Convicted sex offenders who used websites to help them commit their crimes are to be banned from using the internet under a tough new measure signed into New Jersey law yesterday. The bill, which was signed by the state's acting governor Richard J. Codey, will apply to offenders who used email or other electronic messages in …
What will they do with all that spare time?
Hang around parks and street corners I suppose.
I suspect this will not survive court challenge. The internet touches too many aspects of our lives. Not allowing any use except for a few exceptions essentially bars a person from participation in the culture at large. They will have to find another way to deal with this problem.
Re: What will they do with all that spare time?
No problem: most kids are indoors stuffing their faces with pies and playing on games consoles (possibly at the same time).
I choose the penguin as my edible icon.
What sucks is...
That to get on that list all you have to do is take a leak behind a bush and a woman sees you and calls the police.
Think about the children ?
Admitedly, my knowledge of US legislation is at best sketchy, but having read that you can put for lifetime on sex offenders' lists for small offences like taking a pee in public, mooning police agents, and sending nude pictures of yourself to your date while underage, I fail to see why on earth those people should be banned from the Internet at large. This reeks of witch hunting.
New Jersey bans sex offenders from the (web/internet)*
* delete as appropriate
So which is it then, are they banned from just the web, or the whole Internet?
Cruel & Unusual
Any one else feel that in the modern world this law might just violate the eighth amendment of the US Constitution, you know, the one that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. I'm sure lawyers are already starting their challenge research...
"Not allowing any use except for a few exceptions essentially bars a person from participation in the culture at large"
Forgive me if I am wrong but doesn't prison stop people from participating in 'the culture at large'? If you ignore your responsibilities to society then should you not expect restriction of your freedoms?
How is this going to be policed? The only suggestion is that the police will do spot checks on your PC. Who's to say that they may not declare that they have equiptment or subsequently buy it after the ban and use one of the many WiFi spots in the USA. Also, does this cover mobile (cell to our american friends) phones? Daft. I once read an American court case where a hacker was ordered by the judge that he was not allowed to be with 50 yards of a modem at anyone time... yes ANY modem. Daft!!!!
Um I've only heard of such bans when people were convicted of hacking offenses
Am I the only person outraged by this?
Let me get this straight. These people have committed a crime, were convicted and served their time. They are now free citizens again. (don't even get me started about the life sentence they were given with the sex offender registration) And now the State of New Jersey has decided that they are to serve an additional sentence? Where is that consitutional?
That would be like if New Jersey decided that all individuals charged with felony DUI could no longer surf alcohol related sites. Heck, its more like saying they shouldn't be faced with temptation so they should not be allowed to purchase liquor.
Maybe New Jersey shouldn't let Sex Offenders be any place where children are present or maybe they should just have to wear a big "SO" on their clothing at all times!
Am I the only person outraged by this?
Eighth Amendment? What about First?
I suspect it is unreasonable breach of right to free speech.
@Unworkable: it is daft, but with the super-dooper wireless modems nowadays I can be in my nearest pub and still get a connection from home :-)
Sex offender witch hunts.
You can thank our culture of fear for this current persecution of sex offenders. There's no other criminal aspect in this country which we fear anymore. Gangs petered out, the mafia is non-existent, serial killers are just about a work of fiction, and school shootings only apply to a small subsection of the population and are being dealt with by the anti-gun crowd. So what is there really to fear?
Sex offenders, bam! Used to be child molesters and rapists were the only ones caught under that moniker - but now it's an umbrella term used to capture everyone who does just about anything that this society of yuppies and self-important blow-hards finds unpleasant. Pissed on a wall? Sex offender. Moon your neighbor? Sex offender. Have sex in your own home? Sex offender. Get a blowjob in your car in the middle of the night in an area where no one could possibly see, even if you're two adults of consenting again? Sex offender. Pass out drunk in the front lawn and your friends strip you naked as a joke? Sex offender. For you geeky types, have cybersex with an underage girl who said she was of age? Sex offender. E-mail nude pictures to said girl? Sex offender. Have sex in a theater? Sex offender. Be more than x years apart when you're underage and have sex? Sex offender. Have sex when one person is 18 and the other 17 in certain states? Sex offender. Look at Traci Lords porn? Sex offender. Project pornography into your neighbor's house because they're always up late throwing wild parties? Sex offender. Have sex with someone in a pool or get blown in a jacuzzi? Sex offender.
