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Sex Offenders to Register Emails in Virginia

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the state-your-name-for-the-record dept.

The Internet 331

Isaac Bowman writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Virgina has a proposed law that would require sex offenders to register their email and IM screen names in an attempt to monitor and control their presence on social networking sites like MySpace."

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Virgina (4, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205400)

"...as good a place as any to start", she said.

Re:Virgina (1, Offtopic)

Bazman (4849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205534)

And British sex offenders will have to register in Penistone. And Cockermouth.

Yes, they are real places.

Re:Virgina (1, Offtopic)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205888)

And the less said about Fucking in Austria, the better.

Re:Virgina (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205970)

And the less said about Fucking in Austria, the better
wtf? I should like to hear MORE about Austrians' Fucking, not less!

Re:Virgina (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206100)

Don't talk like that, or you will go to Hell, Norway [wikipedia.org]

Right (5, Insightful)

rumplet (1034332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205404)

because registering a new email address and IM account is so hard. Better still, get an .i2p email address.

Re:Right (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205416)

because registering a new email address and IM account is so hard.
But think about the penalty if caught or ratted out.

Re:Right (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205466)

ANd the odds of that occuring? 100K:1?

Re:Right (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205518)

ANd the odds of that occuring? 100K:1?
In that case, why register any address at all?

The thing is, if you've got an address, it is to communicate with people. Some of which will be trustworthy, and some of which won't. Just imagine a quarrel about sth, a desire of revenge, and sb will rat the offender out. I'd say the probability of that happening is much larger than 100K to 1.

Re:Right (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205642)

Well, two things going on here:

1. They're ultimately looking for physical interaction. That's traceable.
2. They're not very good -- they've already been caught before.
3. They're not always very smart -- they may not think of multiple IDs.

Hopefully that helps.

Re:Right (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205664)

Now, why would someone with a criminal record "forget" to register his address/number? Think about the penalty of THAT.

Besides, if he's at least half way smart, it is fairly impossible to trace. Well, at least 'til he makes contact in RL and then it's too late anyway in case he commits another crime. So the whole thing is pointless.

At least against the alleged problem.

Re:Right (2, Funny)

Brianech (791070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205768)

If you can't trust a registered sex offender then who can you trust? The honor system has no flaws!

lol (2, Insightful)

quarrel (194077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205408)

'cause, like, that'd work.

Re:lol (2, Funny)

Brianech (791070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205682)

just because they are sex offenders doesnt mean they aren't honest!

so they register... (2, Insightful)

timerider (14785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205412)

...their gmail account and icq uin with the state, and then use their yahoo email and yahoo messenger for "other" things?

Re:so they register... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205874)

They could. But that would be wrong.

Yes, that is right (3, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205424)

There is such a large difficulty in getting new email addresses, nobody could concieve of a situation where not all would be registered! All this does is create yet another charge to lay on someone you want to imprison. The problem with this is that if they are grooming children/formenting terrah on yr kids/whatever, you already have appropriate charges. If they are not, it isn't an issue.

Re:Yes, that is right (0, Troll)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206110)

You mean like charging that one guy with tax evasion instead of all the murders, thefts, etc? It means if I catch Mr. Sex Offender IMing my daughter and it turns out he is a registered offender and didn't register that name...his ass his grass and he didn't even have to rape my daughter for me to be able to start the process of putting him away.

It amuses me how /.ers lament how broken our judicial system is, how lawyers can manipulate things to make the seemingly obvious charges turn into utter nonsense, how SCO and IBM have been battling the same insanity for years, how patents continue to wind up in court with armies of lawyers keeping the fight going for ages. I mean on some days everyone on /. understands how broken the system is and how a single seemingly obvious charge often won't work, yet something like this comes up and people start going on how stupid and pointless it is. It isn't stupid and pointless, its because the good lawyers know that 'silver bullet' method of doing things doesn't work, and if they stick to that one seemingly obvious charge all kinds of criminals will walk the streets because the lawyer at the other table will use 'reasonable doubt' to stop things. Or have we forgotten how OJ was innocent in criminal proceedings because of 'reasonable doubt', guilty in civil proceedings, and is now writing a damned book about "Well, I didn't do it, but if I DID do it, I would have done it like this".

