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New York Culls Sex Offenders From the Online Gaming Ranks 511

Posted by timothy
from the cradle-to-grave dept.
SternisheFan writes with a story at PC Mag that New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced that more than 2000 registered sex offenders have been kicked off various online gaming platforms, in an cooperative effort involving both the state and various gaming companies. From that article: "Earlier this year, the accounts of 3,500 additional offenders were removed from platforms operated by Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group, and Warner Brothers. New York State's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) law requires convicted sex offenders to register all of their email addresses, screen names, and other Internet identifiers with the state. Schneiderman's office then makes that information available to certain websites so they can make sure that their communities were not being used by predators. Operation: Game Over, however, is the first time e-STOP has been applied to online gaming platforms, he said. Since many online gaming platforms let users send messages to other players anonymously, it's unsafe to have convicted offenders using these services, Schneiderman said."
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New York Culls Sex Offenders From the Online Gaming Ranks

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  • Re:YAY I'm so glad!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Omega Xi (888812) <(omega-xi) (at) (omega-xi.com)> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:14PM (#42350231) Homepage Journal
    I logged in pretty much to say this but you beat me to it. Also not every pervert you bump into in WOW is a sex offender, desperate and lonely or perhaps just immature. Sadly there are all kinds of guys who think it's okay to treat girls like this online. These bans won't have any effect on that kind of behavior whatsoever though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:29PM (#42350473)

    In New York (which is what the article is about), sexting between 2 minors with less than 4 years age difference does not get you classified as a sex offender. So bullshit. In fact, even statutory rape laws only apply when on party is over 18 and the other under 15.

  • Re:YAY I'm so glad!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#42350715)

    So where exactly were the child's parents? Do they bear no responsibility at all? You realize that these lists consist of FAR more than people who have attempted to diddle kids or who have committed rape right? At what point will you have cut off so many avenues for these people that they have nothing left to lose? They are already herded into living in very restricted areas, they are already forced to submit to continuous monitoring, their names are already released to the public and their locations plotted on maps, and their job prospects are shit. Now you wish to remove entertainment? What next? Many of these people have already served their prison sentences, is this not a continuation of their punishment? If they're this much of a threat why were they released? Do you honestly think that this will solve anything? Do you think if a person intends to groom a child they will do it on a registered account? If they did before do you think they will continue to register accounts now?! Why can't you think this through logically? What's the end game of this?

  • Re:Labels (Score:5, Informative)

    by phayes (202222) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#42350733) Homepage

    Your ignorance is showing.
    A 17 year old girl can get on the list for having consensual sex with a 15 year old boy:
    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2003101190_offender03.html [seattletimes.com]

    Two 14 year olds boys got put on the list for putting their naked butts on the faces of two 12 year old boys :
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2017081/Two-teenagers-branded-sex-offenders-life-horseplay-incident.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    You can get put on the list for answering the door undressed:
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2887/is-it-indecent-exposure-if-im-visibly-naked-while-on-my-own-private-property [straightdope.com]

    A few more dumb reasons for being put on the list:
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/sex_offender_registry_stupidity/ [outsidethebeltway.com]

    In short, sex offender lists are being applied for anything having to do with nudity and on the other being used to justify barring people from anything to do with children. It's clearly bullshit but as most people don't pay attention to how laxist laws have become on placing people on the list they are easily swayed by prosecutors looking for a cheap & easy public display of how hard they are working.

  • Re:Labels (Score:4, Informative)

    by PraiseBob (1923958) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:02PM (#42351017)
    Heres one then:

    In my state, the police can charge you for being at a strip club if the stripper touches your shoulder (or any part of you) while being topless. It is rare but can and does happen when the cops want to shake a place down if they haven't been paying their bribes to vice.

    Ditto for consensual relations with any type of paid sex worker, such as prostitutes, etc. The cops leave the storefronts (massage parlors and whatnot) alone if they have paid their monthly dues, and arrest the employees & customers if not.

