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back to article UK.gov will force paedophiles to register email addresses

"Wacky" Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, will today unveil plans to jail paedophiles who supply police with false email details, or fail to declare new addresses they register. The idea is already being labelled unworkable, but is set to form part of a suite of measures aimed at improving child safety online. The penalty for …

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Linux

Can't say I agree

I do not agree with this policy. If they have served thier time and are released by the gov't and justice system, this means they are not a risk to society then why should they be banned from the internet, just like there should be no list for sex offenders.

If they are so worried about these people reoffending, the gov't and justice system has not done it's job then it is simple leave them locked up.

I have always believed and the gov't documents agree that a pedophile will reoffend if given enough time. If this is the case then why are they let back out to screw up another childs' life.

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Says it all

And we are employing these braniacs to run the country god help us all.

Lets hope the nonses don't work out you can have more than one email ( I won't tell them if you don''t) after all of course they are going to want to stay within the law when they are grooming their next victim.

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Stop

Someone must be setting her up for a big fall

She is put in the public eye and given a load of rubbish to spout but she appears to believe that what she has been told to say is factually correct.

I can't believe that the opposition parties haven't ridculed her yet.

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Anonymous Coward

God save us from stupid politicians

Why are people like this idiot in always charge of these things? I really do despair when I see yet another thick muppet trying to preach unworkable, technical answers to complex, social problems, and somehow imagining that they've now solved it. Of course anyone who points this out must support the evil in question.

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Black Helicopters

False positives

Ignoring the obvious get a new email address at gmail etc. Whats to stop a sex offender also registering my address as one of their addresses and getting me blocked from social networking sites?

Or are they going to implement a email and click back to authenticate the address?

Hang on ... being blocked by SN sites .....that could be useful ... can someone register every single email address please, and get these waste of space/time/energy/bandwidth off the net in one fell swoop.

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Black Helicopters

Techno-retards 'r' us

Nothing has so hilariously and potently shown the complete non-understanding these utter morons have about computers and the online world.

They probably think that "address" means house address, and that you have no choice about using your genuine info when signing onto these tiresome websites.

Doesn't look good for our crusade against Phorm, or does it?

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Black Helicopters

Spot the Flaw

Yup, right there at the top... "Jacqui Smith"

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Silly tart

I am not a violent person but everytime that idiot "Wacky" Jacqui opens her gob i just want to punch her in it. She clearly has no clue about anything at all. Everytime she comments on anything ID related her level of knowledge is so low as to be embarrasing and now it appears she is not even aware of the existence of free email accounts, or the fact that people can have more than one.

Her advisors must be some of the stupidest people alive to allow her to stand up and say what she does. Whoever voted for her needs to go and have a word with themselves.

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Fox
Flame

Burn him, he's a witch.

Just a cheap trick to pander to the more simple minded voters.

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@Jamie

I completely agree with your comments. You'd make an awful politician, your arguments make too much sense.

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Wow

Way to go... Not only is this unworkable but it actually encourages other kinds of crime. A paedophile intent on 'grooming' kids online (still very rare compared to family abuse, etc. but an easy hot-button topic for clueless politicians) now has an incentive to attempt to steal another person's identity, or at least control their email address. Even without this, the sheer fact that any person can have any number of email addresses signed up with incomplete or inaccurate personal information makes this yet another waste of time.

It would be nice if the money wasted could be spent on educating children and their parents about online dangers and how to avoid and cope with them. It's a shame that realistic, intelligent, workable solutions are overlooked in favour of idiotic "let's look like we're doing something" schemes.

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Flame

When will the stupidity end?

Another day another stoopid idea for reining in internet use.

What's with ignorant morons legislating stuff eh?

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Anonymous Coward

anyway

most peadophiles are busy abusing their own(or a relatives/friends) kids or kids in their care.

Don't see why they'd be interested in social networks anyway.

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Alert

@AC

The irony of your comment is that they don't run the country. The European Union runs the country, these people we vote for just fiddle around the edges, micromanaging the few areas of policy they have left. Schools, hospitals, defence, some parts of criminal law and a few bits of environmental policy. That's about all they have now. Ever wondered why they're so obsessed with the NHS? Why they can't stop coming up with new "initiatives" that are so narrow in scope and so invasive into every day life? They're trying to justify their existence to themselves, as much as anyone, and do so by meddling and micromanaging the few things they actually have any power over.

And the rest is the fault of the union...

The irony of it is, if we left the union we'd still be stuck with this lot and they'd have all that much more power over us. Makes an independence-minded fellow like myself very confused...

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Alert

Are politicians all this ignorant and foolish ?

The question is "Is she ignoring her advisors who are telling her the proposal is ridiculous" or are her advisors on this as ignorant as she obviously is.