I know... (3, Insightful)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205430)

...more than half the slashdot-population can find themself in the name "Virgina" (even when it's mentioned twice in the post), but I sincerely request the editors lay down their powdery-pipes and at least provide the decency to call the region "Virginia".

You're mistaken, Señor (1)

Corrupt Politician (882175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205486)

It's Virgiña and it is the result of a Spanglish takeover at the Slashdot headquarters. Same pronunciation but with a little more spice!

Re:I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206116)

Actually slightly less of the population now - yes, that's right, it is possible for a Slashdot addict with a 12xxxx ish id, to lose his virginity at age 32...

Virgina? (1)

tilted (256941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205432)

please fix the spelling. its 'Virginia'...

i must be horny because i keep reading Vagina.

Obligatory (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205434)

Sex Offenders in Vagina!!!11!! ROFFLE!!1!!LOLZORZ!!!11ELEVENTYONE

Forge profit for MySpace.com? (3, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205436)

In Capitalism West sex offenders must register emails. In Soviet Union use of email registers you!

Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (0)

mrfett (610302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205442)

Apart from the obvious "This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard" knee-jerk reaction, my second thought is, "why don't they just outlaw these people from using the sites to begin with?" It's hard to imagine a legitimate need for a sex offender to have access to a site filled with nubile flesh. Registering people's IM screennames seems ludicrous.

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205478)

Because other users of those sites include movies, authors, and politicians? Don't get me wrong, this law is ridiculous. But a lot more than teenagers use these pages these days.

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205500)

They could just ban them from a using a comptuer. Period. I'm not trying to be sarcastic. And yes I know they could just go to a library or internet cafe or what have you, but those could have logs. And names, and again I know they don't have to use their real one, would be logged in a paper log to what computer. Yes, I know I've poked wholes in my own idea. It isn't perfect. But we've banned men in NYC from being in a park alone (not having children or what have you), and in this day and age, maybe we should ban them from using computers?

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205634)

I assume you're kidding because one, I can't find that information on the Internet and two, that would be a 5th Amendment violation concerning due process.

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205990)

Not to mention its hard to rape someone over the internet. Maybe we should ban them from phones / TV / snail mail too..

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205998)

They could just ban them from a using a comptuer.
I whole-heartedly agree with such a law passing. If/When it does, it will automatically exclude the entire slashdot community from police investigations; the punishment is far too great to risk it!

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205504)

Hell, prohibit them from using the Internet. No reason for them to have access to sites filled with nubile flesh. Then, outlaw them stepping outside their own front yard, and even then, don't allow them to go outside after it gets dark. We should also brand them with hot iron to the forehead, so they're eaisly recognizable.

Re:Why Not Just Outlawing Social Network Sites? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205680)

They could just as well do that, it is just as impossible to control. How would you want to find out if someone accessing a myspace or similar site has a criminal record? By making him click "I have none" when he registers?

God damnit. (5, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205462)

Our lawmakers are idiots.

Either the sex offender has served his time, or he hasn't. If you're worried about their recidivism rate, UP THE TIME SPENT OUT OF SOCIETY, DO NOT SEND THEM BACK OUT THERE IF WE'RE SO SURE THEY'RE JUST GOING TO REPEAT OFFEND.

Seems simple, so why do these guys make it so complex?

Re:God damnit. (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205472)

You can't send spam to inmates

Seems to me if they want to do something like this seriously, that everyone should be assigned an email address at birth *shrug*

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205660)

Assigning someone an e-mail address at birth might be too complicated since there are so many domains. Perhaps assign newborns a number in which they have to use to register e-mail addresses. But to make sure they don't forget their number, tattoo it to their body. We live in a digital age, and no one likes entering numbers, so make it into a barcode so you can just scan yourself. Now, to make sure no one removed their barcode, put it on their forehead.

Re:God damnit. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205744)

that would be simple to implement now. Everyone has a social security number don't they? So you generate the required amount, link them to social security numbers and hand them out.

This would also require mandatory net access for every citizen though, since you could not deny people access to a government/state issued email address.

Re:God damnit. (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205772)

So what happends when I umm...."stumble" on your password and start using your personal "net access"?

Re:God damnit. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205836)

Hopefully you'd be able to be tracked down via your IP address. If decent passwords were combined with biometrics that would be a good place to start. Note that I don't really see anything like this happening anytime soon, but it's interesting to think about what 'they' might do eventually..

