage to 4chan.org today!

Re:Choice quote from the article (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275181)

From the article:

State Sen. Cecil Staton, who wrote the bill, said the measure is designed to keep the Internet safe for children.

The Internet isn't safe for children. That's why parents should do their job and know what their kids are doing online not using the government to create a nanny-state.

The WHOLE WORLD isn't safe for children. People need to get out of this Disney fantasy world...

Unconstitutional? (5, Interesting)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274861)

Didn't a federal court in Vermont recently rule that even child pornographers didn't have to turn over their passwords on the grounds that they might incriminate themselves?

BIOMETRICS (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274869)

I don't remember my passwords. I just use biometrics. Does that mean if I was a sex offender in Georgia I'd have to hand over my finger? Talk about illegal search and seizure.

The only way to make passwords more secure is to use other more personal mechanisms to identify yourself. Too bad politicians don't have foresight.

Re:BIOMETRICS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274929)

My biometric sign-on is a penis-print. =(

Not a Solution (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274965)

You do realize that the output of a biometric scanner is a data file, right? It can be copied and presented to a machine that expects to be talking to a biometric scanner, but is actually talking to your computer pretending to be a biometric scanner and feeding it the same file.

Re:Not a Solution (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275329)

"It can be copied and presented to a machine that expects to be talking to a biometric scanner, but is actually talking to your computer pretending to be a biometric scanner and feeding it the same file."

For improperly-designed and secured biometrics, I'd agree. However, that's not how most properly-written biometric systems work.

The biometric data is stored hashed with the user's biometric data as well as another piece of data, thwarting any "brute force" or "offsite" reads of that data. There is a whole series of regulations governing this (CFR 21:11), basically saying you should have 2 out of 3 pieces of biometry to be considered "secure":

  1. Something you have (keyfob, usb dongle, etc.)
  2. Something you know (passphrase, password, key, pin code)
  3. Something you are (fingerprint, iris scan, voiceprint, etc.)

Re:Not a Solution (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275361)

You do realize that the output of a biometric scanner is a data file, right? It can be copied and presented to a machine that expects to be talking to a biometric scanner, but is actually talking to your computer pretending to be a biometric scanner and feeding it the same file.

That's why there's a thing called repudiation in computer security. Here's how it works, first, both the biometric sensor and the receiving program both have a public-private key pair that protects EVERYONE'S information. The biometric sensor sends a private key encrypted message to the computer, the computer decrypts with the public key, then reencrypts with its private key, and the biometric scanner decodes with its public key, and verifies the identity of the receiver. The receiver then does the same thing to verify the biometric sensor. Once they know they can trust each other, use the private key for each to encode messages going to the other.

Of course, this all depends upon the security of the private keys. The device is relatively easy to lock down to keep the private key out of prying eyes (it's easier to hack around DRM hardware than produce the private key a.k.a. go through it.) and the private key of the receiver can easily be managed by having the internet site handle it itself. That way, the receivers public key is never exposed publicly.

Now, in order to sign into the webpage, you have to have a valid biometric sensor with a private key that is known only to the people who handle the biometric sensor... that or you can have each sensor be entirely randomly generated during construction, and tie the verification strictly to only that sensor.

Honestly... the faster way of beating biometric scanners is to just have the webpages ignore the password for you, rather than hacking the sensor... I mean, if you're going to have a law requiring all of them to surrender their passwords, why not just require webpage owners to be able to provide silent concurrent authentication upon production of a wiretap warrant...

Re:BIOMETRICS (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275235)

"Does that mean if I was a sex offender in Georgia I'd have to hand over my finger? Talk about illegal search and seizure."

I remember hearing a case (which escapes me at this point) where someone was arrested, and argued that their fingerprints were property (of course it is), and that since they did not waive their rights to their property, they could not be taken without being convicted, not accused of the crime against them.

Perhaps something similar should be made of this as well.

OK now.... (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274945)

Now I'm from Georgia and I have to say my response to this is:

Sixteen frikkin' thousand!?

What is to say (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274981)

they turn over their passwords, and then change them before the feds can log on and read their data?

It would be better to just get a warrant for the web sites to turn over records of the sex offender's accounts, as well as constitutional as well.

Much as I hate sex offenders, they still have constitutional rights like any other group. If you want to monitor them online, you need a warrant. If not then anything you get from them turning over their passwords cannot be used in court against them, and they will walk free.

good luck on that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26274983)

A while back, when California instituted gun registration, the courts eventually ruled that felons (and others who could not legally own guns) did not have to comply since it would be an admission of guilt. Law abiding citizens, however, were still required to register their guns. Within a few years, no doubt we'll see law-abiding people forced to turn over their passwords while criminals are protected.

