Friday, September 16, 2011

CANADA - Public sex-offender registries are dangerous

Original Article
Homicide victim (stabbed in the neck) a convicted sex offender

I could not have said it better myself! Amen!


By Dan Gardner

Tim Hudak is the sort of politician who searches for the inchoate fears and hatreds that lie, unspoken, just below the surface of consciousness. When he finds them, he drags them up and waves them for all to see, hoping that ugly emotions will serve his political purposes. He is what an earlier generation would have called a “rabble rouser.”
- Aren't most politicians?

And so it was probably inevitable that Hudak would turn his attention to sex offenders.
- It's not unusual for politicians to exploit fear, children and now sex offenders for votes, it's been done for years!

In this secular society, sex offenders are as feared and hated as demons were in the Middle Ages. “Pedophiles watch our children from the shadows,” the U.S. attorney general said in a speech several years ago. “They lie in wait, planning to ensnare and violate the innocent.”
- Fear, sex and children sell!  This is no different!  If you watch most elections or political speeches, you will see them standing in front of children, or scaring you with bogus statistics, that is politics!

Simply say the words “sex offenders” and that’s the image that comes to mind: merciless monsters, lurking in bushes, waiting to snatch toddlers away from unwary mothers.

The overwhelming majority of child abductions and child abuse may be committed by family and friends of the victim. “Sex offender” may include a huge range of criminals, from the pedophile abductor to the flasher, the peeping tom, and the 18-year-old who has consensual sex with his underage girlfriend. And child abduction and abuse by strangers may be fantastically rare.

But none of that matters. We hear “sex offender” and we immediately think of soulless, depraved, ravenous beasts hiding in the shadows. We think of demons.

Which makes sex offenders superb fodder for politics.

Every time you turn on the news, some kid is getting abducted, raped, and murdered,” a Louisiana state senator said in 2006. Happily for the terrified parents of Louisiana, the senator knew just what to do about this horrific threat to the innocent children of his great state: In the space of one month, the legislature passed 14 separate bills targeting sex offenders.

That’s been the story for 20 years all across the United States. Politicians terrify parents. Then they promise to save their children with some policy that is as intuitively attractive and emotional satisfying as it is unsupported by evidence. Draconian sentences. Harsh prison conditions. Forcing released offenders to wear satellite tracking devices for the rest of their lives. Forbidding them from doing a long list of jobs. Banning them from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, and many other places.

Then there is the sex offender registry.

At first, only the police could use the registry. But access was expanded. And put online. Today, in most states, anyone can get any sex offender’s photo, address, and criminal record at the click of a mouse.

In 2000, a Canadian federal-provincial task force examined the evidence on sex offender registries. They don’t help, the task force concluded. No matter. We got one. Registries may be a waste of money but they’re great politics.

But Canadian politicians did not plumb the depths of American crime politics, much to their credit. Access to the sex offender registry is still restricted to police. And no major politician has proposed anything like the online festival of fear that is common in the U.S.

Until now.

There are currently more than 14,000 registered sex offenders living in Ontario, but there’s no way for families to know if any of them live in their neighbourhood, near their child’s school, or next to the park where they play,” reads a press release from the Progressive Conservative campaign. Solution: a website where anyone can find any sex offender’s current address. Tim Hudak “will protect hard working families and children against those who would harm us.”
- Yeah right!

Actually, he will do no such thing. What he will do — if this and his other sleazy gambits get him elected — is further inflate an already exaggerated fear. He may also put more people in danger. But he will not protect hard-working families and children.

American experience shows the information in registries is routinely missing or inaccurate. Even if it weren’t, it’s irrelevant to most child abuse since family and friends are the culprits in most cases, and the kids are only too familiar with their addresses.

American experience also shows — to no one’s surprise, surely — that making convicted sex offenders’ addresses publicly available makes it very hard for sex offenders to reintegrate and live a law-abiding life. Combined with restrictions on where they can live, and what work they can do, searchable sex offender registries are an excellent way to ensure sex offenders remain unemployed, homeless, and likely to commit new crimes.

Searchable registries are also an open invitation to vigilantes.
- See here and here.