This country has always had a penchant for persecuting anything anyone finds unpleasant. Political correctness has always existed, it just never had a name before. Ever since the hippies' kids came 'into power' the yuppies have been trying to round every jagged edge in this country, often pressuring congress or local governments into enacting incredibly un-constitutional and illegal legislation.
No one speaks out against it because in this country's fucked up logic any defense of social pariahs always ends up being spun so severely that you'll eventually come out looking like a child-molesting drunk-driving serial killing rapist lunatic. Someone needs to step up to the plate, though, and fight the good fight. When they do, those of us who find these pieces of legislation appalling need to back him up with more than just words on a website.
Perhaps that's the reason nobody bothers trying anymore, it's much easier to pander to the special interests who have the money or the motivation to fight the long fight. I'm sure there are enough voters out there who want to lower the 21 drinking age by removing the highway act, but they're all probably too much. I'm sure there are enough voters out there who want to legalize marijuana, but they're all probably too stoned. Plus, people do both anyway. And if those two hot button topics are two of the more important aspects that garner votes yet still fail to make any impression on legislators then how are we to expect society to stand up for those that even people who ARE concerned about the constitutionality of laws can't be arsed to do so? We can't.
It's much easier to get up in arms and convince the masses that you're right when you're using someone close to you as a martyr. Most often, it's a child. Mothers' protecting their children from the evils of whateverthefuck. Failed byproduct of the sexual revolution that weren't able to make their mark elsewhere in society and so instead make it through legislators. Sickeningly abusing their position as someone who's lost an important figure in their life. Again, most often, it's a child. They're cute, innocent, and never know better, ripe for the plucking. Accosted by sex offenders, drunk drivers and gun toting maniacs the world over.
Whatever would we do in this world without mothers? A mothers love never ends and knows no bounds. What is it they say about having children, again? Oh, right. The act of birth destroys the logic center in your brain and you cease to be a functional, productive member of society because somehow, someway, having a child makes you an expert on everything that is never wrong, ever.
I think this is best proved by that news clip of the woman saying "As a mother, I know all about terrorists..." or on Penn & Teller's bullshit, interviewing future mothers on college campuses on whether or not they'd like to *end* women's suffrage with every response except one being yes.
"The Vagina Monologues" is proof that giving women the right to vote was certainly the worst thing to happen to this country in the last century.
whats the problem?
First might I suggest that some of you actually read the article - this will apply to people who used the internet in their crimes so were talking pedophiles, date rapists etc. here not people pissing in public or mooning the filth.
Second to the people saying they've done their time leave them alone etc - If this is part of their punishment they have not 'done their time' but are still serving their punishment.
Lastly who cares - if you've set up a child porn site, or raped the date you met on craigslist then we don't want you on the net! This seems to me to be entirely appropriate - and this punishment has been used previously for hacking (a far less serious crime).
Oh and to the person talking about a ban on buying alcohol after a DUI... Nice try but have you never heard of driving bans, seems very similar to me...
"First might I suggest that some of you actually read the article - this will apply to people who used the internet in their crimes so were talking pedophiles, date rapists etc. here not people pissing in public or mooning the filth." - this is your list of crimes not theirs. I suggest you re-read the article and the other posts.
"Second to the people saying they've done their time leave them alone etc - If this is part of their punishment they have not 'done their time' but are still serving their punishment." - A lifetime punishment- you don't get that for murder.
"Lastly who cares" - just the attitude other posters have been on about.
"Nice try but have you never heard of driving bans, seems very similar to me..." - Perhaps you should think about it a bit more.
No access to computers for sex offenders
I think these people should not have access to computers whatsoever.
In fact I'd go so far as to argue for the automatic death penalty because they are sick beyond rehabilitation and cannot contribute anything to society.
Another alternative would be for the UN to buy up an island in the middle of nowhere and put them all on it and let them do what they want to each other, thus keeping potential victims safe.