Re:God damnit. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205782)

Not really - if someone doesn't want an email address, they don't *have* to have it. I like the idea for requiring proper ID to register for an email address. I know a lot of people here will hate Big Brother type plans like that though. I naturally don't like the idea of regulation in this way, but when thinking about it, I have nothing to hide in my email usage, so why does it matter? If it meant that they also redesigned the way email works, so that it's more secure, spammers can be tracked, etc, then I'd love that. I guess that I should really be looking to IM networks though. MSN Messenger has true 'offline' message sending ability, though not quite up to email standards (with subject, file attachments, formatting, etc..).

Re:God damnit. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205792)

there's always pgp, they'd have a hard time getting rid of that, but they could require decryption on request.

Re:God damnit. (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205932)

Two problems with that plan...

1. Not everyone online is a US citizen and has a social security number.
2. Not everyone online is a US citizen and has a social security number..

Technically thats only one problem, but it was such a big one I thought I would point it out twice.

Also for outgoing email, the "From" field is just a user entered text field, if you want to recieve email, then all you need a computer with a domain name, a mail server and an open port 25 (or just use mailinator - where you don't even "own" the email address).

ISPs would then need to have a list of "sex offender" accounts, and monitor all their traffic, including port 80 for webmail, and grep for all email addresses in outbound traffic.

Or we could change the whole email infrastructure, use sender authentication, and insist that all the email cert providers run background checks to see if you are a "sex offender", "terrorist", "non-believer" or "building landing strips for the gay martians". Of course these checks would mean the certs will cost a fortune, meaning that all us geeks will use self-signed certs that we post in our sigs (and lawmakers will complain about this huge loophole in their plans - and the huge amount of aalib encoded ASCII kiddy porn being sent over email - but at least the screenshots will be viewable in mutt).

Re:God damnit. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205968)

We could raise the defensive sheilds....

T'is easy, a checkbox system for people to fill in whether they are a sex offender or terrorist. That would work....

Besides, the way you guys are going, we'll all be US citizens soon....

'Stand in line for your passport and free Big Mac Meal Voucher'......

Re:God damnit. (0)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205532)

Statistically, sex offenders have a very high commit-it-again rate. Maybe they should just make sex legal, it everybody's doing it :) (it's what the people want)

Urban legend (5, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205784)

Statistically, sex offenders have a very high commit-it-again rate.

Complete BS. http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060516_predat or_panic.html [livescience.com]

For what we know, sex offenders are like other offenders ; many are just your once-in-a-lifetime (because they had oppotunity or whatever) type, a few are true maniacs in the medical meaning of the word. While the first type desserve a sentence, and don't need more attention than anybody else afterward, and probably less than a DIU convict, the latter type are mentaly ill persons, and they need constant medical attention instead of jail ; and they should be held in hospital until proven safe for release. Jail only prevent them from accessing adequate cure for their condition. The social pressure for a trial is in fact at the root of their early release (because neither a judge nor a jury is a qualified MD). This is medieval justice at its near best, if you don't count capital punishment.

Re:Urban legend (3, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205930)

Mod++
(no points, sorry)

The amount of BS floating around on this topic is staggering. And the fact that mentally ill people are denied the attention they need is a major shame (this isn't a US only problem btw). Jailing them is simply stupid.

Re:God damnit. (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205612)

Seems simple, so why do these guys make it so complex?
Because in our society once you have served your time in prison you are deemed to have paid for your crimes.

Re:God damnit. (0, Flamebait)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205688)

SEE ALSO:

-recidivism
-parole
-probation

Bill Gates for President? No Thanks. [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:God damnit. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205696)

Really? Could've fooled me...

So there are no sites that let you track if some former criminal lives in your neighborhood?

Re:God damnit. (1, Redundant)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205702)

Except if you have to register your prescence and apparently your email that's simply not true.

Either let them actually go free or keep them in.

Re:God damnit. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205862)

Because we all know that prison works, doesn't it?

Re:God damnit. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205904)

Because we all know that prison works, doesn't it?
Especially designed the way it is. After all if it didn't work there wouldn't be so many people in it.

Paid in full? (5, Insightful)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205906)

Because in our society once you have served your time in prison you are deemed to have paid for your crimes.

I hope you are being sarcastic. If our society deemed that serving prison time paid for crimes, then nobody would ever be asked "Have you ever committed a crime?" on job applications and no ex-con would have to register for previous crimes.