It's only a matter of time.. (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26274995)

It's only a matter of time.. until this spreads to other types of offenders: Drug offenders will likely be the next target. That includes low level drug offenders, caught with small amounts of cannabis.

In some places, you could even get a drug offense for having your medications outside of the prescription bottle..

And don't think it will stop there..

Re:It's only a matter of time.. (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275217)

In fact, several states have already proposed "drug offender" registries similar to what's currently in place for sex offenders.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15971396/ [msn.com]

It's easy to sell the public on the concept of sex offender registries, but few of those people seem to realize that once you can force some criminals to register you open the way for the government to force all criminals to register.

People too dangerous to be out should remain in jail. People who aren't so dangerous that they can't be released should be allowed to live normal lives once their sentence is done.

What if the site forbids this? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275009)

This may be more academic than anything else.

But, if you were to access an account with someone else's credentials, are you bound to the Terms of Service for that site?

What if the TOS states that only the person who signed up is allowed access to the site? What if the TOS states that you are not allowed to share or grant access to others? Is the State allowed to break these rules? Should they be allowed? I know if I ran a site, I would not want people who did not agree to my TOS to use my site. Of course, if I ran a site that allowed user logins, perhaps I might add: "Unless it is to undermine the exploitation of children" or an "I reserve the right to cooperate with authorities".

Re:What if the site forbids this? (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275161)

"Of course, if I ran a site that allowed user logins, perhaps I might add: "Unless it is to undermine the exploitation of children" or an "I reserve the right to cooperate with authorities".

NO NO NO NO NO!

You would (and should) retain the rights of your users, above and beyond any government pressure. Remember, WE give the government their rights and power, they do not give it to us.

Uphold your TOS and hold them liable when they violate it. The State does not get to supersede the rules you set on systems you control and own, under your own management and guidance.

Do not cave in... if you do, you end up eroding more and more of our precious rights away, which is exactly what they want you to do. Persist, resist and just say NO!

Just write him....I did..... (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275015)

cecil.staton@senate.ga.gov


To the Schmoe Known As Cecil Staton,

Please keep in mind I write this as a former victim of sexual abuse. The internet is NOT child friendly and I for one, do not want a child friendly internet. If you want a child friendly internet, purchase your child a computer with a locked case and connect it to the internet through another computer that you run a set of white listed sites on. Keep your Big Brother schemes to yourself. Seriously, the government is already able to tap all of our emails, our phones, our bank accounts, etc for up to 4 months with no oversight what so ever due to the latest version of the FISA bill and the completely misnamed 'Patriot Act'. Our forefathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew how fast some of you 'representatives' insist on annihilating our rights. Someone screams 'For the children' and every lawmaker who doesn't have balls larger than a pea suddenly bitches out faster than a 18 year old skinny white boy in maximum security shower. You disgust me.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXX X. XXXX, an Arizonan who will NEVER move to your state.....

Better yet (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275195)

Someone hack his password and post it on line.

I have a question... (4, Insightful)

hacker (14635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275041)

If they're already a sex offender , then they've already been convicted, and presumably done whatever time/penance for their "crimes", right?

What if they just say "No." when asked for their passwords? What can happen? Is it a crime to deny someone the right to violate your rights now? Remember, criminals have rights, just like the rest of us. You can't just slap some "rider" on their crime and force compliance.

And more importantly, what would handing over those passwords do to protect the rights and privacy of those who have been "offended"?

  • Does having a sex offender's password protect another child from harm? No .
  • Does having a sex offender's password stop them from opening up a new account? No .
  • Does having a sex offender's password reduce their own right to privacy, as well as everyone else's privacy? YES .

If someone has already done their time and chooses to go online and join some knitting mailing lists or decides to take up scrapbooking (let's not forget that women are an equal, if not larger percentage of sex offenders, caught and convicted, not just men), does some government lackey then log into their email account "just to make sure" there's nothing incriminating in there? Do they log into all of the systems they have access to? I just don't see the point.

Nothing good can come of this.

Do the government lackeys change the password, locking out the original owner? Do they send emails on their behalf? I don't see the point of asking for this information, since it can provide ABSOLUTELY zero additional security to the "offended", nor can it stop a determined prior offender from creating a new identity and account.

This does nothing, except further erode our existing privacy and rights and sets a precedent that is impossible to undo, once ingrained. The government has proven themselves time and time again to be incapable of properly handling data in a secure way (losing emails, warrantless searches and wiretapping, etc.) that handing them this information would be downright stupid.

