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MySpace, U.S. Address Sex Offenders Online 154

Posted by Zonk
from the slipperly-slope-here dept.
TitusC3v5 writes "According to BBC News, MySpace is attempting to block sex offenders by way a custom database that utilizes state sex offender registries. Sentinel Safe will let MySpace search US state and federal databases to seek out and delete MySpace profiles of registered sex offenders." From the article: "The company said the new service will be the first national database that brings together about 46 US state sex offender registers ... It will be available in the next 30 days. MySpace has not released information on its plans for tackling sex offenders using the service in other countries." This is on the heels of proposed legislation that would require sex offenders to keep their email on file. The addresses would presumably be used to restrict former criminals from accessing online community sites, but in an the era of easily obtainable email addresses it's hard to see how this would be effective.
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MySpace, U.S. Address Sex Offenders Online

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  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:32PM (#17152584) Journal
    Is this yet another case of clueless people trying to create rules for systems that they have no idea of how it functions?

    While the intent is good, I'm rather suspect of people who think this is full-proof, and look forward (mockingly) to the future when people think their kids are safe from predators because MySpace is tracking KNOWN sex offenders by their REGISTERED email addresses.

    Wow, why don't we just do this with terrorists? Then we'd know where they are and what they are doing all the time, just have to log onto the gov. website to find out....
    • But it is a step in the right direction.
      • by aliendisaster (1001260) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:44PM (#17152828)
        Actually, it may be a set in the wrong direction. After everyone realizes "Hey, they can just go get a free yahoo address and work around this system.", the idiots will try and force EVERYONE to register their email address and all companies that provide email address's will have to remove any address that is not associated with a real life person. This could be the beginning of the end of the anonymous internet and the beginning of a time in which if you have someone's email, you know their name, street address, date of birth, etc. This could be the beginning of a stalkers dream.
        • by joshetc (955226) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:55PM (#17153038)
          Parent really deserves to be modded up for that insightful comment.

          Also, I'm not siding with the sex offenders but comon. Either they are guilty enough to still be in jail or they should be allowed to use internet communication websites freely. Maybe instead of banning sex offenders we should ban or force monitoring on minors that use those services. Some other kind of limitation would work the same too.

          If they served their time they should be free. If they should not be free there is a problem with sentencing of the criminals and not how websites are monitored.
          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            Either they are guilty enough to still be in jail or they should be allowed to use internet communication websites freely.

            For some people, there is this thing called parole. It means they let you out of jail early, if they think you'll behave.

            When you get out on parole, you're assigned to a parole officer whose job it is to check that you are following the terms of your release. You stop following the rules, you go back to jail.

            If they served their time they should be free. If they should not be free there

          • by SamSim (630795)
            we should ban or force monitoring on minors that use those services

            Don't be ridiculous, man, where would we possibly find the funding or manpower? You'd need to employ an adult full-time to look after each individual child. Or even two adults.

        • by cshark (673578)
          Please don't take this the wrong way. I have no intention of standing up for sex offenders rights, but there's a huge problem with this idea. Imagine this. Your name happens to be Joe smith, you live in Washington. Further more you happen to live on the same street as three other Joe Smith's one of whom happens to be a sex offender. If the MySpace system is going to be effective, they would have to implement something that would find... and delete you. Otherwise, there's no point unless you prohibit registe
        • by Tokerat (150341)
          If I am not a sex offender (which I am not), then I am not registering with any "central email database". If this requires me to stop using certain websites, then they can lose my business and the business of many others. What you may see if that happens is the slow collapse of modern internet commerce as we know it. And, if a sex offender gets caught using an email address they did not register, they'll go to jail. It won't even matter if they have commited any other crimes. They can now be jailed for att
        • After everyone realizes "Hey, they can just go get a free yahoo address and work around this system.", the idiots will try and force EVERYONE to register their email address and all companies that provide email address's will have to remove any address that is not associated with a real life person.

          Don't forget those new warrantless wiretapping powers the executive branch had passed in Congress just before the elections. Who needs AT&T to snoop packets when you can just call Yahoo?

