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Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell wants to remove the anonymity of the Internet from sex offenders

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell is seeking legislation requiring convicted sex offenders to register their online identities with the state’s recently revamped Sex Offender Registry. Sex offenders will have to identify their email addresses, instant messaging and chat room screen names so that sites such as MySpace can more easily block access of predators.

This decision comes after a discussion in Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s Youth Internet Safety Task Force. A member who represents MySpace.com told the group about the Web site’s initiative seeking federal legislation that would require convicted sex offenders to register all of their email addresses in a national sex offender database. The group instantly supported the idea but added the additional requirement of instant messaging identities.

Speaking about the proposed legislation, Attorney General McDonnell noted, “We require all sex offenders to register their physical and mailing addresses in Virginia, but in the 21st century it is just as critical that they register any email addresses or IM screen names. This has become readily apparent during the meetings of our Youth Internet Safety Task Force, and it is time we take this step. MySpace.com has led the way in coming up with this proactive solution, and Virginia will take the lead in being the first to propose the measure on a state level. I hope other social networking sites will join MySpace.com in implementing the software necessary to accomplish this goal.”

MySpace last week announced a technology that will be able to search existing state and federal databases to identify and delete the profiles of registered sex offenders. Such an effort to identify sex offenders on MySpace was first reported early October when Kevin Poulsen used a Perl script to cross reference MySpace users with state databases.

By creating a database of email addresses and IM names, and allowing social networking sites such as MySpace.com to access that database, law enforcement will be able to help such sites monitor users. When MySpace.com, or any other social networking site, comes across the email address or IM name of a registered sex offender they will now have the ability to both delete and/or block these individuals from accessing their site. 

“It is critical that states take this step as the vast majority of prosecutions and convictions for sex offenders take place at the state level,” McDonnell continued to emphasize. “This is not a foolproof approach, as we all fully realize how easy it is to get new email addresses. But by requiring registration, and by making the penalties for failure to register the same as those for failure to register physical and mailing addresses, we will take another positive step towards protecting children online.”



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Internet Privacy?!
By dlapham on 12/13/2006 2:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, first off I want to make it clear that I have the same issues with 'true' sex offenders as most other posters here. I personaly think that casteration should be manditory. It is humane and would fix the problem in most cases, but that isn't what this post is about.

I am not as paranoid as this post will make me sound, but I'll post it any way. What if the issue was an attempt to do away with anonymouse email access altogeather. What is Big Brother or whatever his name is these days used sex offenders as the scape goat because everyone hates them, but what they realy want is for all email address registered in the US to be verrified. This would be an impossible task and then international services would still be available, but I just see this as another attack on the internet being 'somewhat' anonymous. Sure your IP address is in the header of your email, but that is easy to get around... Again this is me playing paranoid. I don't realy think that "they" are out to get me, but one never knows do they :)




RE: Internet Privacy?!
By Christopher1 on 12/13/2006 9:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the words "true sex offenders" is that there is really no such thing.

Rape, unfortunate as it is for me to say it, having been raped numerous times, is a survival mechanism created by nature for the purpose of allowing someone to spread their genes.
That is why men (even though women would disagree!) can be raped just as easily as women.

Child sexual abuse is a word made up by religious zealots who believe that children shouldn't be having sex and that their imaginary 'god' would have a problem with them doing it, when they don't stop to think that 'god' wouldn't have made them with sexual organs from that early of an age if he didn't intend for them to have sex that early.

Everything that is classified as a 'sexual offense' is really just a religious nut trying to retool reality, or a feminist, male or female, trying to do the same thing.

Rape is always going to be around. What we need to do is make it so that men do NOT have to rape, by women being a little more free with the nookie than they are right now.

For pedophiles, same thing! Stop trying to put them in jail and simply teach children that they have the right to tell someone yea or nay as to a sexual encounter, and stop letting children feed you the bullshit that "He touched me and I didn't want him to!" Speaking from my own experience being 'sexually abused', I asked the teenager and adults in question EVERY TIME to touch me.
I was just lucky that my parents taught me to take responsibility for my own actions and inactions.


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