Are you saying we don't live to our own standards? (0, Flamebait)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206124)

Wow, bloody insightful.

Re:God damnit. (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205644)

Seems like a good point. Why release someone if you're almost sure that he'll repeat his crime (then again, I'd hate to be locked up for the rest of my life because some woman claims that I raped her)?

Re:God damnit. (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205718)

Seems simple, so why do these guys make it so complex?

The process of creating laws is funny thing.

When laws are made, they're started on a thought of what could be best for society as a whole.
When the people in charge of recording theese laws start to remember that time they got drunk and made out with their sister-in-law, they start to think about how they would feel being locked up in prison and having the key thrown away if anyone ever found out about it.
Thus, lawmakers leave little loopholes that would let them escape in the event that anyone ever found out about that drunken time.


For instance, I almost didn't post this because I thought about the time I got drunk & made out with my girlfriends sister, if she were to ever read this, she would know immediately what her sister and I were "really" up to "that time", then I remembered her and I broke up ages ago so I have nothing to worry about.

Re:God damnit. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205886)

I like the idea of sending them to prison for a very long time, and making them wear a certain colored prison uniform. Then release them into the general population and give the guards on their cell block earplugs. Perhaps, when they finally get out, they will think twice about wanting to go back in.

tracking?!? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205476)

Instead of merely blocking offenders, Ahearn said she would like to see a system in which e-mail addresses are also used to monitor what Web sites offenders visit.
That's going a wee bit too far, no? Who would be responsible for tracking them? The ISPs? The websites? Does she realize the technical problems behind that? Would she suggest that sex offenders be tracked in the Real World?

Re:tracking?!? (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205522)

Ugh, it has to be mentioned I suppose.......they do still have rights. And I suppose some of them really do get reformed in prison. I'm not saying they should get rights of privacy (or at the risk of flamebait, the right to life after the undoubtful conviction), but in America, I suppose they deserve some?

Re:tracking?!? (0, Flamebait)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205724)

And I suppose some of them really do get reformed in prison.


People get reformed in prison? Really? Wow, that's news!

And, you mean... Sex Offenders get reformed in prison?!!? Man, what a scoop!

Here is a newsflash for you: sex offender do not reform in prison. They may get beaten up and raped by bigger inmates (who hate sex offender), they may even end up as the byatch of another prisoner, but they don't reform. The relapse rate for incarcerated sex offenders, pedophiles -- especially pedophiles -- and assorted creeps is way up there.

IMHO, the only way to "reform" sex offenders and pedophile is through special programs, and not through prison. YMMV.

Re:tracking?!? (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205762)

I agree. If they get released they should have the same rights as everyone else (minus perhaps "Working as teachers").

If they're a danger, then they shouldn't have been released in the first place.

Re:tracking?!? (2, Insightful)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206060)

There's a "Blue Card" system here in Australia (perhaps you have a similar system?); where anyone who wants to work with children in any way (even if its just driving a taxi that may or may not carry children) has to get one (which entails a full background check etc). Perhaps if you used said system and then treated ex-sex offenders like any other citizen (except for the fact that they are denied blue cards) then it would all work out OK.

Having said that, it's not unreasonable (double negative is ok; reasonability is not black/white) to argue that since the risks and punishment associated with the original crime wasn't enough of a deterrant in the first place, there's reason to believe that there will be recidivism. I personally don't follow this school of thought, but it is a valid arguement.

Pretty pointless idea (2, Insightful)

Elentari (1037226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205482)

Even if there were a way to ensure that all sex offender's screen names were recorded, this would only apply to people on the sex offenders' register, and doesn't account for the numbers of people allowed access to these sites who haven't been, and possibly won't be, caught.

Grand standing (3, Insightful)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205484)

This sounds like some grand standing of a politician passing useless law to "protect kids". Anyone with a passing knowledge of the internet knows this is useless.

Not only anyone can get any screen name and email address anyway they want it. Next thing you know, people will be setting up the "virtual neighborhood" off shore.

This is one of those feel good law with some truthiness in mix!

Please add Virginia to my list... (2, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205496)

...of places where politicians have no clue about computing.

Re:Please add Virginia to my list... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205720)

Why make it so hard?

Just paint the whole world map and wait for a sane law to appear and cross that country out. It's less work that way 'round.

myspace innovation (3, Insightful)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205498)

officials would turn them over to MySpace. The company, using new software, would then block anyone using that e-mail address from entering the site ...