          Also: Yeah right, like

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
        Why? I think it just allows parents to feel complacent.

        The first and last line of defense is giving a crap about what your kid is doing online. Period. End. Of. Story. There is no magical fairy dust fix that is going to make that any less the case, so why bother?
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        Not necessarily.

        For example, the Texas registry is of limited usefulness because they don't tell you the exact nature of the crime. Thus you don't know if that guy down the street is a victim of genuine prudishness and sexual immaturity or if he's a genuine predator. I want to know about real threats, not a lot of noise.

        The primary effect of this will be to harrass relatively minor offenders. People who want to be a genuine menace will likely find a way to game both the state databases and myspace or just p
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mdwh2 (535323)
        It isn't, if this is "sex offenders" and not "child abusers".

        Laws are brought in "for the sake of the children", but cover a far wide variety of crimes, including even consensual and victimless crimes (and it's not just the US - see my sig for an example where soon looking at a picture will alone be a sex crime in the UK, even though the act itself was not a crime).
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      I agree. The measures in place to stop terrorists travelling presume that they will travel with valid papers and real names. The end result being everyone else gets inconvenienced and it doesn't work on the people it's meant to hit. Just the same as with drm.

      This is for one reason only, to give them plausible deniability if someone gets attacked and initial contact is traced to their service.

      We have a problem in england at the moment of sex offenders who are being traced/monitored dissapearing from view bec
    • TFA:

      " Under the proposed legislation, any sex offender who submits a fraudulent email could face prison."

      Presumably not declaring email addresses is fraudulent too. So yeah, they can use an anonymous address, but they also risk getting busted doing so. Not fool proof, but also forces such people to demonstrate intent.

      Osama is already in the poo, flouting email address laws is unlikely to make his legal situation appreciably worse.

      Xix.

      • Fucking children is illegal. These people have still done it. Having an email address they don't declare is going to be a walk in the park for them.
        • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @08:18PM (#17155522) Homepage Journal

          For crying out loud... "sex offender" is not a synonym for "fucking children."

          It means everything from peeing on a bush outside to having consensual sex with a consenting partner of reasonable age who decided later to use it against you to having taken completely innocent photos of your own kid. And it does include people who prey on children, I'll grant you, but the point is the brush is now too broad because legislators are idiots; if they go with the email thing you'll have learned nothing useful except how to jitter and freak out about a bunch of people who are likely to be absolutely zero threat to you and any children, anywhere.

          Control your legislators, people. Come on. And think!

          • 'Sex offender' is one of those anti-concepts like 'intellectual property' (see SCO) that groups together a lot of different things with one common thread. One of the worst things that has come out of the hysteria about 'child predators' is that people who chose not to fight a minor offense years ago suddenly find that the punishment has been 'enhanced' ex post facto. And the last time I checked, that was unconstitutional.

            But if you say this, you're an apologist for JonBenet's killer, and probably a crypto

            • by fyngyrz (762201) *

              One of the worst things that has come out of the hysteria about 'child predators' is that people who chose not to fight a minor offense years ago suddenly find that the punishment has been 'enhanced' ex post facto. And the last time I checked, that was unconstitutional.

              First, let me say that I agree with your sentiment completely; however, the reasoning (sophist, in my view) put forward by the USSC was that "registration" isn't punishment, it is a "legitimate state function" where the state "has an int

              • by BoberFett (127537)
                Interstate commerce. *shudder*

                How about these loose interpretations of the commerce clause. That was just the first few that turned up in a quick search:
                • Federal investigators asserted jurisdiction over the arson of the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church in South Carolina. Because the church received electrical power through a power grid, which is, in turn, attached to an interstate power grid, agents maintain that federal jurisdiction was triggered under the commerce clause.
                • The Justice Department maintains that federal
          • by mutterc (828335)

            legislators are idiots

            I love to blame the system, and in this case I think it's justified.

