Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime Government Sony Your Rights Online

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New York Culls Sex Offenders From the Online Gaming Ranks

Comments Filter:
  • by hazah (807503) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:56PM (#42349993)
    Everyone. Clearly.
  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:56PM (#42350003)

    If the aim is to stop registered sex offenders from messaging, why block them from gaming completely? Just block their ability to message.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:58PM (#42350039)

    rationality doesn't really come into play with "sex offender" laws.

    p.s. you can be put on a sex-offender registry because you "sexted" with your gf/bf when you were both in high school!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:01PM (#42350069)
    Exactly. This law isn't about keeping kids safe, it's about piling increasing the punishment ex post facto. See, it's an administrative response, not a punishment as far as the courts are concerned.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:01PM (#42350071)

    You clearly are a pedophile sympathizer, if not a pedo yourself!

    In all seriousness, though, we won't get rational sex crime laws until a significant cultural attitude shift occurs. Especially when children are involved. These are just some of the problems involved with living in a sexualized but sex negative society like the US.

  • Sex Offenders (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Translation Error (1176675) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:03PM (#42350085)
    This is a good step, along with other such measures that do their best to prevent people convicted of sex crimes from having a chance of living a happy, productive life once they've served their time. We must continually tighten the screws on them and make sure they can't have lives that are worth too much to throw away in a moment of stress, rage, and frustration.

    Because a dog that's constantly beaten and scolded is the one that behaves best, right?
  • by medcalf (68293) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:05PM (#42350103) Homepage
    I can understand the comfort thing, but at some point we have to decide either that people are so dangerous that they must be removed from the population, or that we have punished them enough and need to let them alone. The alternative is that the state gets to persecute and hound people forever, once convicted, continually piling on new punishments without court action, merely to assuage people's desire to "do something." And any time there are crimes that are so stigmatized (terrorism and "sex crimes" being the current boogymen) that anything can be done to punish the offenders, the natural tendency is to expand the original, horrible crimes beyond all recognition. It's the same thing as calling a handgun a "weapon of mass destruction," which originally meant chemical, nuclear and biological weapons that, when used as intended, could kill thousands at a single use. I simply think it's a bad idea to turn over to government the ability to persecute people indefinitely and infinitely, because that power will always be abused, and eventually I (or you) will be the victims of that abuse.
  • by admdrew (782761) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:06PM (#42350119) Homepage

    I suspect because no one wants to spend resources developing that sort of functionality. It is probably also seen as far "safer" and easier for companies to simply ban those offenders, than it would be to track and restrict them.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:09PM (#42350171)

    Or maybe you Christian-right nannies should fuck right off.

  • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Insightful)

    by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:12PM (#42350197)

    I do have to wonder if this will every be challenged as "Cruel and unusual".

    They paid their time, if they were to be punished more throw them back behind bars, otherwise stop actively harassing them. Realistically they probably would have gotten off easier had they just committed a good ol' fashioned murder.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kergan (780543) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:13PM (#42350217)

    I think it's pretty safe to bet that the US will go there eventually.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:15PM (#42350237)

    What about the sex offenders whose crimes had *nothing to do* with children? What if they took a piss behind a bush and a 70 year old lady happened to see them and reported it? It's not a "touched little kids" list, it's a "any act that uses any part of the part of the body conceivably used for sex" list.

    What you're doing is the same as lumping everyone who has ever had a speeding ticket or parking violation in with DWI offenders and then saying that *none of them* are allowed to go to bars just because a small subset of the group has done something bad related to alcohol.

  • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:22PM (#42350357)

    More like, what good is a list to protect kids if it's populated by people who are of no threat, and never have been?

  • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:22PM (#42350371) Journal
    I mean, clearly, if a convicted sex offender is not going ever going to be allowed to reintegrate into normal society and be permitted to relate to society in a normal way after their incarceration, then what on earth is the point of releasing them back into normal society in the first place?
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:24PM (#42350401) Homepage

    you can be put on a sex-offender registry because you "sexted" with your gf/bf when you were both in high school!

    Meanwhile the TSA can scan/grope children to their hearts content because the same government that passed this law passed some other ones too.

    The TSA is a dream job for a pedophile [google.com].

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:27PM (#42350449) Homepage

    You are preventing them from engaging in commerce and public life.

    It's basically Amish shunning or Hawthorne's Scarlet letter but without the obvious initial "buy in" of joining an extremist religious cult first.

    The sacred cow will ensure the precedent is set in general so that it can be applied to YOU next time.

  • So picture this... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:28PM (#42350459)

    You're on a road trip driving on an empty road in the middle of nowhere, and you desperately need a pee. There isnt a town or anything at all for at least 50 miles and theres no way you can hang on that far anyway.
    You finally have to pull over to the side of the road and take care of business. Unfortunately a cop car goes by at the wrong moment and he spotted you, turns around and arrests you for peeing in a public place. Congratulations you are now a registered sex offender. Thats how easy it is and how fucked up the system really is.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:33PM (#42350529) Homepage

    If you read tfa, a 12 year old boy was 'groomed' for a period of months by a sex offender using a Playstation. After gaining the youth's trust the sexual assaults began. Sex offenders do not belong around kids at all, it's too big a damn risk to take.