They mean new software like:

if (user == sex-offender)
then (drop)
else (proceed)

Won't they just, er, get another account? It's like CAN-SPAM deja vu. Must be election time.

Comments (2, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205540)

My understanding is that sex offenders on social networking sites isn't a big issue compared to sex offenses that never involved the Internet in the first place.

How is a sex offender defined? I'm thinking there could be a whole range of sex offenses, from minor infractions to major ones.

If anything, if someone commits a major sex offense, then the judge in his or her right mind should consider removing Internet privledges. Wouldn't that stop the potential of the sex offender luring any more persons?

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205716)

To the best of my knowledge a far greater proportion of child sex abuse involves family members, individuals abusing positions of trust etc... Perhaps the solution is to outlaw gaurdianship of children, lock 'em all into a "safe" cage until they're 16, there may be a feral society problem, however if we had televisions providing non-stop "informative" programming they'd learn stuff I'm sure.

The furore over internet child abuse is great for headline writers, the combination of two topics which catch peoples attention and of course legislators do love their headlines. I'm surprised we don't see more of this kind of cross-topic headline grabbing. Legislation to outlaw the use of

  • iPods to smuggle polonium
  • Segways by terrorists
  • ..
Oh maybe the headline writers didn't take best advantage of the oppertunity presented by the recent "No luxury goods for short fat dictators" legislation

Re:Comments (3, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205940)

How is a sex offender defined?
Someone who buys (or is it uses ?) a sex toy in Texas ?
Someone who has extra marital sex ?
Someone who has "sex not for the sole purpose of reproduction" ?

You can define that in a lot of ways...

blueeyed/Blond hair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205542)

How blue eyes and blond hair do these people have, comeon like a sexoffender wouldnt register a new email if he/she felt like harrazing someone? .. Serious, these law people just dont have a clue no how the net works, I bet they pat eachothers backs and sais: -Now we have there aliases, now we know who they are online.

To that I have online one thing to say: -Yeah Right!

Registration is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205548)

I mean, if they didn't register, they could just go on any website and start posting comments and nobody would know who they are!

The nerve of some of these people!

Baiting? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205550)

What is to stop email harvesters from grabbing emails of these people and spamming them with promises of kiddie porn? The last thing we want is to tempt people who are trying to get back on the right track.

Re:Baiting? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205586)

Who would be to blame then? The Sex offender or the company filling their mailboxes full of kiddy porn to increase their urge and then they go out and commit an offense again?

Megan's law (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205896)

The best thing that ever happened for pedophiles. No longer to the have to use strange handshakes and special winking patterns to find other pedos to play with, all they have to do now is look them up.

Wonderfull.

not thought through (0, Flamebait)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205568)

It seems this law isn't wasn't thought completely through or their really that dumb. I'm sure it's to make people feel more safe, and that's why it will go on the books. But anyone with half a brain knows that this easily circumvated by even the not-so-tech-savvie user. They should just not be permitted to have a computer, or if they need one for a job or use one for a job, not permitted to user internet. If the need to send out an e-mail from work the law should say that the employer should flag the e-mail for that person and make sure it's appropiate. Before you go on the privacy kick...corporate e-mail is corporate company.

Re:not thought through (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205978)

I'm seriously waiting for the spellingnazi's to dissect this post

Civil War? (2, Funny)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205598)

What were they thinking?! Didn't they see what the superhuman registration act did to the Fantastic Four?

*sigh* This will all end in tears...

define: sex offender (4, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205610)

As a reminder, there are plenty of jurisdictions in which urinating in a back alley when no public toilet is available constitutes a "sex offense", and sufficies to have one placed on "sex offender" lists.

Furthermore, making out in a car in a quasi-public place can likewise be considered a "sex offense", if I'm not mistaken, though in practice, the cops tend to crack down only on gay couples doing this. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Sex offenders just ain't what they used to be.

Tacitus (4, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205626)


The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

Need to focus on making the kids smarter (1)

jasmak (1007287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205648)

There will always be sex offenders and of course they will be attracted to the social networking sites infested with pictures of kids and anonymity. How they could crack down on crimes committed would be to educate kids better about how to use these sites safely and what to look out for. We are in the internet age... parents should be en graining net safety to their kids rite alongside lessons like riding a helmet or looking both ways before you cross. Granted that most parents don't know how to be safe themselves, maybe it should be up to the schools to teach this by hiring professionals.

