Print 61 comment(s) - last by Constitutional.. on Jan 5 at 9:41 PM

  (Source: The Drunken Clam Dot Com)
Privacy advocates concerned about a strict new law in Georgia which removes sex offender's online privacy

The latest scuffle over online privacy is brewing up in Georgia.  An aggressive new law is set to take effect today which will force sex offenders to hand over their internet passwords, screen names, and e-mail addresses to the government for monitoring purposes.  Several other states also have efforts that track sex offender's email and screen names.  However, Georgia, which has 16,000 registered offenders, will be the first state to demand the sex offenders’ passwords as well.

A similar law in Utah was already struck down by a federal judge, who ruled that it violated the privacy rights of an offender who challenged it.  However, that ruling was rather narrow as it applied to an offender tried on a military conviction who had never been in Utah's court or prison system.

Critics of the Georgian law say that it not only violates the privacy rights of offenders, but it also places undue stress on the already tight-for-cash Georgian law enforcement.  Sara Totonchi of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights states, "There's certainly a privacy concern.  This essentially will give law enforcement the ability to read e-mails between family members, between employers."

State Sen. Cecil Staton (R.) who wrote the bill argues that it is necessary to strip the rights of some citizens to protect the rights to life and liberty of others, particularly children.  He states that the benefits of the bill, which will allow law enforcement to detect stalking by predators sooner "outweighs a lot of the rights of these individuals."

He states, "We limit where they can live, we make their information available on the Internet. To some degree, we do invade their privacy.  But the feeling is, they have forfeited, to some degree, some privacy rights."

Most states do compromise sex offenders’ privacy to some extent by making their addresses available online in registries.  However, Georgia and Utah are the only states to propose legislation to take offenders passwords, according to civil rights researchers.  Others argue the bill isn't tough enough.  While the bill threatens violators with a possible return to prison, some believe this won't deter many.

Says State Sen. Staton, "My hunch is, where there's a will, there's a way.  If people are intent on violating this law, there are many different ways. What's important is we have given law enforcement a tool."

One critical issue at stake with the Georgian law is lack of specificity.  While the law is clearly meant to target offenders seeking to exploit children, it does not differentiate by crime.  Thus those found guilty of underage consensual sex, public indecency, or other sex crimes will likely be forced to turn over their passwords as well, bringing into question whether the law is targeting who it intends to.

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By JonnyDough on 1/1/2009 7:27:53 PM , Rating: 1
1. We have a justice/penal system based upon the idea of rehabilitation.

You wish. The system will slap your hand for anything...

If you're depressed, or are dealing with major life crisis the government could give a crap. They'll send you to jail for non-payment of child support, rather than help you find a job.

By jonmcc33 on 1/2/2009 8:50:28 AM , Rating: 5
It's your responsibility to get a job and take care of a child you conceived...not the government's.

By badmoodguy on 1/2/2009 2:04:02 PM , Rating: 1
LOL, you have no clue. You probably think you do, but in about 20 years, you'll realize that you didn't have a clue.

As for the topic, any law based on 'think of the children' is a bad law. Not that you'd have much success in bringing rational thought into the issue though with these braniacs running around making themselves feel good thinking that they are solving some problem.

By JonnyDough on 1/3/2009 5:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's also my RIGHT and my CHILD's RIGHT to have visitation. Unfortunately my ex is a lying sack of crap and child support and visitation aren't connected, according to law.

The problem is that a man gets depressed when he doesn't see his kids...and it's kind of hard to take a man and turn him into a willing slave while robbing him of the child he loves.

The other issue is that the court will let a woman take a child away from a father but expect him to pay her money anyway. Believe me, my child is better off with me. I was a stepfather and when my wife and I had a baby she went psychotic. Post traumatic stress. There should be a law against divorce and separation for the first 5 years of a child's life. People should be FORCED to live together.

By DASQ on 1/5/2009 1:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the pits of feminism. Divorce judges have ALWAYS been partial to women.

I'm not hating. I've just seen, time and time again, people getting screwed because somehow the woman deserves money for choosing to have the child 0 days a week.

By Drexial on 1/5/2009 1:43:20 PM , Rating: 1
If my parents were forced to live together, I cant imagine how fucked up I would be. It was hard enough leaving with them separately. My parents separating when I was one was the best way to handle the situation. I honestly think I would be institutionalized if they stayed together. But it's completely on a case by case basis.

You honestly thing being forced to live with a woman you just referred to as "a lying sack of shit" would be best for your child? Yes constant fighting and (at minimal)verbal abuse would do wonders to raise your child. If you cant maintain composure in a post on a forum, then I can't imagine what kind of pent up aggression that would come out.

I'm only saying this because I lived through it.

I haven't seen my dad in almost 10 years because I moved out while he was at work. If you don't want that to happen to you, then I would suggest taking some anger management courses. To assume that anything should be FORCED is ludicrous. Yes lets force something that wasn't working in the first place. If you care and want to see your kid, then don't get pissy because you cant see them now. Live every moment of your life preparing yourself for when you do see them. Don't feel that you have the RIGHT to take care of them, know that you have the ability.

No I don't no you. But don't tell me I don't have the right to say anything about the situation. I didn't watch this happen, I lived through it. So I hope you are concerned for your child as a father and not trying to exercise some right of masculinity to have offspring. Hearing my dad yell "That's my god damned kid" at my mom didn't leave me feeling like he wanted the best for me, just wanted me for the sake of saying he had me.

Sorry for the off topic rant.

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