    Then you'll just have to keep them locked up forever, unless you're willing to better define "around kids," because the damn things are everywhere (kids, not sex offenders).

    The standard cliche (in the UK, at least) is that paedophiles groom children with the promise of puppies - better ban sex offenders from keeping pets!

    A few months ago two men seriously sexually assaulted a child in a shopping centre - better ban sex offenders from shopping!

    Forfty percent of all sex offenders have jobs and eat bread - well, you see where I'm going with this.

    PS You've conflated sex offenders with paedophiles. Not all of one are the other.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:42PM (#42350667)

    Because this is another no fly list.

    Your rights as citizens are being weithered away by your Americanized 'Committee of Public Safety'. Look how well that worked for the French.

     

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:42PM (#42350685)

    It's the prison you go to after you get out of prison.

  • Re:Wooo Justice! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#42350713)

    not really. If the perps spent their time in prison, let them be. If they're so damn dangerous they can't be trusted, why let them out??? Society needs to make up its mind.

  • by Gerzel (240421) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (terrefyllorb)> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:49PM (#42350793) Journal

    Depends on the game.

    If it is a game aimed at children where children are the primary demographic then it is just as right as the rest of the law.

    If it is a game for general audiances where children often play then it is a bit more worrisome.

    Basically there is a big difference in banning someone from "My Little Pony Online" vs "Call of Duty Modern Bang Bang."

    And if it is a game aimed primary at adults which children under a certain age shouldn't be playing then this is simple harassment because authorities don't like this population of people.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:51PM (#42350817) Homepage Journal

    So next time I visit your town, I can stop in to pee?

    That's why God made McDonalds.

    Lord knows you shouldn't eat there.

  • Re:Too Much (Score:4, Insightful)

    by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:58PM (#42350925)

    No... it's C&U that someone is convicted, served their time and pays any fines; then are constantly hounded for the rest of their lives, even when trying to engage in perfectly legal activities.

    It'd be on the scale of, you being in a drunk driving accident, and then not being allowed to purchase a car every again.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:58PM (#42350937)

    I'd rather side with pedos than with people who crap out laws like that.

    Think rationally about it: The pedos will never harm me. Those laws, on the other hand, might if I take a piss in the wrong spot.

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:02PM (#42351019)

    What about the sex offenders whose crimes had *nothing to do* with children? What if they took a piss behind a bush and a 70 year old lady happened to see them and reported it? It's not a "touched little kids" list, it's a "any act that uses any part of the part of the body conceivably used for sex" list.

    What you're doing is the same as lumping everyone who has ever had a speeding ticket or parking violation in with DWI offenders and then saying that *none of them* are allowed to go to bars just because a small subset of the group has done something bad related to alcohol.

    Well, the guy DID have a penis with him when he got drunk a the bar...

  • by hduff (570443) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ffudtyoh}> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:05PM (#42351073) Homepage Journal

    You are preventing them from engaging in commerce and public life.

    It's basically Amish shunning or Hawthorne's Scarlet letter but without the obvious initial "buy in" of joining an extremist religious cult first.

    The sacred cow will ensure the precedent is set in general so that it can be applied to YOU next time.

    I believe the intent is to prevent pedophile pedators from clandestinely communicating with potential underage prey. However, since sex-offender status is applied to more than just pedophiles, I would think that this is overly broad.

    But since creepy and pervy is so creepy and pervy and decent people don't want to be associated with creepy and pervy and doing so may alert law enforcement, I doubt anybody will actually object to this treatment. They basically adopt the "don't do kiddie porn, don't fark teens and kiddies, don't rape or grope anybody and don't expose yourself in public if you want to play online games" attitude.

  • by robot256 (1635039) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:24PM (#42351363)
    How exactly is a lifetime of being treated as a leper proper punishment for drunken public urination? The problem is not that the treatment is inappropriate for some individuals based on their past crimes, but that many people are put on these all-powerful lists who really shouldn't be, given the consequences.
  • Re:Sex Offenders (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:27PM (#42351393)

    Even if they have "served their time", do we really want to let potentially dangerous folks back on the street unmonitored?

    Yes, because we do it all the time. Society decided that the punishment for murder is X number of years in prison. The person serves X number of years in prison and we release him. Maybe the punishment includes monitored probation, maybe not. But, the point is: we decided the punishment is X and the offender is subjected to punishment X. Period. If the person murders again, they serve X more years in prison, etc.

    Sex offenders, on the other hand, have a completely arbitrary process. Society decided that the punishment for molesting a child is Y. However, after serving punishment Y, the offender now has to negotiate a completely arbitrary system of city, county, state statutes that can change at a moment's notice and affect them after the fact.

    If you are afraid of sex offenders re-offending, then one of two things needs to happen: 1) society needs to agree that sex offenders should be imprisoned forever, or 2) we need to work toward figuring out ways to help them avoid re-offending.