Virgina != Virginia (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205658)

> The Washington Post is reporting that Virgina has a proposed law

No, it doesn't say that at all. RTFA editors. It clearly says Virginia.

I can't work out if both the submittor and the editors are blind, or if that's supposed to be some extremely non-funny joke. How can you make the same typo twice? I guess I've missed something.

Your rights online.. (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205692)

So are we all sex offenders now?

I can see it now... (3, Insightful)

oman_ (147713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205694)

sex_offender937123@hotmail.com

Devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205710)

This is basically as I've said elsewhere...

I'm not a sex offender and don't want to support those in particular, but juridically, I think these questions still need to be asked:

- Why only sex offenders? Are other criminals not as dangerous? Do these not use e-mail?
- What happened to jail penalties clearing them of their crime after it's over? Or do I misunderstand part of their intent?
- How is this legislation going to be enforced? Will a sex offender willing to abuse kids be willing to register the mail address used for this?

Re:Devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205788)

1) Because it's easy to push a law against sex offenders even after they allegedly "paid" for their crimes. With every other criminal, you could argue that they "paid" and that they should be left alone. With sex offenders, a simple "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" silences every opposition. Give it time, later the others are added when we got used to it.

2) No. The legal system takes a sharp turn to revenge, not reintegration. Actually it's been doing that for quite a while now, I'm not even sure if it was even ever any other way.

3) Not at all. But the idea seems to be that, when you have some case and someone is a suspect, you check his email activity and if he dares to have an account that's not registered you can already throw him back into jail and seize his equipment.

Going at this all wrong. (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205722)

Why don't we just implant chips into sex offenders brains and shock them every time they have a dirty thought. As long as we're taking away privacy away from sex offenders, why don't we require EVERYONE to register all their screen names and e-mail addresses. My list would be a MILE long. Then they can have an excuse to tap everyones phone line and read everyones e-mails. OH WAIT THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT. Lets just give what the politicians want; More control. Personally I don't care what sex offenders do on the internet. It's a bit difficult to rape someone without actually meeting them. If you are worried that sex offenders are going to stalk little kids they see on myspace just stick GPS devices on all sex offenders. Cops will be on the offender as soon as he/she leaves the house. It amazes me that the american public allows the laws regarding the "internets" be made by people who don't even have a basic understanding of how it works or what it is capable of.

Re:Going at this all wrong. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205814)

Why don't we just implant chips into sex offenders brains and shock them every time they have a dirty thought.

You think that wouldn't be done if it was possible?

why don't we require EVERYONE to register all their screen names and e-mail addresses

Hey, give it time, we're at step one and you're talking about step 129.

The laws are made by people for people. And since the average citizen is at the very least as clueless about the 'net as the politicians, those ideas can become law without anyone caring. Not to mention that the majority of people won't even know those laws exist, or would you say that a sizable portion of voters even reads /.? Instead they are happy that those laws come into existance 'cause now it's of course much safer for their kids to surf the 'net. The law says so, so it has to be.

Do you have any idea how many laws exist that make no sense and are absolutely unenforceable? In areas that deal with computers and internet we can understand that they are bollocks, in many other areas such laws exist as well. They sound nice on paper and they sound like they protect us, but in fact they are just there to give us some sense of security and make us feel like the state cares. In fact, those laws exist for the only reason to make us feel good, while everyone involved knows quite well that they aren't even worth the ink used to write them.

Cops and Lawyers... (3, Informative)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205736)

...cannot protect your children because they're too far away from them plus I think you don't want an agent in your home watching what your kids do. Protecting children is parents' responsability. they should teach them properly so the chances of getting offended or getting into unadequate web sites will be drastically reduced. No cop and no lawyer can make the parent's job.

Re:Cops and Lawyers... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205828)

This is pretty much everything there is to say about the matter.

What this will produce (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205742)

First of all, there will be two kinds of former criminals: Those that really try to reintegrate into society and those that don't give a rat's ass and work harder to avoid getting caught.

The latter will simply register some waste-spam addy, get a new freemail addy and go hunting again.

The former will register their mail addresses. Now, let me predict the next step. The next step would be to make those mail addresses public so "you can see if your kids are mailing to a bad man", maybe including a tool for the really dumb parents who can't figure even that out.

