Days after being pulled for undisclosed reasons, the Offender Locator is back on iTunes, bringing relief to paranoid parents across the USA, except in California. Offender Locator appeared in the iTunes store last week priced at 59 pence, and was swiftly pulled a few days later, possibly on the grounds that charging for …
Rape? Peadophilla? Necrophilla? Incest?
...there's an App for that....
Like to see that on the next Apple ad.
I'm not certain whether to be supportive of this app or thoughtfully appalled that it even exists.
I can't help but wonder what might be the outcome of giving the already twitch US public map to sex offender's houses. We're either going to see a massive fall in property prices in certain streets, or the practical application of the second amendment. Or possibly both.
I also cannot help but wonder if you could sue Apple if this map caused your house to fall in value because it showed that there were lots of sex offenders round and about your way. Nothing stigmatizes a property like having a couple of sex offenders living next door.
"or perhaps just calm down, have a cup of tea and find something more sensible to worry about"
Won't somebody PLEASE, think of the children!
Nevermind ‘people close to them’
The fact is that most child abuse and paedophilia involves the PARENTS of the unfortunate children, not simply people who know the children. Idiotic and frankly dangerous (as well as possibly illegal) campaigns, dissemination of information and commercial products like the ones mentioned here should be very harshly dealt with, in my opinion.
I can hear the paedo-finder general brandishing a copy of the sun right now...
Next logical step
I'm going to write an app that uses 'enhanced reality' and image recognition to check all faces in your field of view against publically available criminal records (ie. the mugshots of every arrest available through court records online in America). Then you'll be able to wander down the street, finding out who in your field of view has been arrested, and what for.
Web 2.0 - making mob mentality simple!
Very sensible stuff
I love the way that these things seem to ignore the concept that filthy pervy kiddie fiddlers might TRAVEL!
Wouldn't we all be better served with a Scumbag Register, and a publically searchable database of murderers, violent offenders (ex presumably, and therefore having already served time?), and general unpleasant scrotes. Then you'll know which parts of town to avoid..
Well that's only marginally useful....
...I hear that in California, sex offenders may not stay for more than K hours within X miles of a school. I don't know the exact values for (K, X) but I hear that there are a few moving around in home trailers as a result. So this utter retardedness made software is even less useful.
LOL someone has put some UK sex offenders on there too. Zoom out and scan across to blighty.
Inaccuracies + Morons = More Abuse
<sigh> Perhaps the reason this sort of app should be banned is for protection from ourselves. All it takes is for your average Jeremy Kyle viewer (or US counterpart) to get wind of a *suspected* nonce in the vicinity and in they steam with a couple of pals in tow to 'teach them a lesson'. And then we end up with an innocent member of the public getting hospitalised by gung-ho vigilantes with a cause the general public will support.
In a world where paediatricians are being attacked by dyslexics (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/901723.stm) and animal liberation groups spreading rumours of vivisection company workers being paedos to local thugs (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7797524.stm) all we really need now is a cheaply-available iPhone app that can pinpoint more potential innocent targets! Jeezuz!
Paris, 'cos even she's not that fucking thick!
Didn't we already see this back in 2001, with the News of the World's "name and shame" campaign? In which, among others, a paedeatrician's house was attacked because she was known as a "paed, uh, something"? People with identical names to known paedophiles were attacked, in cases of mistaken identity? It's a well-known fact that "common" sense isn't very common these days, sadly. Problems with this app?
1) people identified as paedophiles may, in fact, be mis-identified
2) the information may be totally incorrect altogether
3) the paedophile may have moved away since the last update
4) it's possible that any real paedophile may have travelled some distance from his or her house before looking for targets
I could go on, but that makes me think about the state of humanity today, which in turn just makes me want to cry. Time for a beer.
@John PM Chappell
Sure and next you will tell me that guns bought to protect peoples homes are more likely to be used against a family member than an intruder.
I understand that the idea of the database is to help parents guard against allowing their children to wonder off with some paedophile. Possibly the database helps a little but I doubt it. However a mobile version of the application. What possible good can that do? I mean why not simply pop along to (the appallingly slow) web site mentioned in this article every now and then and check for new people in the neighbourhood. Surely the only people this app serves are those wishing to hunt down the paedophiles wherever they happen to be at the time.
I wonder if the creator of the application and the database has considered his liability if it can be shown that his application wrongly identified someone who is then subject to an attack by such a vigilante.
Judging by a quick visit to the (appallingly slow) site it seems that the density of perverts is astonishingly high. So checking the site serves little purpose because most of the US is covered in kiddy fiddlers. This leaves parents with only one option and that is to be real parents and not leave their offspring unaccompanied or in the company of strangers until such an age when they can educate them properly about the dangers of strangers.
As the article says "dubious accuracy" - imagine being the poor sod who buys/rents the house after the "offender" ( or the address is just wrong) & living there during the inevitable lag while the data catches up, which may of course be never. Just being a paediatrician is enough to bring a mob to your door, after all - that moment when you hear a noise and peer out of the window to be confronted my an angry, misspelled placard waving mob - priceless.