And which which answer is more worrying

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Undecided

I don't know. Whilst this law is probably unworkable for the criminal elements, I tend to agree with the principle of making life as awkward as possible for genuine paedophiles. This is one more bit of ammunition for the police to lock these people up if they cross the line; of course they can register an anonymous address, but with this new law they might just be encouraged not to due to the risks outweighing the benefits.

One of the problems with the existing system is that paedophiles are very difficult to lock away. Not because they don't get caught, but because they're becoming increasingly adept at exploiting loopholes and getting away with a slapped wrist. If they have committed a crime for which the police want to prosecute, but they can't convict on the available evidence (or if the punishment is so small as to be risible) they can use this law to get a jail sentence anyway. Probably by raiding said paedo's computer and uncovering all the sneaky emails he/she has been sending from an unregistered address.

And yes I agree this is a slippery slope - making pretty much everything illegal so we're all criminals and they can lock us up at will.

This is why the people in charge need to be competent AND ethical, to balance justice and freedom.

Unfortunately I'm not convinced they're either (JACQUI) competent *or* (SMITH) ethical.

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Bicycles?

So presumably the guy that was caught 'fiddling' with his bike won't be alowed to sign up for any bicycle related web sites?

Where do these people come from? (the politicians I mean, bike shaggers are fine by me)

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Joke

The List

Ignoring the obvious, but doesn't getting caught taking a piss in a public place run the risk of getting you put on the sex-offenders list too? So a bout of lager-induced incontinence could mean you can't brag about a weekend piss-up on facebook anymore?

"Joke Alert" icon because everything this woman does is designed to give us a giggle.

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Paris Hilton

change to notification reqs

Well yes, the whole idea is stupid to think that a determined child abuser is going to be stopped from joining a social network by this regulation.

But what it will do is make it an offence for people on the sex offenders register to NOT disclose all their email addresses. So if it is found out that they have created a new Gmail account - guilt is presumed and they can be banged up for an extra five years. Regardless of whether or not any grooming or abuse has taken place - the failure to disclose is the crime.

I wonder if the Goverment plans on using the CRB people to operate this email address blacklist? If so, I guess you can look at a 6 month waiting list before you can join Facebook successfully.

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Doesn't know many kids, either...

I gather that there are already "false positives" on the sexual offenders register: teenagers caught behind the proverbial bikesheds.

And there was an event at the local library last night, filled with provocatively-dressed jailbait and their parents.

While the law protects "children" who are old enough to marry, it's very easy to see what people really think about whether teenagers should be sex objects.

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Paris Hilton

Has anyone told Jacgui.....

that if you type 'Google' into Google, then it crashes the internet? We wouldn't want her to fall into that trap and receive world wide hostility now would we?

Paris because even she knows more about 'hard drives' than the government.

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Great idea!

After all, paedophilia being illegal stopped them from doing that didn't it?

Ah, I see the flaw now...

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Stop

If You Can't Beat The System - Crash The System

I run my own mail server (because I can) so can create as many email addresses as I like. My mail server (XMail) has a command line interface to create email addresses. I can code a script to create email addresses a@, aa@, ab@, aba@, etc.

Should I be fingered by the smutty arm of the law and required to keep them updated with all my email addresses just how many do you think their system will be able to cope with before it falls over (or the police officer gets bored of spending day after day with you saying "x4gs267ghsd6sf643efgh@", "x4gs267ghsd6sf643efgi@" while he writes them down on a piece of paper that he hands to you to sign then to someone else to type in to a computer)?

Ill conceaved and poorly thought through...again.

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Anonymous Coward

They're not ignorant, just deceitful

They know perfectly well that this is completely unworkable and won't make a jot of difference. They're not doing this to protect children, they're doing it so that the papers will run the headline "Government to ban paedophiles from the internet" and most of the clueless people who read it will think they're working hard to make the country a safer place.

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@Chris

'Of course anyone who points this out must support the evil in question.'

Nail on head.....

The reason that this wretched government continue to get away with continually proposing draconian, expensive and unworkable legislation is that they know full well that any dissent will result in the equally moronic tabloids howling about supporting terrorists/paedophiles/drug gangs/hoodies or whoever else the current nominated threat to decent society happens to be. Thus the feeble responses from the craven opposition parties, newspapers etc.

The only possible solace that any of us might have in terms of our civil liberties is that none of this crap will ever work.

But whats truly depressing is also the fact that none of this crap will ever work. It will not prevent terrorism or child abuse. And thus the smug idiots not only chip away our basic rights but also fail to fulfil their own responsiblities. Which is even more shameful......