"Forgive me if I am wrong but doesn't prison stop people from participating in 'the culture at large'? If you ignore your responsibilities to society then should you not expect restriction of your freedoms?"
Yes, it does, but these people have already been released from prison, having satisfactorily paid their debt to society, in accordance with the law.
Now, we've told them they've paid their debt, but only sort of, because we think they're still nasty, so we want to punish them some more, for what we think they're likely to do. I'm likely to speed on the way home from work tonight. Should my license be revoked NOW as a result of what I have not done (yet)? I think not.
I was with you right up until you made it about gender. While the Penn & Teller example is entertaining, women not knowing that their right to vote was called "Suffrage" back in the day is hardly justification for removal of said right. Just as women tend to say "as a mother I know all about <insert subject here>", men tend to say or at the very least imply "as a man I know all about <insert subject here>". We're equally guilty.
What I agree on is that we, the populace, need to take control of what is happening. When I was in college, we had a man employed at the college who years before had been convicted of a "sex crime" and was labelled a sex offender after release. When the school found out, he was fired. I read the charges he was convicted of, and in no way should he have been labelled a level 3 sex offender or fired from the university. It's a complete joke what we do to these people.
RIghts violated by this law:
Freedom of speech and of the press -- other court cases established that safe harbor provisions extend to bloggers as de facto journalists. If that is the case, then banning someone from accessing the internet is to restrict their ability to express their view in a form of publishing that the government already acknowledges as a valid form of the press.
Freedom to peacefully assemble -- The constitution does not neccessarily limit the location of such assemblies to physical locations. One could argue that a person has the right to peacefully assemble in an online community, and that the government would have no right to abridge that right. (the proprietor of said community, however, would retain the right to deny access on whatever grounds it saw fit -- see myspace, banning of sex offenders' accounts)
Freedom from excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishment:
A parolee may wish to engage in online business, and will be prohibited from doing so, which would potentially constitute an excessive fine. Also with the growing penetration of the internet into daily life, denying this to an individual may constitute cruel or unusual punishment.
I'm bloody well tired of telling someone they've paid their debt to society, yet still punishing them either for acts they've already served their time for, or acts they've not (yet) committed.
Ban the internet? How is this considered by a free country?
The government should be forced to put such draconian measures to a public vote before being allowed to impose such laws.
Not that the public is particularly good policy making, but at least they'd only have themselves to blame.
Things that would consequently be banned:
...not a comprehensive list of course
Casting such a wide net
Always catches innocent people. It is unenforcible and no matter how heinous some of these people are, painting them all with the same brush is not justice. If a 19 year old meets a 17 year old on my space, they meet and get nasty, the 19 year old is guilty of statutory rape. He should be banned for life?
I think that people like you should be kept away from the internet with your overly simplistic answers to complicated problems. Maybe we should put you on an island with all the other wackjobs who want to nuke the middle east and believe that Bush is the greatest thing since slice cheese (since he is also a big fan of overly simplistic and heavy-handed solutions). Them and the Christian fanatics. Good riddance.
> automatic death penalty because they are sick beyond rehabilitation and cannot contribute anything to society.
And which people would this cover: those who are spotted taking a pee/being nude in public or those who are repeat offenders of sex-related crimes against very young children?
In your strange little monochrome world you'd string them both up as equally guilty. Or have you suddenly come over all Pavlovian and are just responding with the knee-jerk reactions the lower end of the media has trained you to give?
"Another alternative would be for the UN to buy up an island in the middle of nowhere and put them all on it and let them do what they want to each other, thus keeping potential victims safe."
Something like this already happened. They call it Australia.
You bleeding hearts can cry all you like - the fact is, "convicted sex offenders who used websites to help them commit their crimes" CHOSE to offend. They have CHOSEN to deal with the consequences of their actions if they are caught. In other words, they have CHOSEN to be subject to these conditions.
I have no sympathy whatsoever for paedophiles and similar ilk.