Seriously, " Just Say No ", and let them slap you with contempt or a fine, then fight that in court, instead of setting a precedent that erodes all of our rights; those who are not being convicted of any crimes.

I have access to systems that requires password access to, that I will NEVER give access to anyone from any government, especially if they say I "have to" give them the password. (But I've already made this clear [gnu-designs.com] before).

Re:I have a question... (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275225)

Would they even be able to use evidence gathered from an account that was accessible by many people, including the investigators?

Sentences... (3, Informative)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275315)

The problem is that we usually give people _huge_ sentences, then suspend 80% of the time so we can hold it over them when they get out, add about half that again in probation. Then, while on probation, if you fark up _anything_ they haul you back in, threaten to give you all your backup time, which they might, then tag on some additional time and probation for your violation.

In effect, once you become a felon, you are probably going to drop dead before you truly have "served your time."

Get Out of Jail Free Card (2, Insightful)

idsfa (58684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275123)

1) Hand over passwords
2) Commit illegal online acts
3) Cite inevitable failure of state security audit as proof that your username/password can no longer be uniquely tied to you
4) Reasonable doubt acquittal

no surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275147)

linux fags standing up for child molesters. why am i not surprised?

fucking homos. i hope you all burn in hell for faggot love.

Double constitutional failure. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275163)

First problem: the fifth amendment. Second problem: ex post facto. This is imposing a new punishment after the crime was committed, so it can't apply to any current sex offenders.

-jcr

Re:Double constitutional failure. (2, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275295)

I don't know about the fifth amendment argument, but the "ex post facto" issue is avoided by having the courts declare that the measures aren't punitive in nature. It's patently ridiculous, but it's worked in the past [abanet.org] .

sigh... sex offender policies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26275191)

The reasoning behind letting people out of prison is that they are sufficiently rehabilitated to once again live in society. When a prisoner walks out the doors, society's responsibility is to allow him a chance to reintegrate. You don't do that by alienating him and strapping a giant red warning light onto his back. That creates recidivism.

One major issue with gathering more data (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275209)

Officials seem to be overlooking one issue with more and more laws demanding gathering of more and more data. The more you have, the harder it gets to find the important stuff, and filter it out from the mass of completely innocent stuff. In theory it must be a great response barked out like a trained dog to any problem "how do we address issue ...... ?" "sir, gather more data sir!!!".

It's gonna be even more useless the more proprietary formats and platforms are used in gathering it. The success of Microsoft's army of lobbyists (among others) who peddle constantly changing closed source formats will actually work against the effectiveness of law enforcement. All it will do it fill up hard drives with very little real effect.

How many seized PC's are stacked up in evidence rooms around the world waiting to be forensically gone over? More are seized every day. This is needed, but the only way it can be done with any degree of effectiveness is to carefully aim your net, not just grab everything that moves in the hope that some day your staff will stumble onto something important, after months and months of nothing.

In this case, it's usernames and passwords, but we all know it's impossible to create a new account on websites right? Maybe the authorities are planning on patenting the "create new account" function on websites since they clearly haven't noticed it's already in widespread use.

If your PC is legally allowed to be examined with no notice under some punishment handed down by the court, then anyone with an ounce of sense would use something like a live CD with an encrypted USB pendrive for stored data.

I don't like the big brother mentality that virtually every government around the world seem to be heading towards to some degree, but even with the most rabid of lobby groups and agenda setters, it's not as efficient as it's made out to be. It would seriously helped if governments got people who at least know what electricity is to work out laws that affect IT. It seems most of our politicians may still think that's a little candle inside that bulb which mysteriously lights itself when you flick the switch.....judging by the insane and completely unworkable ideas they try to push out.

This says it all... (4, Insightful)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275215)

THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

THEN THEY CAME for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-Martin NiemÃller

Most services forbid you to share passwords (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275223)

My university requires that students have an email address and it requires that the students do not share the password with anyone (it's clearly stated in the TOS). Breaking the TOS is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.

Does this mean that sex offenders can't go to school?

I wonder how many signups they'd get (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275269)

If they started MySpace or FaceBook groups called "I'm a sex offender, get me out of here" as an amnesty of sorts. Who knows, you could do a webcam stream on ustream of the contestants eating bugs in a prison cell with an online poll of whether they should be rewarded with a kick in the spuds, or the star prize....castration by snake bite.

Why... . (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26275351)

Why do they need their passwords to track them? This makes me much less confident in the abilities of the trackers to do their jobs. What can they do with a password that they can't do without?
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