In the U.S, there has been harassment. Threats and beatings. Even murders. In one notorious case, a Nova Scotia man got the names, photos, and addresses of 32 registered sex offenders from the state of Maine’s website. He then drove to Maine and murdered two men before he was cornered by police and committed suicide.

The state took the website down. For two days. It’s very popular, after all. It’s what people want.

Is it what Ontarians want? I hope not. But I suspect I will be disappointed.


Sent in via the "Contact" form, and posted with the users permission.

By M:
I have been reading almost all of the blogs and websites dedicated to RSO's, as I am one.

I would like to know if all of you/us can get together on a call and pool our resources to fight AWA!

Many of us/RSO's who are still on parole or probation have contact with many other RSO's. Even if you are not still on parole or probation we still have people we know who are on "the list."

This website and ones like it (RSOL, SOSEN, Citizens for Change, etc) have thousands of members that can contribute a little $$ and we can demonstrate the Power of Many Vs. the Power of Few.

We who follow all of the laws across the country have seen little signs of hope in fighting these laws. Ohio did a great job in ex post facto, PA did great with residency, and OK just had a landmark ruling. These are great examples on how we are fighting at a micro level but I think that it is time to put the power of 700,000 people together to fight the big fight.

As the government is closing in on excluding us from social media, let’s show them how social media can be the driving force behind our preservation of EVERYONE’S constitutional rights.

If you need inspiration, look at what is taking place in the Middle East as persecuted people are striving to achieve what we have here. We are still a government of the people, by the people, and for the people... It is time that we flex our muscles and get “our day in court.”


Stricter online privacy rules for preteens proposed

Original Article


By Jim Puzzanghera and Jessica Guynn

The Federal Trade Commission wants to broaden the requirements on the collection of personal information by websites and online apps, as well as how they obtain parental approval.

Many preteens have dived into the expanding worlds of social networks and smartphone apps, but federal rules designed to protect their privacy are still in the era of Web portals and flip phones.

Now, regulators want an update.

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday proposed tougher privacy protections for children younger than 13, broadening requirements covering the collection of personal information by websites and online apps, as well as how they obtain parental approval.

Kristen Giatzis, 45, of Walnut Creek describes herself as "not an overly conservative mom" to her three daughters, ages 8, 12 and 15. But she welcomes tougher federal privacy rules for their online activity.
- Tougher privacy rules should be done across the board, for everyone, not just kids.

She says she's trying to teach her children how to protect themselves online, but it's nearly impossible to ensure they're not vulnerable on social networking sites and mobile applications on their phones.

Helicopter Parent
"I think it will be a hard thing to regulate," said Giatzis, a freelancer in marketing and advertising. "There has got to be a balance between teaching our kids and not having them preyed upon."

The new rules, which are likely to be given final approval by the FTC after the public comment period ends in November, address the sweeping technological changes that have taken place since the agency last reviewed the landmark Children's Online Privacy Protection Act six years ago.

The agency is expanding the definition of personal information to include the geolocation data transmitted by mobile apps that pinpoint exactly where a child is or has been. And it clarifies that apps, such as online games or those that receive behaviorally targeted ads, are online services covered by the restrictions.

"In this era of rapid technological change, kids are often tech-savvy but judgment-poor," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The commission is trying to strike a balance, aiming to help "parents protect their children online, without unnecessarily burdening online businesses," he said.

Privacy advocates applauded the proposed changes.

"They brought the children's privacy rule into the 21st century," said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, which advocates for tougher privacy protections for children.
- Why not advocate for tougher privacy protection for everyone?

As preteens spend more time online and on their mobile phones, they're increasingly likely to divulge personal information and more at risk of being exposed to inappropriate content and advertising, children's advocates say.

The industry, in the meantime, has come up with new tactics to gather data to sell advertising.

The FTC recently reached a $50,000 settlement with W3 Innovations for collecting information about children younger than 13. Earlier this year, the agency got a record $3-million settlement from online game developer Playdom, now a division of Disney, for violations.

Existing rules require website operators and online service providers to get the consent of parents before collecting personal information from children younger than 13.