This is just more regulation of the people leading to the communist nation of america!. california just passed a law stating you can no longer smoke in a car with a child under the age of 18 or be fined for it. i have never understood why the goverment thinks that it is it's job to protect people from themself's or there children. as far as i am concerned the NJ law is just flat out stupid! and as others have pointed out banns people who have otherwise commited a simple crime and not a true "Sex Crime", our law's in this country need to be changed so that every law written into rule should be voted on by the public 1st, then get a real president into office who actually worked for a living prior to becomming president!
Right, now, explain me this :
As it turned out, she finally managed to get out of that trap because the case created an enormous uproar, but it remains that :
- she was convicted by a jury
- she was labelled a sex offender
- the "crime" was commited with a computer.
So moreover she should have her internet access revoked now ?
Note that she never had *any* choice to avoid filling the conditions set by the law : as soon as the classroom computer went berzerk on its own, she was indeed guilty because as I understand it, most sex offenses are criminalized by *statute laws*. The purpose of statute laws is to *exclude* the impossibility of choice as a mean of defense. It's akin to being at the wrong time in the wrong place. So called "sex offenses" do not even require sexual intention. For many of us foreigners with a basic knowledge of criminal justice principles (those you can read in Beccaria, for instance), this just is plain wrong.
..Sex offenders are automatically pedophiles! Seems like every time somebody mentions the word "sex offender" the image of a 45 year old man having sex with an X year old girl pops into their heads.
It's a stereotype that MUST END. Most SOs that are walking free have either served their due time or did a crime too minor to warrant jail time.
Because the case shouldn't have even received a second glance by the district attorney, let alone gone to court.
How many convictions of bona fide internet paedophiles have occurred this year, in the United States alone? Many hundreds. Globally? Thousands. How many potential child molestors who organised to meet children via the internet have been caught by police? Quite a few of those, too.
For what it's worth, how many cases of this kind have come up this year, worldwide? Or since, say, 1995, for that matter? Not many. You could probably count them all on one hand.
Pathetic that anyone would defend such ridiculous, unreal ban.
This being the US, I would bet that the offenders used cars to go where their victims were in every single case. Ban them from driving, then, since cars were an indispensable element in their committing the crimes. Just in case they get smart and try to use the bus or a taxi next time they get horny: ban then from using ANY means of mechanical transportation (and when that Star Trek thing comes along, ban that too). But do allow them to go around by horse, we're not insensitive savages after all and these people have to get a living somehow in today's world, even if they once did (or not) do something really bad.
What do you say, there are legitimate uses for cars and transportation that these people should be able to use? Wonders never cease...
I'm pretty sure someone could create an OS- and architecture-independent device that connects to the person's internet cable and records what they do, and someone reviews what the software flags, or something on those lines -- OK, it wouldn't be perfect, and privacy would be gone for these people, but at least the ex-cons would have a much fairer chance of living in the modern world. Probably such thing already exists and is used on you anyway, just more remotely (NSA anyone?). But I guess that there would be work and thinking involved just to preserve some people's rights... And who wants to preserve rights, specially of former criminals, right?
Probably such thing already exists and is used on you anyway, just more remotely (NSA anyone?)
It does exist it's known as Echelon
As to the law, well considering the current American political/legislative system has it's head so far up it's own ass it doesn't suprise me that this was passed. It also wouldn't suprise me to see it crash and burn when the idiots try to enforce it.
This is what happens when you allow a moron to be president. Learn from the Bush administration my american friends, learn not to let it happen again.
How is this even enforceable? Doesn't take a genius to see how this could easily be circumvented.
""Another alternative would be for the UN to buy up an island in the middle of nowhere and put them all on it and let them do what they want to each other, thus keeping potential victims safe."
Something like this already happened. They call it Australia."
Lets not forget that for a time the good old US of A was England's criminal wasteland as well! ;-)
Rights my Ass.
if the sex crimes were against children then being banned from the internet seems kinda "only a drop in the bucket" of the punishment that should be imposed ..again crimes against children ..not that sex crimes against anyone else is tolerable , but naive ,innocent children . some decisions have consequences that should last a lifetime.
"some decisions have consequences that should last a lifetime."