            Suppose I was a legislator (ha!) and was unnaturally clueful. Angry parents of victims get together and demand Something Be Done to Protect The Children (and I don't blame them at all). Our fear-mongering society then spreads this outrage to paranoid parents and even ordinary or clueful parents. Therefore I have to look like I'm Doing Something, so I introduce a bill to "crack down on preverts".

            Other legislators are pretty much requi

    • by Ucklak (755284)
      This is in the same line of logic as the fake boarding passes.

      "We're going to make these rules and it will be illegal to break these rules. YOU will go to jail if you break these rules."

      It realy sounds like a bunch of children at the playground, the kind that makeup a particular game and create the rules as they go along. One kid figures out how to be 'King of the Hill' and the whiny kid cries because the smarter kids broke the rule.

      Yes, there are serious problems here but email tracking is not the way to
  • by jmagar.com (67146) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:34PM (#17152628) Homepage
    Kevin Poulsen [wired.com] broke this story wide open by developing the scripts and tools to parse the sex offender registry, and compare the MySpace members. He supplied his work to the cops and the rest is today's news.

    The finest Mashup I've seen to date. Worthy of some sort of prize... Is there a "Mashup Awards Banquet"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thansal (999464)
      yup, that was the big one.

      The key things involved are that the sex ofenders (for reasons known only to them selfs) still register with their REAL info. Why? No clue!

      It will stop some offenders I hope, but I doubt it will do much.

      The biggest problem is that you just outright block them bassed on email then that enourages them to get an email and not register it.
      • by cptgrudge (177113)

        The key things involved are that the sex offenders (for reasons known only to them selfs) still register with their REAL info. Why? No clue!

        If a sex offender is too controlled by his (or her) urges to the point where they have sex with children, rape someone, or otherwise sexually assault other people, they may not be thinking too clearly in the first place.

  • Also in the news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by laughingcoyote (762272) <{moc.eticxe} {ta} {lwohtsehgrab}> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:35PM (#17152652) Journal

    To promote easy identification of sex offenders, a new bill requires "registration of the logo and design of the hat worn by the offender." Mention was not made in the bill of what happens if the offender changes hats.

    Holy hell, how far can they take this false sense of security crap? If you want your kids to be safe, teach them what things to do are stupid, and how to recognize danger signals (online and offline). Then, you could, you know, always supervise them until you're reasonably sure that they've indeed gotten the point.

    Or we could try tracking people by their email address. I'm sure that'll work great. imasexoffender@example.com will never think of registering 15yroldmale@example.com too!

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:38PM (#17152714)
    Politicians and pedophiles. Two groups of exploitive bastards who are at their most dangerous when they're thinking of the children.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sometimes they are even one and the same!
    • MySpace stats: Occupation tests=7689007, matches=131, percent=0.001703731053957943 Occupation tests=7689007, matches=1, percent=1.300558056456445E-5 Testing active records, 1 visit every 2 weeks, in 23 Million record sample.
      • Occupation

        Politician tests=7689007, matches=131, percent=0.001703731053957943

        Pediphile tests=7689007, matches=1, percent=1.300558056456445E-5

        Testing active records, 1 visit every 2 weeks, in 23 Million record sample.

        • by Kadin2048 (468275)
          So, what you're saying is that there's only one self-admitted "pediphile" on MySpace who also doesn't know how to spell?

          Try searching "pedophile."
          • Occupation

            Politician tests=7689007, matches=131, percent=0.001703731053957943

            Pedophile tests=7689007, matches=26, percent=3.381450946786757E-4

            Pediphile tests=7689007, matches=1, percent=1.300558056456445E-5

            Testing active records, 1 visit every 2 weeks, in 23 Million record sample.

  • Don't give your address and out to random people online, the same as you don't give it out to anyone whom you meet on the street. If you meet someone you met online in real life, don't do it alone or in an empty place. Basically, teach your kids to apply normal rules for real-world interactions to MySpace, and there won't be a huge problem. Blocking sex offenders really doesn't help, since it's the *unknown* sex offenders that you have to worry about, not the known ones - you can always check for the nam
  • by LadyNik0n (729059)
    Yeah.. I am gonna surf myspace with anything that would link me as a sex offender anywhere else..
  • Armbands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:39PM (#17152746) Homepage Journal

    I think we are in the process of creating a bunch of second class citizens with sex offender registration laws. People can become sex offenders for a wide variety of reasons, but everybody treats all sex offenders as if each and every single one were an evil predator lurking and waiting for even a glimmer of a chance to prey on a child.