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Paris Hilton

Idiots

Unlimited opportunity to get anonymous email addresses, so it's unworkable to expect to have a list of all addresses... and quite a few people use domains with catch-all forwarding to be able to use unlimited numbers of unique addresses to easily block particular sources if they turn out to spam - you could hardly realistically expect someone to register every single address they use in situations like that. You could tie up the system just listing ever more addresses. Perhaps register a domain with catch-all forwarding and write a little script to generate lots of possible addresses you could use for them to register... or better still register a number of domains and make it harder to spot they're all from a few domains until they've typed in thousands of addresses and overloaded their systems.

As someone else stated, it sounds like it would also make it very easy to get someone else blocked by supplying someone else's address.

And finally, wouldn't it make more sense to introduce a legal requirement that any machine the offender uses must have a certain piece of software installed and running, and that they could be prosecuted for not following that rule? The software could route traffic via a 'pedo-proxy' so traffic is easily blocked, and could also perform other monitoring or filtering functions. That may be easily circumvented, but at least it's comparatively workable in terms of sites filtering the traffic.

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Black Helicopters

My email address officer?

You need my email address for the register officer? Certainly.

Jacqui.Smith@homeoffice.gov.uk

Yup, flawless plan - and who wants to be the first to tell the government about owning your own domain and using a catchall account to register with emails such as facebook@example.com, myspace@example.com, etc etc ad infinitum.

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So let me get this straight...

If a paedophile is prepared to risk some heavy jail time (and a stairwell nonce bashing that could leave them quadrospazed) by reoffending, is our illustrious Home Secretary seriously trying to tell us that the threat of a slap on the wrists for not registering a virtually untraceable email address will stop them?

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Flame

bloody madness i tell ya

How can this idea make sence to anyone is beyond me, i mean FFS if these people are prepaired to force/con a child into sleeping with them then opening another free email and NOT telling the police is hardly gonna keep them awake at night. For a crime as bad as this it should be life in jail or death, or perhaps just death

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Anonymous Coward

Surely a better solution is......

....to get these people to register which ISP they are with. The Govt gets all ISPs to agree on a standard way of registering these people on their systems. The ISP then gives them a fixed IP Address and registers that with the Govt agencies and all this is then registered against their physical address.

If they change ISPs, the old ISP can port across what they are to the new ISP who can use the physical address details to register their new virtual ones.

Before you start I know it's not fool proof but at least it mitigates some of the mind-numbingly stupid suggestions uk.gov seems to be able to come up with.

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Black Helicopters

Another one for Phorm

Obviously demanding that all email address are registered will clearly not work.

This is another one where the government will find Phorm useful. Phorm spys on all your traffic. Paedos seem to be subject to laws which the rest of us are not subject to. Simply tell Phorm who the paedos are and they can report on the all the email addresses used.

Because it's paedos people won't object, they will DEMAND that this is implemented. It's then available to track suspected terrorists and organised crime.

I believe that because Phorm will be useful paedo tracking technolgy, they will be allowed to coninue with their evil plans. Once Phorm get good at targeting adverts at known paedophiles it should be a simple matter to spot undetected paedos, terrorists, etc. This would be a massive saving for the government who prefer to get companies and individuals to do their policing for free rather than do it themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

@most of you

I don't understand why you are worried/offended/annoyed by the likes of Wacky Jacqui's total lack of understanding of the subject despite the fact she is (god help us) Home Secretary. Even when this manipulative government seeks the advice of experts they have no problem ignoring it if the advice contradicts their narrow-minded, prejudiced & simplistic view of the world.

Given the latest do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do-ism possibly she shold be re-named Wacky Backy Jacqui.

I think my coat's over here....

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Joke

Government thinking (possibly an oxymoron?)

Of course, the Goverment could provide a state sponsored email system, and force everybody to use that for all email....

....no wait. You would have to prevent use of out-of-nation email servers. OK, lets block SMTP and have a block list for foreign webmail servers. The ISPs can do this for us without cost if we mandate it by legislation...

...hang on, we then need to block tunneled and anonymised connections. OK also block anything that is encrypted....

...but that will block SSL. Never mind, Phorm will work so much better if SSL is not used. And once the Interwebnet tubes unencrypted, we can filter content from abroad, we won't have to worry about terrorists picking up bomb plans from foreign subversive sites.

Hell, lets just ban the Interwebnet. But wait, arn't we trying to push down costs by using the it for tax and other goverment systems....

...and so on.

Anybody for a Police State?

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Coat

couldnt they

couldn't they just monitor all traffic to .va addresses? :)

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Maybe not so stupid?

Whilst it probably won't stop people on the sex offenders register from using another email address, it will still have some benefits.

If the police, whilst investigating a suspected case of grooming, find out that a suspect is on the register and using a different address than the one given then they can do him for that in addition to whatever else they find.

