Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TN - State says sex offender registry officer (Rebecca Hord) stole $30K in funds

Rebecca Hord
Rebecca Hord
Original Article

12/18/2013

SHELBYVILLE - A woman whose job was to make sure sex offenders in Bedford County are properly registered and monitored is accused of stealing more $30,000 in fees paid by those sex offenders.

Rebecca Hord, 58, was arrested Monday following a grand jury indictment charging her theft, forgery and official misconduct.

Under Tennessee law, convicted sex offenders are required to register with local law enforcement agencies and also report any changes of address. The information provided through that process is maintained on a statewide database of sex offenders.

To cover the administrative expenses required to maintain the database, each sex offender is required to pay an annual fee of $150.
- An annual extortion fee?

A portion of the collected fees are used by the local law enforcement agencies, while the rest are forwarded to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Hord's alleged theft occurred over a six-year period. During that time, investigators determined that at least 158 sex offenders in Bedford County should have paid fees totaling $42,198.

Hord, however, only turned over $10,738 to the sheriff's department, keeping at least $31,460 for herself.

Because of incomplete recordkeeping, investigators say the total number of offenders and the amount of missing fees could actually have been higher.

Hord is out of jail on bond.


TX - Detention officer (David Wayne Land) sentenced to 15 years for child pornography

David Wayne Land
David Wayne Land
Original Article

12/17/2013

David Wayne Land, a former detention officer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, was convicted of promotion and possession of child pornography and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The conviction and sentence were the result of a plea agreement between Internet crimes prosecutor Liah Olson and the defense lawyer. The punishment range for this offense was two years to 20 years in prison, or two to 10 years probation.

Evidence garnered through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, Houston Police Department, Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found Land was involved in offering for distribution two video files portraying minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

On Nov. 26, 2012, a federal search warrant was executed on Land’s residence in Porter.

Upon entry into the residence, agents encountered the adult daughter of the defendant and a 10-year-old minor male not related to Land. The minor was taken to Children’s Safe Harbor for a forensic interview and the minor child indicated inappropriate behavior had taken place at the residence.

The child stated that Land had been discussing sex acts with the 10-year-old but had not engaged in any touching at that point. Experts classify this as typical predator “grooming” behavior.

A forensic examination of computers and equipment collected from Land’s residence pursuant to a search warrant showed that the defendant was in possession of more than 9,500 images and 62 videos portraying minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Assistant District Attorney Olson thanked the law enforcement for their quick work on this case and their in depth investigation which rescued an innocent child from potential harm.


Google's Social Network Is Playground For Online Predators, Explicit Sexual Content, Tech Whistleblower Finds; Consumer Watchdog Says Google Must Police Google+

Google+ icon
Original Article

We are sure a lot of this is pure fear-mongering, but that is just our opinion. Criminals will always find a way to exploit something no matter what it is.

12/18/2013

By Consumer Watchdog

Google has allowed its social network to become a virtual playground for online predators and explicit sexual content, a seven-month study by a tech industry whistleblower has found (PDF, Redacted), and Consumer Watchdog today called on the Internet giant "to take immediate action to police and clean up your social network, Google+."

In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court and Privacy Project Director John M. Simpson wrote:

"Periodic monitoring of the service since last March through September by a tech industry whistleblower demonstrates that Google+ has become a virtual playground for online predators. Consumer Watchdog's own study confirmed many of the whistleblower's findings. We believe that in order to grow Google+'s user base as quickly as possible, you have put growth far ahead of the safety and security of its users. To assist you in solving the problem as soon as possible, we are including a copy of the whistleblower's study with this letter."

The letter also called on Google to fix a "fundamental design flaw that we believe presents substantial privacy vulnerabilities for users." Google+ allows a user to add someone to their "Circle" without that person's agreement.
- It's true a person can add someone to their circle(s), but if the other person doesn't add them back then the person who added them cannot see anything they post to their circles, only what they post publicly.

"The user cannot remove himself from the sender's Circle, no matter what, once that person has placed them in their Circle," Court and Simpson wrote. "A user is forced to be publicly associated with someone with whom they do not wish to be associated. We believe this is a fundamental privacy flaw and must be fixed. People must have the right to choose with whom they are associated."
- The person can block them, but people who visit their Google+ page and view who is in their circles can still see you, which should be fixed.  We've had to block a ton of sites which are associated with SEX, PORN, etc.  For example, we have blocked this person, for obvious reasons, but we still show up in their circles.  If you block a person it should remove you from their circle(s).

Click to enlarge

The public interest group's letter noted that Google recently announced efforts to block Google Search from returning links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in its results and called that effort commendable. It noted that Google also recently cooperated in the arrest of a pedophile who was storing images on its Picasa service.