    It is wrong, however, to just arbitrarily create a class of people that are retroactively given vindictive, unproductive punishments with ever increasing severity.

    Then again, no one wants to be seen as standing up for the rights of sex offenders. So, this is likely to continue forever.

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:37PM (#42351531)

    No, the intent is to show the public the current rulers are "tough on crime", children and citizens be damned.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:42PM (#42351591) Journal

    A clue you may have missed: not all people with the title "sex offender" was caught doing bad things to children, or even to other human beings.

    If the label were applied only to those who sexually assaulted children, then you might have had a point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:44PM (#42351617)

    The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
    - H. L. Mencken

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:45PM (#42351633)

    I believe the intent is to prevent pedophile pedators from clandestinely communicating with potential underage prey.

    It's an attempt to prevent people that have been convicted of a crime and paid their dues / served their time from participating in legal activities on the basis that they *might* commit the same crime with new victims.

    Are car thieves prevented from owning/driving cars? Are bank robbers prevented from having bank accounts. Are rapist prevented from dating and/or getting married and/or having children? Nope, but as a sex offender, they can't play WoW - along with a whole bunch of other things they must do, like register themselves everywhere, avoid schools and parks, etc...

    I understand that sex offenders have an unusually high recidivism rate and the laws are intended to "protect the children" (or others) but isn't this simply shifting the responsibility of parents to teach their children, and for the children themselves, to act safely and responsibly and for parents to monitor their children properly?

    You know the financial industry gets away with the disclaimer, "Past performance is no guarantee of future results," and their failure rate is probably worse than the sex offender recidivism rate. But, I guess it's okay to ruin people financially, just don't show them your winky.

  • by icebike (68054) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:09PM (#42351893)

    I believe the intent is to prevent pedophile pedators from clandestinely communicating with potential underage prey. However, since sex-offender status is applied to more than just pedophiles, I would think that this is overly broad.

    Exactly. In many jurisdictions, you become a sex offender simply by peeing in a back alley in the dark after the bars close.

    There really needs to be a legal redefinition of the terminology to weed out the pedophiles from the person on the losing side of a he-said/she-said.

  • by hurfy (735314) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:12PM (#42351925)

    Yup, and another law for the law-abiding.

    Oh, i am sorry, of course the people planning bad things gave all their info over. Silly me for thinking the truely evil ones might not obey.

    Maybe, they prevent a couple of people from spur of them moment naughty things...hardly seems worth punishing so many.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:53PM (#42352343) Homepage Journal
    If someone has served their time...why are they still being persecuted?

    Does this same type of continued persecution follow convicted murderers, which would arguably be LESS on the 'bad' scale, since they actually ended someone's life?

    Are convicted murderers, once term served and not on probation still required to register wherever they go...and have this type of ban placed on them?

  • by Mattcelt (454751) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @05:08PM (#42352521)

    Except that in this case, their status is a result of their actions.

    The problem is that in the US, "sex offender" is a catch-all for many different types of behaviour, not simply pædophelia. Therefore many people who are "registered sex offenders", but who pose absolutely zero threat to minors, are being grossly punished. (And this applies to many things far outside of online gaming, for certain.)

    A great example is of a 16-year-old girl who takes a naked picture of herself and sends it to her 16-year-old boyfriend; an authority finds out; and she is charged with felony production and possession of child pornography. It has happened. [slashdot.org] A lot. [google.com]

    Fortunately, some places are trying to bring common sense thinking [cbsnews.com] to this. But not enough, not yet. (Btw, the douchebag threatening felony charges against the 16-year-old girl was District Attorney George Skumanick, who was thankfully voted out of office in part because of this in 2009.)

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @05:10PM (#42352543)

    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.

    Thanks, I did not know that and fell victim to the common perception. I didn't think to actually check...

  • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @05:25PM (#42352661)

    Yeah, it's getting to be a guy can't commit sex crimes without lasting consequences anymore. Sheesh.

    If you think the jail time wasn't enough, then petition for the sentences to be longer. Don't "free" them when their term is over, really free them. Even murderers get a better shake at life out of the big house.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @06:43PM (#42353379) Homepage Journal

    No, but what are human rights are protection from double jeopardy and retroactive sentencing. When you have paid your debt to society, society can't say "wait a minute, we now also want to restrict you from ...". No matter whether it's a $0.01 fine, public flogging, or being banned from activities that others can join.

    If you really want sex offenders serving life time sentences, you need to give them life time sentences. Changing the sentence afterwards is a direct human rights violation.

    And unless you're very stupid and short sighted, you do not want to hand out the maximum sentences when you can avoid it. If that's what a rapist is facing, what would stop him from killing the victim and get rid of the witness? If he's going to get the maximum penalty anyhow, there's nothing to lose.

    What this is is moral indignation, nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with feeling superior to those you take out your anger on. Because they are not us, and thus does not have to be treated like us.
    Fucking double standards.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.

Working...