    For people convicted of kidnapping children and coercing them into child porn, this might very well be reasonable. But for the 25 yr old convicted of statutory rape of the 17yr old, this is quite questionable. Or the father who molests his daughter (and has never touched another child), or any number of other situations that are significantly milder.

    Most people who have to register do not deserve to be treated the same as the worst of the class.

    I'm waiting for the laws that strip custody of children from registered sex offenders or prohibit them from participating in school events with their children, or any number of other laws passed by well-meaning people that create a large class (probably nearly a million people in the US) of people who are denied some fairly basic things for no particularly good reason.

    • While I agree that the registration ideas are getting out of hand, I dislike you refrence to a father molesting his daughter as being a milder case. That is I believe a far worse and more damaging situation.
      • Worse and far more damaging than someone who kidnaps children and forces them into child porn? I hope you're joking.

        • If you're religious or raised with religious values, you might feel that sex is the worst thing that can happen to you. Believe it or not, there are people "out there" (and yes I've spoken to some) who actually would prefer their child die, over them having sex, because sex condemns them to hell, where dying does not.

          I guess the idea here is that.. oh I dunno.

          We are a strange species.. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544)
      I always felt the "rape" part in "statutory rape" to be unbelievably mislabled. I think at the age of 16 someone knows if they want to fuck or not. They may not be responsible enough to handle what happens if they get pregnant, that much is true. However, in the words of Dave Chappelle, "16 is old enough to know if you want to be pissed on."
      • I always felt the "rape" part in "statutory rape" to be unbelievably mislabled.

        I think you may be a little naive. :)

        There are MANY words that are chosen specifically to imply something that would not otherwise be obvious. The naming of the law was chosen to imply that it IS rape, because those who supported it at first were those who wished to control other peoples' lives. Preying on teenagers (who can't vote) is an easy way to do this...

        How many people would support a crime called "unauthorized s

        • How many people would support a crime called "unauthorized sex?"

          Likewise, how many people would support a crime called "copyright infringement"? The record labels need to trump it up into "theft" to get anyone to react.

          • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @09:50PM (#17156750)

            They're not having sex without our permission, they're raping each other.

            They're not a militia, they're terrorists.

            They're not a government, they're a regime.

            They're not citizens defending their homes, they're enemy combatants.

            It's not a sovereign nation, it's a rogue country.

            It's not a protest, it's a tax evasion.

            You're not a public urinator when drunk coming home from a bar, you're a sex offender.

            Drunk drivers, abortionists, and food companies are murderers.
            Cigarettes kill everyone.
            The plague could strike your family.
            Osama Bin Laden wants to kill you.
            Christianity is better than Islam.
            Criminals, birth control, and science are bad. Evolution is unholy.

            Drugs are bad, except caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, etc. But especially marijuana, stevia are bad.

            Ugh. Make it stop. :(

    • Or the father who molests his daughter (and has never touched another child), or any number of other situations that are significantly milder.
      I really hope that was a typo, or came out wrong, and you don't really feel like that is something "significantly minor".
      • I do think it's milder than someone kidnapping children and forcing them into child porn. I don't think it's minor.

      • I think the gp was referring to the fact that, statistically, most father daughter molestation scenarios are opportunist, meaning they usually involve multiple concomitants such as alcohol/drugs, divorce/unhappy relationships, etc. Opportunistic molesters are not true pedophiles in that they do not specifically target and prefer children.