"However, there is a simple and more important step you must take if people are to believe you are genuinely concerned about combating this depravity," Court and Simpson wrote. "Turn your attention immediately to Google+ and bring order to a 'Wild West' atmosphere that you are actively encouraging people to use."

The Consumer Watchdog letter cited Schmidt's infamous quote: "There is what I call the creepy line. The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

"Sadly, Google+ has crossed far over the 'creepy line,'" Court and Simpson wrote. The letter also cited a recent comment by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in challenging Google to do more to combat illegal behavior of those using its services.

"In my 10 years as attorney general, I have dealt with a lot of large corporate wrongdoers," Hood said. "I must say that yours is the first I have encountered to have no corporate conscience for the safety of its customers…"

"We agree with Attorney General Hood and call on you to act decisively to protect your users," Court and Simpson wrote.

A tech industry whistleblower monitored Google+ since last March through September and found the disturbing content. Consumer Watchdog's own investigation confirmed many of the whistleblower's findings. Following are highlights of the whistleblower's study:
  1. In order to grow the Google+ social network as quickly as possible, it appears that Google has turned a blind eye to a huge privacy vulnerability that allows users to add other users, including minors, to their Circles without their permission. This has occurred despite numerous complaints and demands from users that Google fix the privacy vulnerabilities with the Circles feature, something it appears Google has steadfastly refused to do.
  2. This vulnerability further "imprisons" users by making it impossible for them to disassociate themselves (or delete themselves) from the Circles of Google+ users with whom they have no desire to be associated or affiliated with. In other words, once someone adds you to his/her Circle, there is no escape.
  3. Google+ users routinely post pornographic material including material intended to drive traffic to commercial pornography sites, in clear violation of Google's own User Content and Conduct Policy.
  4. Google+ allows users to push unwanted pornographic images to other users (including teens and children) without their permission. (If the user has blocked them or not added them to their own circle(s), then this isn't true, from our own experience.)
  5. Google+ will often make Suggestions that users add teens and even children to their Circles, even when those users' profiles, postings, community membership and Google+ search history include pornography, membership in sex-related communities, other age inappropriate content, and even pedophile related content. In this sense, the Google+ Suggestions feature actually serves as a recruitment tool to pedophiles and sexual predators – suggesting that such predators add additional children to their Circles.
  6. Google+ users include several registered sex offenders or others who have been arrested for child pornography. (So what?  If they are doing something illegal, then arrest them!)
  7. Google+ offers several Communities in which minors (or even adults posing as minors) advertise the trading of sexually explicit images and photographs of each other in apparent violation of its User Content & Conduct Policy.
  8. Hundreds of suspected pedophiles and sexual predator rackets who traffic in highly sexual and exploitive images of their child victims appear to be both using Google+ and posting these images to the social network. Many of these images border on outright child pornography.
  9. Google+ is also being used by suspected pedophiles to troll for underage users in order to engage them in sexually suggestive/sexually explicit online conversations, texts, and even videos.
  10. Google+ users have been complaining about pedophile communities and sexual predators on the social networking site since it's launch. But other than small networks of volunteers who have limited success shutting down such Communities and banning users by reporting specific instances of violations to Google's User Content and Conduct Policy, Google appears to have done little to address the issue.


UK - Karen Ann Phillips receives a suspended sentence for false rape claim

Rape cardOriginal Article

12/18/2013

A Londonderry woman, who claimed she had been raped, has been handed a suspended jail sentence for making a false report to police.

Karen Ann Phillips, from Garvagh Court in the Waterside area of the city, admitted telling the police that she'd been raped by a taxi driver after he'd driven her home from Altnagelvin Hospital on 21 July of last year.

The 41-year-old told police that the taxi driver, whose identity was not disclosed, forced his way into her home before raping her in a bedroom.

District Judge Peter King was told that the police were immediately suspicious of her story.

They examined CCTV footage from Altnagelvin Hospital and also spoke to the manager of the taxi company involved.

Two months into their investigation the police again spoke to Phillips who admitted to them that she had made the story up.

The judge told Phillips that if the taxi driver had been identified or questioned by police, she would have been sent to jail.

He said her false allegation could have had a detrimental impact on the taxi driver, his family and his friends.

Handing down a five month sentence, suspended for 18 months, the district judge told Phillips that by making up the false allegation she'd been raped by the taxi driver, she had done a great disservice to genuine victims of sexual assault.
- And so have you for not sentencing her. Someones life could've been ruined by her false statement.


CA - Concerns over treatment of mentally ill prisoners in California


CA - O.C. supervisors reject Megan's Law-style website for vicious dogs

Dangerous animal registry
Original Article

But why? If it "protects" one child, isn't it worth it? Why not one registry for all sinners?

