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  (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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RE: I know the solution
By Breathless on 1/2/2009 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, to answer your objections in order:

No, no, no. I never said that severe punishment would ELIMINATE peoples propensity to commit terrible acts. I do know however that the fear of consequence DOES sway many people however. It would simply be to cut back on the amount of those who commit such things... People like me are smart enough to know this. As an example, some kids have liberal parents who let them do what they want and never punish them with physical discipline (just an example, lets not delve into this subject). Some have the opposite. The son or daughter of the liberal parent is generally disobedient and can feel free to do "bad stuff" with little fear of consequence, while the son or daughter of the parents like mine would be too afraid to get his head whacked off to do certain things. Granted, I still did bad things, but I'm smart enough to understand "I do this, I get whacked, and I don't wanna get whacked" so many times the knowledge of the consequence stopped me from doing things.

I agree, lets let the punishment fit the crime. You molest, you should die. You murder (with vicious intent and not in self defense or for other plausable reasons), you should die. Certain things deserve no rehabilitation, which brings me to your next point, which assumes that anybody (or many for that matter) who does these types of things is retarded or have brain malfunctions at the least. This is a convenient defense for these people. They, like me, have sinful urges that may be difficult to control. As an example, I believe I may have at least a partial addiction to the internet. I know and understand this, but I am perfectly capable of controlling the urge to spend all day online IF I CHOOSE TO. It is always my choice, just as it is always theirs. THEIR brain doesn't force them to do anything. They have voluntary control over their own limbs just like you, and can stop themselves from doing any violent or malicious act. God gives people this ability. Men in their defense say they cannot control it. Its just their sinful side. Certain sins are worthy of death, while others are not. My addiction related to the internet does not equate to a thief breaking into someones house in the middle of the night and robbing them or killing them. It is very convenient how many choose to take their element of self control out of the picture.

And I find it odd that you would get the idea that I don't hate murders and thieves and extortionists the same way I hate molesters and rapists! I don't know where you got the idea that I thought otherwise. Considering in context we are talking about the latter, it wouldn't make sense to bring up the other parties. I'd put them all in the same (or very close to the same) category my friend.


RE: I know the solution
By Gzus666 on 1/2/09, Rating: 0
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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