        Of course, statistics don't mean a damn if you're the one getting fucked up the arse by the old man but there is a recognized difference in the field.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      In Arizona you can become a convicted sex offender by being cited for public nudity...So look out if you visit any of their Nude Beaches [slashdot.org], or you're going to find some unexpected stuff on your MySpace profile.
    • by Tim C (15259)
      Or the father who molests his daughter (and has never touched another child)

      That's an astonishing abuse of trust on the part of the father. It's not milder at all, he's broken one of the basic rules of being a human being (or indeed a member of most animal species) - he's harmed one of his children.

      Parents are supposed to protect their kids, not molest them. I suspect that you're in a very small minority indeed in seeing that as being milder than molesting a stranger's kid.

      (I realise you're not condoning it
    • by symes (835608)
      It depends on your view of punishment - if it works as a deterrent then perhaps the stigma associated with sex crime is helping to keep crime numbers down. Frankly, imho, any form of sexual abuse, whether it is rape, paedophilia, flashing, whatever, involves a victim who should not have had to endure that crime. Although, on the whole, sex offenders' rates of recidivism is below other offenders there are hard core groups who are often organised and do systematically seek out victims. I can't see any good
      • I can't see any reason not to make people like that register either. And having them show up on MySpace is just fine by me. Personally, I really hope that someone was very careful about things when they released them from prison.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Reziac (43301) *
      550,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S. -- given a population of 300M, that's roughly one in every 500 persons, or (excluding females, children, and elderly) somewhere around one out of every 100 young-adult and middle-aged males (the classes that mostly populate the category "sex offenders").

      So.. in numbers that are admittedly vague, but good enough for gov't work, one out of every 100 adult males is a registered sex offender. Doesn't that number seen a little high to you??

      Hmm... Given a similar illic
    • by m15cr3ant (915414)
      It does not matter if it is considered mild or not. The fact is that it is still a sexual based crime. If you murder someone with a bat, or 100 people the same way or if intently run someone over with a car, either way you look at it you are still a murderer. What's the difference?

      While some crimes are not punished equally, they are still crimes. In sex based attacks, if you have done it once then there is a high chance that you will do it again. In that case everyone should be warned of your actions.
      • That's actually not true. The recidivism rate among sex offenders is very low compared to most crimes. And the likelihood could hardly be characterized as 'high' as I believe the rate is less than 1%.

        Now, among certain classes of sex offenders this isn't true. But initiatives like this very rarely make any distinction and treat all sex offenders as the worst kind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885)
      For all the people that are replying about the abuse of a family member, think of it this way:

      A guy breaks into your house, kills your wife, and is running away from the house when you chase him down and beat to death. You are convicted of murder. Someone else takes to sniping people in VA. If both were released, who is more likely to kill again, the person that only did it once in a specific situation, of the person that killed strangers multiple times?

      A father that molests his own children is not a t
      • by m15cr3ant (915414)
        Why not let the registry show their crimes? I think it would be a great idea, but the minute one person finds out about it, it will be a privacy issue and everyone will be up in arms about it. Which makes no sense because they are on a registry either way. I don't see why they don't get someone to lobby on their behalf to get the format of the registry changed. If it is that much of an issue then I am sure someone will do it for a buck.

        A guy breaks into your house, kills your wife, and is running away from the house when you chase him down and beat to death. You are convicted of murder. Someone else takes to sniping people in VA. If both were released, who is more likely to kill again, the person that only did it once in a specific situation, of the person that killed strangers multiple times?

        Like I posted before either way you are still a murderer. It

        • by aaronl (43811)
          The point that you are missing is the assumption that because you are a "sex offender" you will prey upon and stalk children. Someone arrested and convicted of a "sex crime" for getting drunk and streaking across their college campus is treated equal to someone that has habitually raped 10 year old boys. That there is a registry for these acts, in and of itself, is a miscarriage of justice. If you are not safe to return to society, then why were you released?

          Also, there is a good point to note that we do
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Like I posted before either way you are still a murderer. It does not matter the severity of the crime, just that the crime was committed.