It's much simpler to prove - 1) On sex offenders register, 2) didn't provide email details -> up to 5 years

It's probably more than they'd get for the original offences anyway

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Anonymous Coward

Is Wacky Jacqui handy with a trowel?

Because she's going to have to build a lot of new prisons to accommodate that 30,000.

Amazingly some pedophiles are aware their tendencies are wrong, and have been known to beg the police to lock them up. Now they will be able to get their way.

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Alien

@Jamie

I agree with you too. The problem is that paedophilia is a mental condition, not an chooseable option. Where some people like red heads/skinny women/hairy men/whatever, paedophiles like either the physical form of a child or the thrill of breaking the law in that way.

Locking Oscar Wilde up didn't make him any less gay. Not saying that being gay is the same as being a paedophile, but it's the closest equivalent.

When they start trying to help/treat/cure paedophiles so they can get over their desires instead of pointlessly locking them up, then maybe we can make progress to curb the problem.

Maybe a little less tabloid righteous indignation attitude to the problem would lead more to seek help before they act on their impulses. Prevention surely being better than locking them up after ruining some poor kid's life.

Getting rid of the sex offenders register would seem like a good idea too. They're on it for a fixed term (which is ridiculous as they'll still fancy kids in 10 years without help) and it just seems to cause isolation and a sense of being put upon which some seem to use as reason enough to carry on.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Why not just register every email address?

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Coat

Re: Someone must be setting her up for a big fall

> I can't believe that the opposition parties haven't ridculed her yet.

Why? If they criticise the idiot allegedly in charge of the Home Office, it'll get spun back at them as "nasty Tories/Libs/whatever are helping paedophiles". Or soft on crime. Or won't protect our kids. Or all of the above.

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@sexoffender.gov.uk

Surely it would be more workable to just ban them from registering any other email addresses, and issue them a mandatory @sexoffender.gov.uk address? Such sites could then just ban sign ups from such a domain. :)

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I believe in faries...

more than I believe that there's anyone in gov.uk capable of comprehending just how utterly unworkable this is.

Of course, it's just a headline grabber.

Like almost all gov.uk policy, it's the ones that DON'T make the front few pages of the Sun/Star/Mirror that REALLY bite!

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Joke

Hmm

Well at least the bike sex man will no longer be able to "peddle" indecent "saddle" based imagery of him "riding" dirty on facebook anymore. The government have tuely grabbed the "handlebars" and put the "brakes" on this viscous "cycle" of posting photographs of bicycle related p0rn0graFy to the nations 14 year olds.

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W
Stop

Additional flaw

PAYG internet-enabled phones?

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Go

@ /\/\j17

If you run your own mail server, then the simple thing to do is just to block *@yourmailserver.com. Granted you've got the ability to have /other/ people getting email addresses from your domain, but at the same time the mailhost is then known to be associated with ye fingeréd offender, and the HO/police want to be keeping an eye on it again.

Proceed with this nonsense at flank speed...

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stupid

what are they thinking...there is obviously no perfect solution but come on..i can think of alot of things better than what they are proposing.

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Anonymous Coward

What about privacy?

What about the right to privacy? This proposal is to hand over all email addresses of certain people to organisations that don't have a good track record of keeping information secure.

But then again the government doesn't care about such matters. Just like the way they will willingly hand over the details of anyone who has a vehicle to anyone who asks. So what if you were parked on private property when the owner didn't want you there - last time I checked trespass wasn't a crime.

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Unhappy

@glyn

"Not saying that being gay is the same as being a paedophile, but it's the closest equivalent"

i know a few gay people that would not take kindly to that kind of thinking

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Anonymous Coward

sounds like a dubyah policy

didnt the yanks try the same thing but give up on it pretty quickly when A) the site admins refused to have aything to do with it and b) it was pretty much unenforcable...

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Paris Hilton

dear Jaqquieycky

"We are working together with police, industry and charities to create a hostile environment for sex offenders on the internet, and are determined to make it as hard for predators to strike online as in the real world."

So you want to make it absolutely easy peasy then?

There are so many things wrong with this idea that 1000 posters wouldn't be able to cover them all.

Some people just naturally put women's lib back 10 years whenever they open their mouth.

Paris, cos its only her IQ that is childlike.

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A new holding charge

Rather than proving a peado tried to chat up a young girl when he was having that talk with jenny11-06-01 in the my little pony chatroom at her desk at scotland yard, the gov now only need prove he signed up with an unregistered email.

Of course, this is like jailing them for not ticking the 'are you a filthy shrub rocketeer' box but still, it reduces the burden of proof.

You go on, jaqui. I don't mind where but just go.

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