12/17/2013

By Paloma Esquivel

Orange County won't be creating a Megan’s Law-style website for dangerous dogs any time soon.

The county Board of Supervisors had been considering creating an online database listing the addresses of homes where dangerous dogs are kept, but on Tuesday a majority of supervisors said they don't support such a site.

I think that whole area needs a lot more study before we go in that direction,” said Supervisor Patricia Bates.

The website had been included in a proposed ordinance defining vicious and potentially dangerous dogs and outlining the county’s recourses for dealing with them. The board voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance without the website provision.

In addition to Bates, Supervisors John Moorlach and Shawn Nelson said they opposed the creation of a website.

Bates said she worried it might be difficult for owners to get their dogs removed from the site even if the animals stopped behaving dangerously. Nelson said residents who want to know the location of dangerous dogs already have the option of calling OC Animal Care to learn where they are kept. He also said he worried it would be difficult to keep the site up to date.

The adopted resolution allows the county’s Animal Care director to declare certain dogs “vicious” or “potentially dangerous” and to impose conditions on their owners, including possibly requiring them to maintain liability insurance against injuries caused by the dog, post warning notices to the public, use muzzles or sterilize the animal.

Owners whose dogs are deemed dangerous have a right to a hearing and to appeal the decision in Orange County Superior Court, supervisors said. Animals deemed the most dangerous would be euthanized. The ordinance isn’t much different from the county’s current practices but it makes the rules more explicit, Bates said.

See Also:


If we really wanted to "protect" children and adults from crime, wouldn't it be feasible to register everyone in a database from birth?

If we really wanted to "protect" children and adults from crime, wouldn't it be feasible to register everyone in a database from birth?

Take their DNA, finger prints, and anything else that may be needed, log them into a "Big Brother" database, then stamp them on the forehead or right hand with a bar code.

Wouldn't that be nice? We could "prevent" crime and "protect" everybody?

Hell we could even embed them with a GPS device so we can track their every move and if they go missing, find them quickly.

JUST THINK OF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES!


We should also have everybody take a sexual exam every couple years to make sure they are not becoming sexual deviants!


NOTE: We are kidding, but it's coming to this really quickly!


The Reason I Care (Part 1)

Suicide Hotline
Get Help!
Original Article (Part 2)

06/13/2011

Let’s Take Back Our Country

I have lost a friend today who fell into despair, he felt that there was nothing left for him in this world, it was because of the dark pit that the government had forced him into. Try as he may he could find no way out. So he took his own life.

I realized today that there is a lot more at stake in the fight against community notification of past sins. More at stake than the requirement to belly up to the bar and tell “the man” where I live and what I’m doing. The problem is much deeper and has been going on for a longer period of time. This is a direction that this country is going and somebody must put a stop to it.

We have grown so large that we have lost sight of what this country was founded upon. That is the right to be our own person to have our own thoughts, our own lives as long as they do not interfere with others. Our forefathers came to this country for many reasons. Many came to get away from the persecution of others and to live a life as they saw fit.

We are, and have always been a nation of misfits, people which were driven out of their native lands for a myriad of reasons; social, economic, religious, and ideological. Our families came into this country to be free, have a new beginning, a second chance, and enjoy the individual freedoms that the Bill of Rights guarantees people. That is what this country means to the world, the freedom to live your life without government interference.


CA - Sierra Madre Stops Enforcement of Sex Offender Ordinance

Lawsuit
Original Article

12/15/2013

The City of Sierra Madre has agreed to stop enforcement of its sex offender ordinance, which prohibited all registered sex offenders, from residing in most of the city and from being present in child safety zones that included the city’s schools, parks and public library. The Sierra Madre City Council approved this action on December 10 after being sued in federal district court by one of the city’s four registered citizens. The legal challenge was based upon allegations that the city ordinance violated the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

This is a significant victory for all registered citizens within the state of California,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci, who represented the registered citizen. “It restores the civil rights of registered citizens who live within the City of Sierra Madre as well as those who wish to visit that city.”

According to terms of the settlement agreement, the ultimate fate of the city ordinance will depend upon a future ruling by the California Supreme Court in the case In re Taylor, That case is expected to decide whether residency restrictions are constitutional and, if so, if their application is limited to registered citizens on parole. The Supreme Court granted review of this case in December 2012.

This settlement agreement is a good model for other cities, who have enacted residency restrictions, to follow,” stated Bellucci. “It protects such cities from future lawsuits until the state Supreme Court decides this important matter.”

In addition to stopping enforcement of its ordinance, the City of Sierra Madre agreed to pay attorneys fees and costs in exchange for a dismissal of the case.