          Then the list is unconstitutional. The list is not punishment. If the only reason the list exists is to punish people that committed a crime, then the courts have ruled it can't exist. Therefore, the people that want the list now claim that the list is for "protection." If that is the case, then you are wrong. The severity of the crime and likelyhood of redivism ar
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      Dude - there are a million reasons why this is a bad idea, and there are indeed some people who are unfairly caught in this. 2 kids in college having sex, where one is under 18, can get you the statutory rape status. However, a family member molesting their children is absolutely on the same scale as the serial child abductor. Why? Because THEY ARE THE SAME. People who molest other kids generally start by molesting their own kids - and then have to move to others because their kids get too old. Not only tha
      • There are actually very distinct classifications of pedophiles, and those distinct classifications have wildly different recidivism rates. Most sex offender laws actually explicitly recognize this and have a classification scheme based on it. But stuff like this MySpace deal completely ignore that classification scheme and treat all sex offenders the same regardless.

        From what I understand, molestation within the family rarely strays outside, and it's uncommon that the offender does it again after (s)he's

    • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:48PM (#17154062)
      Where would our civilization be without second class citizens?

      How else would we have been able to make some of the steps forward in medicine, were it not for some of the work done on "disposable" people?

      How else would we have had such a burgeoning entertainment industry, had it not been for laws that deprived actors and actresses from burial in sacred ground?

      Who else can be used for a way to see how far a government can go before the first-class citizens decide that enough is enough?

      Of course, sometimes a government can overplay its hand. When people find out that convicted sex offenders are not allowed in public hurricane shelters, but have to report to the local jail (and give 24 hours advance notice, even!), there might be a feeling that things might have gone too far.

      But then again, when we're "thinking of the children," we don't have to do a whole lot more thinking, do we?

      • by lawpoop (604919)
        " How else would we have had such a burgeoning entertainment industry, had it not been for laws that deprived actors and actresses from burial in sacred ground? "

        Uh, what?

        Are you saying we wouldn't have summer blockbuster movies and National Enquirer if people could wail and gnash their teeth at the tombs of ancient heroes, and listen to wandering minstrels recount tales of their strength and beauty in verse?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Llywelyn (531070)
      Some of the ways you can get labeled "sex offender," depending on state, have very little to do with those under the age of consent at all. Public indecency and prostitution are two of the ones that come to mind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499)
      People can become sex offenders for a wide variety of reasons

      This is very true. Some states you can get put on the SO registry for simply getting caught peeing in some bushes behind a bar after doing some drinking. That person clearly isn't a threat to anyone, and isn't likely to hurt anyone, but would be on the SO lists never-the-less. This usually causes them to be treated as outcasts and in some cases can be beaten by people who don't care about the details, just know they are a sex offender. Some o

  • by deleting or overtly damaging their accounts, you effectivly alert them to take more proactive actions in hiding their trails.

    Instead, this data should be used to covertly keep an eye on their account and account use, indeed, once these predators have been identified anyone contacted by them or looking at their page should get an alert with a warning about who that person is. Or simply make it ipossible for that account to contact or be contacted by children et al.

    A passive approach will keep more of the
  • by adavies42 (746183) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:46PM (#17152886)
    If you believe it is appropriate for the government to permanently the restrict the activities of anyone, whatever they've done, merely out of concern for what they might do, you are part of the problem. Life is dangerous and it's not the government's job to protect you from it. Deal.
    • by Phroggy (441) *

      Life is dangerous and it's not the government's job to protect you from it.
      I think what you meant to say was:

      Life is dangerous and it shouldn't be the government's job to protect you from it.
  • A/S/L? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Paulitics (1036046)
    MysteryMan33: ASL?
    Wii:13,F,Fl
    MysteryMan33:You like big harddrives? Minz 120Gig.
    Wii:wow! thats big.
    MysteryMan33:Wanna see it?
    Wii:cool
    MysteryMan33:Wanna play with my Wiimote control?

    BrianWilliams:I'm Brian Williams and your on DATELINE. What were you planning to do with this young girl?

    MysteryMan33:I can't log on to MySpace anymore because I am on "the List".

  • Another swipe at the ex-post-facto provision that the Supreme Court has foolishly vitiated over the past few years, and one at freedom of speech as well.