    These "sex crimes" result with you being on the sex offender registry for life, having to register everywhere you live, knocking on neighbors doors, and apparently not being able to play video games. Maybe having guys paying for sex isn't something you want in your community, but it isn't the same thing as being a rapist or pedophile.

    Paying $100 for dinner with a girl, and having sex = ok.
    Skipping dinner, giving the girl $100, having sex = Cant play videogames for your entire life. What?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:06PM (#42351083)

    Here is the problem. In New York, it is perfectly legal to urinate in public. There is a health statute against defecation, but that is a public health thing. The "whizzing in public" scenario is not valid. Court precedence states that "if the accused was making a good faith attempt to be out of the line sight of the majority of the public". This means, behind a bush and granny sees, won't get you a sex crimes conviction, it won't even get you a disorderly conduct citation. Trust me, I work in an outdoor profession, where many times, there isn't a rest room. I have gone on many a landmark and I can play my little video games online. As long as you try to be discrete about where you are going, it isn't a crime. People can get caught out in public and have to go, you don't put them on a sex crimes list for having one too many coffees in the morning. What about people with medical conditions, whose bladders do not function like yours? There are people with disabilities out there. And if you locked up every person who was going through Chemo and needed to go when there wasn't a public restroom open, you would have a problem. I wish more people would actually be familiar with local statutes and the historic purpose behind them. It is sad that this culture quickly blames the victim for being hurt and lets those who commit horrific acts get a pass.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:09PM (#42351123)

    Plenty of people on sex offender lists are neither rapists or molestors.

  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:19PM (#42351303) Journal

    Yah, make sure they have lots of spare time they don't know what to do with now.

  • by Urza9814 (883915) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:25PM (#42351367)

    You do realize what these lists ACTUALLY are, right? Yes, they include rapists and molesters. They also include people who got drunk and pissed in the bushes that one time on college, or went streaking, or skinny-dipping (basically any form of public nudity) or sent topless pictures of themselves to their significant other when they were 17......

    Lots of ways to end up on these lists. Some are not even in your control.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:12PM (#42351923)

    I understand that sex offenders have an unusually high recidivism rate

    This is a common misunderstanding as two minutes on Google will show. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender#Recidivism [wikipedia.org] sex offenders have a recidivism rate of 5.3% (or 43% when considering any crime rather then sex crimes) compared with 68% for non-sex crime recidivism.
    The way it's done in Canada is at sentencing the judge can include things like being put on the sex offender registry and being banned from certain activities if appropriate.

  • by e3m4n (947977) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:17PM (#42351995)

    just wanted to point out the obvious here, but a rapist IS a sex offender.. sex offenders are not just poedophiles. Stat rape is defined as having sex with someone below the age of consent despite that person willingly having sex with you. In some states a 17yr old can only concent with an older person within a year or two of their age. So 16 and 18 are ok to have sex, a 16 and 19yr old have consentual sex and the 19yr old is a sex offender for the rest of their life.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:57PM (#42352379) Homepage Journal

    Drunk Drivers are often prevented from owning/driving cars; or at least forced to own a car with a built in sobriety detector.

    Not on a first conviction!!!!

    You aren't branded for life with one DWI conviction...and don't suffer that type of punishment.

    You have to have been convicted in most places like 5+ times to get that kind of driving ban placed on you.

    Hell, there's people out there with 2-3 DWI convictions under their belts, driving again perfectly legal after paying their 'legal dues'.

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @06:26PM (#42353235)
    As a parent, I have more fear that my child will be seriously harmed by these laws than I am that my child might be harmed by a pedophile. Interestingly enough, if my next door neighbor had been convicted of being a cannibal that particularly enjoyed the taste of children, they wouldn't need to tell me that they were a danger. On the other hand, if they got caught streaking through a bar, they would need to notify me about how much of a danger they were to my child.

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