No they shouldn't society saves the longest and most punitive sentences for the gravest crimes like murder which is most of the time not forever or anything close are you saying this is worse than murder then the sentence should be life in prison anything else is unthinkable, if it's less then anything more is unthinkable, this crap is simply cruelty applied in the name of safety I don't find anything safe or just about it who is next mister over simplifier just anyone you don't happen to like. I'm in favor of good long stays in prison for child molesters even life sentences (real ones) for repeat offenders but this doesn't keep children safe it doesn't deter crime it's just pandering crap law for idiots like you. I doubt this will pass a test in court it's simply another sop for Scott and the other hydrocephalic masses that vote for shit like GW.
These people are DEVIL WORSHIPERS
Once, one of these sinners (he had been drinking alchohol) came onto our white picket fenced lawn and urinated against our apple tree whilst my three-year-old daughter watched through the window. Sex offenders like this should be sent to Australia with the rest of the garbage. I only say this because I love my country and it is about time that we cleaned it up.
God Bless America, War On Terror, God's Country! Yeeeeeehaaaaa!
<<Maybe New Jersey shouldn't let Sex Offenders be any place where children are present or maybe they should just have to wear a big "SO" on their clothing at all times>>
Better, maybe would be a star of David. That used to work....Once, in Adolf's time.
Sex offender? It's now a status symbol for kids in some parts of Britain to have an "ASBO" (Antiscocial Behaviour Order). Why not a status of making it to the Sex Offenders register? After all, with the privacy rules, no-one could tell if you'd be wankin*g off the boy next door, or fuck*ing Paris Hilton when she was an underage teenager...
Yep, sex offenders should definitely be sent to Australia. It still makes as much sense as it did when the English were sending convicts there in the 18 century...
A beautiful tropical and sub-tropical paradise with almost unlimited resources, endless sunshine, plenty of land for everyone, and the world's best beaches.
That'll teach em.
"Better, maybe would be a star of David. That used to work....Once, in Adolf's time."
..seem to have admitted that they are a country of violent perverts who have to be protected from themselves, each other, personal responsibility, parental responsibility, judgement, common sense, reality, etc etc etc..
..seems to me that any SO's expelled from the USA would fit right in.
On the other hand we could just send the US Taliban over there instead, then they wouldn't have to see anything on the web that upsets them and normal people could then take a piss in their own back garden when neccessary (I lose my keys a lot) without being branded a paedophile by every ignorant fuckwit who doesn't let facts or proportionality get in the way of a good scare story.
As in, this bit?:
"However, Godwin's law itself can be abused, as a distraction or diversion, that fallaciously miscasts an opponent's argument as hyperbole, especially if the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate. A 2005 Reason magazine article argued that Godwin's law is often misused to ridicule even valid comparisons."
This law is clearly an ass and (once again, up to the rather ill-advised gender diversion) Bryce Prewitt's one of several posts which amply sum up why.
There are a few problems with this
To clarify, this State law was introduced in New Jersey. For those of you unfamiliar with 'Jersey', they passed a law a few years back making it a crime to shovel snow into the street. It's a land of outrageous legislation. In addition, this law targets sex offenders and is one of many ridiculous laws passing on the coat tails of the Federal Megan's Law which a) Does not work and b) is cruel and unusual punishment for sex offenders. Simply taking a piss in public could land you on the sex offenders list, opening the possibility of loosing your home and your job. Soliciting a prostitute could also land you on the sex offenders list, except in the state of Nevada where it's perfectly legal and regulated.
In New York, legislation was introduced to place sex offenders into their own emergency shelters in the event of a situation which warrants the use of one. This is all part of a continued attack on society by the religious conservative zealots who thrive under the rule of King George Bush the First. btw - Bush's term ends in 2008. Those of us in the States will breath a sigh of relief when this mentally retarded 'decision maker' fades quickly into the history books and we are deeply embarrassed for most of what he has said and done.
As Bryce Prewitt pointed out, the arbitrary title of sex offender is being quite misused to the point of being a political issue not a justice issue.
It seems there is an easier solution. Ban everyone EXCEPT sex offenders from the web, then we have a much easier way of keeping tabs through the ISPs and all those offenders won't be able to resist being online to get caught.
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