    While MySpace as a private company certainly has the right to use these registries that way, for the government to set up a list of "people not to listen to" or worse "people who private entities should block the speech of or risk lawsuits" is a blow to free speech. Whether it's _for the children_ or not.

    Next story on Slashdot: Users blocked from slashdot
  • Why stop there? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:59PM (#17153126) Homepage Journal

    Why not just link to the DHS terrorist [slashdot.org] database and prevent them from registering as well?

    And, while we're at it, why not extend this to anyone who has ever, in their entire life, done something wrong. Contact the school board! (Given the antagonistic nature toward students, I'm sure most school boards would be more than willing to provide a list of names of "troublemakers").

    The notion of a convict settling his debt to society with prison time is quickly becoming antiquated. How long before "Once a criminal, always a criminal" becomes the slogan of law enforcement? How long before forgiveness is a de facto criminal act?

    I understand the intentions are good. But people do change. And some "sex offenders" are little more than drunks who got convicted of public urination, or streaking, etc...

    And of course, *no one* would think of registering with a fake name. NEVER!

    • by p43751 (170402)
      "Why not just link to the DHS terrorist [slashdot.org] database and prevent them from registering as well?"

      Yea, the world really need more sexually frustrated terrorists.
    • How long before "Once a criminal, always a criminal" becomes the slogan of law enforcement?

      The "slippery slope" is not an argument, it's sophistry. No one claims that "once a criminal, always a criminal."

      However, once a child molestor*, always a child molestor is quite accurate in the vast majority of cases. There are a lot of reasons someone might steal (hungry, etc), but there's only one reason you become a child molestor: because a child fits your sexual arousal profile AND you lack the ability to

  • The best answer is to educate children and parents and give parents the technical tools to keep track of their kids' Internet use.

    The Scary Internet Sex Predator may make good headlines, but it's not the biggest molestation danger to our teens. For preteens the danger of an actual kidnapping or meeting is very very small. Predators who send teens and children dirty pictures are easy enough to track down after-the-fact if parents are smart enough to call the police.

    The biggest risk to children are parents,
  • Its called PARENTING....
  • Umm, okay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by man_ls (248470) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:10PM (#17153378)
    I am not a sex offender, nor do I have inklings that would lead me to become one, but I also don't register my MySpace under my real name simply because I don't want people to be able to search for me.

    It's not going to do any good to prevent people from registering under alternate e-mail addresses and psuedonyms to get on the site.

    The libertarian in me also doesn't believe in sex-offender registries or blacklists such as this one -- the person most likely already went to prison and has a record that will follow them the rest of their life, why not give them a legitimate chance to actually be rehabilitated? Surely the stigmatization of being labeled and tracked the rest of their lives can't help them recover and not re-offend, after all. And if they do it again, well, lock them up for longer or forever.
  • Fake names? (Score:3, Funny)

    by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @07:55PM (#17155152) Journal
    When asked what MySpace would do if a sex offender simply signed up with a fake name, the MySpace spokesman paused, blinked a few times, and replied 'these go to eleven.'

  • This is a bit far (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @08:17PM (#17155498) Homepage Journal
    If a sex offender ( or any other criminal for that matter ) has served his ( or her ) time, i dont see why he ( or she ) should be restricted from online activites. They already have to register with the state, they already are restricted in where they can go physically, and they have lost several of their rights ( like ever being president or working for the government ) so who cares if they cruse some lame 'community site' to kill off boredom?

    What ever happend to 'serving your time and paying your debt to society for your mistake'. When did that become a life long repayment?
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      What ever happend to 'serving your time and paying your debt to society for your mistake'. When did that become a life long repayment?

      The government hasn't been able to properly reform criminals who go to jail and are released, and most of these criminals re-commit crimes when they emerge from prison. Instead of evaluating our methods of rehabilitation, we just assume that everyone who commits a crime will continue to do so and in effect make it more likely that this will be the case.

      If you are an out of

  • Endless laws dictating where they can live, where they can work, where they go, and now what they do on the web. Why don't they just keep them in prison like they really want instead of playing legal charades?

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