Facebook forbids children under 13 from signing up, but surveys show they do anyway. Consumer Reports estimated in May that Facebook had 7.5 million active underage users, more than 5 million under 11.
- Kids and adults lie about their age all the time!  I wonder if this will be a slippery slope, where the government starts requiring photo ID, or a social security number before you can do anything?  Maybe a precursor to the "Mark of the Beast?"  Yeah, sounds crazy, but...

In March, Facebook told the Australian federal parliament's cybersafety committee that it removes 20,000 underage accounts each day.
- And if you know anybody who is on Facebook who is underage, you can report them here.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the company would review the proposals.

"We support the efforts of the FTC and others to improve protections for young people online while helping them benefit from new services and technologies," he said.

The Direct Marketing Assn., which represents businesses and organizations that do online and traditional marketing, also said it supported children's privacy protections. But it objected to one proposed change: expanding the definition of personal information to the unique IP address of each Internet-enabled device.
- I agree, people are not assigned a static IP, they are dynamic and changing all the time!

The group argues that devices can be used by multiple people, including children and adults. But the FTC determined that IP addresses can allow contact with a specific person, and that families are moving from a single, shared personal computer to personal, Internet-enabled devices, such as smartphones, for each family member.

The new rules would add some flexibility for websites. They let children younger than 13 participate in interactive communities without parental consent as long as the site takes "reasonable measures to delete all or virtually all children's personal information before it is made public."

But Alan Webber, an analyst with Altimeter Group, said expanding privacy protection for children without overly impeding businesses was "a Herculean task."

"If the FTC's proposed revisions … go through, companies such as Facebook, Google and others are going to have to put more stringent fences up to keep kids out and then audit what data they do collect," he said.

See Also:

NV - Woman serving life for having a 13 year old boy touch her breast?

Unrelated Photo
Original Article


By Terri Russell

An Elko County woman is spending the rest of her life in prison for having a 13 year old boy touch her breasts. Thursday Nevada’s Supreme Court was asked to decide if the punishment fits the crime.

CARSON CITY - “You can be seated,” said Justice David Cherry as he and two other supreme court justices entered chambers and prepared to hear arguments.

Some might ask how did it get this far?

32-Year old [name withheld] was accused of having a 13 year old boy touch her breasts at her home and later telling the teen she wanted him to have sex with her.

While there was negotiations in this particular case, because of the stance of the defendant she didn't want to plead to anything that would require her to register as a sex offender,” says Elko County Deputy D.A Chad Thompson.

But according to court documents, that was not the case.

[name withheld] was ultimately found guilty of lewdness with a minor and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after ten years.

That was set by the legislature,” says Thompson.

She is serving the exact amount of time that she would be serving if she had committed 2nd Degree Murder,” says Alina Kilpatrick, [name withheld]’s Defense Attorney.

Kilpatrick and her co-counsel Donald Bergerson argued in front of the Supreme Court, [name withheld]'s sentence doesn't fit the crime.

Clothes were not removed, genitals were not touched---there was no penetration--Nevada's lewdness law is overbroad.

Justices questioned if this was an adult man and a teenage girl would the defense argument be the same?

They also asked if the Supreme Court ruled in their favor would the court then be flooded with other requests from robbery and grand larceny convicts who didn't steal as much as the other guy?

Well the sentence for grand larceny and burglary, and robbery are not this high and they are not as disproportionate. .They are much more meaningfully arranged to go and fit the crime. It's not a catch all statute,” says Bergerson.

No body is arguing lewdness did not happen here, it did.

However to what degree?

Bergerson says he wasn't asking the court to grant his client a child day care license.

However he says the sentence here was shockingly severe.

A decision in this care could come in a few weeks or several months.

If a person has completed their time and is off the registry, but then later moves to another state, would this person then be required to register in the new state?

Sent in via the "Contact" form, and posted with the users permission.

By S:

"I regularly read and occasionally post comments to the blog. I have been looking up information regarding sex offenders who are required to register in one state and complete their time, then after being off the list, move to another state. Do you know if the offender would then be required to register in the new state or not? Or is this different state by state?"