The statement doesn't clarify whether these people have actually committed any subsequent crime. Seems like extrajudicial punishment to me, which I'm pretty sure is unlawful.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that the state has taken more than 2,100 registered sex offenders off of online games and forums, and has signed up another five firms to expand the banning regimen further in the future. "The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure …
Friday 21st December 2012 23:01 GMT SoaG
Just a new way of enforcing existing restrictions
Typically child abusers will have stipulations in their probation/conditional release about not associating with children or where children congregate.
Not really seeing a difference between not being allowed to hang out at the jungle gym in the park vs not being allowed to hang out in Lego Universe.
Saturday 22nd December 2012 09:09 GMT Anonymous Coward
Considering the strong protections for freedom of speech we (supposedly) have, it probably would be unlawful if the government directly banned convicts from communicating in an online forum. But they found a sneaky way around that. As I understand it, they're not technically forcing anyone off the forums, no they're just going to the companies who run them and saying "Hey uh, you know you've got *sex offenders* on your forum? Here's a list, if you want to do anything about it, that would be alright with us." And those companies, not being part of government, can censor anybody they like. And since they might look bad if the didn't, go along with it.
This makes me uncomfortable given how reliant the average person is on huge companies for communication. They could just as easily give FaceBook a list of all felons or supply GoDaddy with a list of "suspected terrorists".
I'm hopeful that at some point this would be ruled unconstitutional prior restraint anyway, but I wonder just how far they could push it before that happened.
Saturday 22nd December 2012 10:06 GMT Anonymous Coward
> They could just as easily give FaceBook a list of all felons or supply GoDaddy with a list of "suspected terrorists".
No, they couldn't. The sex offenders list in the USA is public due to the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994 (aka Megan's Law) which requires the public to be notified of sex offenders. There are no such requirements for felons and/or suspected terrorists. Whilst the government can use lists of felons and/or suspected terrorists for their own use (no fly lists, employment etc) or for vetting (Defense job in a private company for example), they can not distribute these lists to Facebook (or GoDaddy).
Friday 21st December 2012 22:10 GMT Rusty 1
Saturday 22nd December 2012 11:39 GMT Androgynous Crackwhore
Re: You wrote "off of"
Eye bleach? I had to read that sentence three times to decipher the brutally mangled grammar. Now I need brain bleach.
I've still got the offending snippet in clipboard - in case no one else had cried for mercy:
...offenders off of online games...
FFS El Reg, It's Christmas. Show us some mercy!
Friday 21st December 2012 22:30 GMT Anonymous Coward
Friday 21st December 2012 22:45 GMT Marketing Hack
Friday 21st December 2012 23:23 GMT Oli 1
Saturday 22nd December 2012 00:26 GMT Oninoshiko
some crimes which get you banned from games in new york:
patronizing a prostitute in the first or second degrees
promoting prostitution in the second or first degrees
sex trafficking (IIRC includes offering your services as a prostitute)
disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree (not sure what it takes to be first degree)
unlawful surveillance in the first and second degrees (presumably to cover cameras in bathrooms, not sure what else this would cover)
I omitted patronizing a prostitute in the third degree as it is only a registrable offense is the victim was under 17.
While the people of New York have decided these are all awful crimes, I'm not sure violating these makes you a risk to minors online.
Saturday 22nd December 2012 01:07 GMT Graham Marsden
So let's see...
"Under New York State’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) law, convicted sex offenders must register all of their e-mail addresses, screen names, and other Internet identifiers with the state. That information is then made available to certain websites so they can purge potential predators from their online worlds"
Right, so that's *potential* predators even though "According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, New York State has more than 34,000 registered sex offenders: 13,260 are level 1 registered offenders (lowest risk of repeat offense); 12,342 are level 2 registered offenders (moderate risk of repeat offense); 8,596 are level 3 registered sex offenders (high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists)."
That's about 40% who are lowest risk and only 25% who are "high risk" and "a threat to public safety", but rather than educate people ("Parents often do not realize that gaming consoles have these capabilities, or that parental controls exist for these systems") far better to consider anyone (even those who have only been convicted of taking a piss in public or teens who have had consensual but underage sex) should be thought of as a potential child molestor and banned from playing online games!
Saturday 22nd December 2012 05:20 GMT Eddy Ito
Saturday 22nd December 2012 11:00 GMT Anonymous Coward
In the USA you can be put on the sex offender registry for urinating in public, having consensual sex as a teenager or even for “sexting.” And in California, once you are on the list, you are on it for life.
Not sure how throwing public pee'ers offline is protecting anyone child.
Saturday 22nd December 2012 11:49 GMT Anonymous Coward
Saturday 22nd December 2012 12:19 GMT Tank boy
Saturday 22nd December 2012 13:56 GMT Gordo Rex
Sunday 23rd December 2012 08:43 GMT Suricou Raven
Some laws are made to be broken.
In this case, in the most literal sense. Laws around sex offenders in the US are often made to be impossible to obey, in order to either force said offenders to move elsewhere (NIMBYism in action) or to provide an excuse to jail them. The best-known example of this is the colony of sex offenders formerly living under a bridge in Florida. A 'for the children' law in Miami prohibits sex offenders from living within 2500 feet of anywhere children may gather: Schools, daycare centers, homeless shelters(I don't know why), shopping malls, skating rinks, parks, even bus stops. So many that every square inch of Miami is within at least one of these exclusion zones, and so forcing sex offenders to either go underground or move to the shanty town illegally established under a bridge just outside city limits. The law wasn't made to be obeyed: It was made to be impossible to obey.
This sounds like a very similar approach. Just try registering every name you ever use on any service. Sooner or later, you're going to slip up - and if the authorities are in the habbit of following you around online and closing down all the accounts you open, it's going to be very tempting to 'forget' to report a few. Then back to jail you go, just as the writers of the law intended!
Sunday 23rd December 2012 11:55 GMT mickey mouse the fith
Monday 24th December 2012 07:37 GMT Dave Bell
Another example: we should do better
It's been a couple of years, but a known computer criminal, convicted and on court-ordered probation, was running a scam on an on-line game. There were some ugly rumours about him having help inside the game company, and it seemed to take an age before any LEA checked up on him. Since the judge had ordered some very tight restrictions on his use of computers, he was in deep trouble before you even got to the details of what he was doing.
If we're talking sex-offenders with an on-line element to the original case, and a court-ordered restriction, this could be a good thing. There's potential for abuse, if only in some of the ways people get on sex offender lists, but this is somebody trying to enforce restrictions. If nobody can be bothered, the crooks come back and start again.
And it could still go dreadfully wrong.
Monday 24th December 2012 12:12 GMT Anonymous Coward
I just wonder...
how much law making time would be saved by them not having to come up with stupid acronyms that have to spell something related to the bill.
Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act
Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act
Community Oriented Policing Services and Key Investments in Developmental Services Act
COPS and KIDS
Re-engaging Americans in Serious Education by Uniting Program Act
and on and on and on....
Wednesday 26th December 2012 20:15 GMT Anonymous Coward
I need to be very clear. Most of you that would read this are probably unaware that if you have to use the restroom outside, and somebody sees you, you are considdered a sex offender. Does that sound right to you?
There are many other unusual circumstances which could result in you receiving a sex offender status as well.
The courts need to assert their authority over the A.G.