First of all, those registered addresses will drown in spam, because a legit mail address is gold for a spammer. Second, they will drown in hate mail from overzealous self appointed protectors of innocence and other bullcrap. I bet my rear that there will, no week after that list goes public, be a mailing list, so you can reach all of them at once. The net effect of this is either that they get a new mail address they can use (and don't register it), or they turn towards a "society hates me so I hate it too, to hell with it!" stance.

In either case, all you get is that those people go further underground and get more careful, and are thus harder to track and catch.

Great job. Really, I feel a damn lot safer now.

waste of time (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205748)

If someone really wants to get on MySpace, it won't be any problem at all to make a Yahoo address and get around the system. As always, this contradicts with my opinion on how sex offenders should be handled. The way I see it, if the offender doesn't pose a significant risk of repeating the offense, leave him alone once he has served his time. If he does pose a significant risk of repeating his offense, either leave him in jail or, at the very least, put him in an environment similar to a group home where he can be monitored effectively. When the government puts someone out on the street but tries to monitor them in this way, it makes me think of two scenarios. Either they're wasting time and money by harassing someone who has already served his time, or they are doing a half-assed job of watching someone who is a legitimate danger to the community.

Re:waste of time (2, Insightful)

zoftie (195518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205884)

In religious freakout society, sex is taboo (still), so goes overreaction about it. Contrived motions to stop something from happening, usually cause greater harm as a whole, then positively contributing something positive to the society. IMO.
2c

If I was a viagra spammer... (3, Funny)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205832)

If I was a viagra spammer, I'd love to get a copy of that list.

NEWS FLASH NEWS FLASH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205844)

Legislators still have no idea about technology or how the Internet works.

Seriously is this really news worthy?

That will double the prices (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205872)

on the black market for Gmail adresses.

Sex Offenders to Register Emails in Vagina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17205882)

I keep on reading that no matter what...
at least it makes everyone read that again and again....
this must be driving the sex offenders all nuts

Im the Leader dammit (1)

davro (539320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205898)

McDonnell said. "We want to be a leader with legislation to protect kids."

All i can say is think on Mr McDonnell Think on !

Gary Glitter is the leader come on

Come on, come on, Come on, come on, Come on, come on, Come on (2x)
D'you wanna be in my gang , my gang, my gang, D'you wanna be in my gang, Oh Yeah! (2x)
I'm the leader, I'm the leader, I'm the leader of the gang I am
I'm the leader, I'm the leader, Well there's no one like the man I'm
I can take you high as a kite every single night
I can make you jump out of bed standing on my head
Who'd ever believe it, Come on come on (3x)
D'you wanna be in my gang, a my gang, my gang, (2x)
D'you wanna be in my gang, a my gang, my gang, oh Yeah! Do You ? my gang,
Come On! Come on, come on, Come on, come on, Come on, come on, (2x)
D'you wanna be in my gang , my gang, my gang,
D'you wanna be in my gang, Oh Yeah!
D'you wanna be in my gang , my gang, my gang, D'you wanna be in my gang, Oh Yeah!
I'm the leader, I'm the leader, I'm the leader of the gang I am
I'm the leader, I'm the leader, I'm the man who put the bang in gang
I can take you over the hill, ooooh what a thrill
I can make you sell me your soul for my rock and roll
Who'd ever believe it, Come on come on (3x)
D'you wanna be in my gang, a my gang, my gang, (2x)
D'you wanna be in my gang, a my gang, my gang, oh Yeah!
Do You ? my gang Come On!

The point is... (1)

myom (642275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17205956)

The purpose might not to be prevent specific email addresses and nicks to access the websites, since they can be easily circumvented by just getting another email address.

Instead, the purpose could (or should) be to deter the use of the services in wrong ways. If a sex offender is caught (search warrant, data traffic logging or whatever) to be using an unregistered ID, severe penalties would apply.

In reality the traffic will not get logged.

In reality sex offenders' drive will make them repeat their offences despite attempts like these.

Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206008)

won't someone think of the children!?

    * ducks *

Nice for 4 year old innocent people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206012)

Like for example this 4 year old and only hugged his teacher [statesman.com] . Ofcourse he touched some private part and that is an A class felony in the States.. So, nice to make all these kinds of rulings: just think about where its coming from.
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