It's somewhere between 80 and 96% of female child sexual abuse that's perpetuated by someone they know well - various studies give varying amounts of abuse from the family itself, but even so it goes between 40% and 60%, depending on gender of the child. Boys are more likely to be abused by someone outside their usual group, but even so the most likely abusers ARE going to be someone that not only the child knows, but that the parent knows - and trusts.
The threat of a random stranger abducting your child, raping him/her, and then leaving their corpse on the side of the road is nearly fiction - just like there are real serial killers, there are real serial child rapists, but you don't run into the Saw guy every day. The real problem is YOUR best friend in the whole wide world giving your daughter a dress when it isn't her birthday, having her say that she's over at a friend's house but when you call there they haven't seen her, listening to her talk about sexual things that she shouldn't know about...
But that FACT doesn't sell newspapers, and undermines a parent's cosy little world, so of course the threat of pedophile strangers is played up.
I'll forgive people for not knowing since most members here are from the UK, and it's a US law, but "Megan's Law," which requires that the names and addresses of child sex offenders are made public, has been in effect for 15 years. This app just taps into the already publicly available database.
I'm wondering who thetarget audience is.....
As it will help pervs identify like minded pervs, they can form 'clubs' and have 'outings'.....
...now we can know if there are any pathological serial child rapists next door. Or public urinators.
One of those.
Oh, and one other thing...
...when I saw "Sex Offenders returns to iTunes" I immediately assumed it referred to some band that was kicked out of the online store for having an inappropriate name. Which raises the question: Is there a band named "The Sex Offenders", and if not, why not?
I don't think that means what you think it means
This is a SEX OFFENDER database, not a PEDOPHILE database.
The 16 yr old, who sent pics of herself to her friends last year, yep, she's in there. The collage-student who took the bet about streaking at a sporting event, in there too! How about the 15yr old couple who was caught? Don't even get me started on some of the sodomy laws, "extream porn," you get the idea.
I'm sure there are countless other non-pedophilia related reasons for people to be on this database. I may not approve of these things (although many represent situations of "legislating morality," an idiotic policy), but everyone makes the same incorrect assumption that every el Reg reader (so far) did, that these are all kiddy-fiddlers.
If they need a mascot for their app i can think of one.
Something to remember,
In several states you can get put on the sex offenders list for things that have nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to do with child sexual abuse.
Case in point, an adult (19) got put on the list for loaning his 14 year old brother one of his Playboys, and that was after the plea bargain to avoid jail time.
Another is that some guy in Iowa is now on the list and has been sentenced to 20 YEAR for "possession of child pornography", only the "child pornography" was a few images on some pages in a Japanese Manga!! Drawings!!
Remember the who thing with the teen girls sexting photos? Most of those involved where put on the list for that state.
I already know of 2 murders where the killer found his targets on those lists. What happens when the person who gets killed was targeted because of loaning a Playboy, or being drunk and taking a leak in the bushes by the road, or because a dad got pissed at his 18 year old daughter for having sex with her boyfriend in HIS house and suddenly she "remembers" that he molested her as a teen and reports him to the cops? (true incident BTW)
Sometimes I don't know what disgusts me more, a true pedophile, or one of those who scream "Think of the Children" as they strip away our civil rights and Freedoms.
Welcome to Paedogeddon
For fucking fuck's sake.
That is all.
Actuall no, it's not - If you publish the addresses of people on the sex offenders register, it's pretty much accepted that you will run a high risk of making them flee their known addresses and leave the offender management services run by the state, making them more likely to re-offend. So, the publishers of this app will bring harm to children.
I'd like a modification to this.
So I can run something on mu Nokia, that tells me where iPhone owners are, so I can avoid them.
Why this is a Bad Idea
Once upon a time, I went to an electrical retailer in my home city to buy a new washing machine. This was a highly-urgent life-or-death mission, as my then-partner needed a washing machine for her daughter's nappies ..... and my old one had just self-destructed spectacularly in mid-cycle.
I dashed to the store on auto-pilot, unable to dare to contemplate failure: a washing machine was needed, and needed now. But all seemed to be going well once I got there; having exactly one thing to think about is good that way. I soon found the machine I liked: a reliable brand, mechanical timer, adjustable thermostat to save powder by washing as hot as possible, 1000 rpm spin speed that struck the right balance between getting enough water out of the clothes and shaking itself to bits.
Then the time came to arrange payment. In those days, a washing machine represented more than a month's wages for me, and I had not had time to scrimp and save. I was refused finance because some previous occupant of my address had failed to keep up their repayments. In front of a store full of people, I was forced to telephone my mother, who came to the rescue with her credit card. It was embarrassing, but hardly the end of the world.
And you don't usually get angry mobs going after suspected credit defaulters with pitchforks and blazing torches.
I like this app. However for it to be truly useful they need to make the following modifications:
1. Allow a 'rampage time' to be entered (this is the amount of time you and your buddies have to go and get the evil sex offenders).
2. Allow a 'beats duration' to be entered (this is the amount of time each attack will take)
3. The system should calculate the optimum route for getting the maximum beats in, in the given rampage time.
4. A log of all the houses you have beaten, with a percentage indicator showing how likely it is you've actually attacked someone guilty of a real crime.
Also, as a bonus it would be handy if it could track people wearing those anklet things, that way you can take a small diversion to get another potential baddie.
BUILD IT NOWPLEASETHEN.