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article imageControversial Way to Fight Sex Offenders

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By Sarawanan Ravindran     Apr 16, 2007 in Politics
California is set to pass a law which has been controversial. The law is an attempt to stop online predators from targeting teens and children.
There is new legislation coming from California that could possibly team up the state and MySpace. They may be teaming up for what is an innovative, but controversial way to fight cyber sex offenders. These cyber sex offenders are the ones who go though chat rooms, social networking site and even instant messaging services luring child/teen victims.
The legislation wants the Government of California to require registered sex offenders to report their email addresses and Internet Identities to the state. This would then allow these sites to block them out on the use of their email address and possibly even their IP would be blocked out.
"It is not a divine right that someone who is a registered sex offender should have access to a chat room of 15-year-olds," said Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.
Portantino and Republican Assemblywoman Shirley Horton are pushing bills to deal with online communities that allow you to share your information unprotected to the rest of the world.
Opponents of these bills argue that the state should not distribute private details of these sex offenders to profit-making companies and that this would be against the right of free-speech for these sex offenders. The legislation raises further concerns about whether the state's proposed system will also include those who have already been allowed to resume their personal lives.
"At some point, we have to separate the guilty from the less guilty from the innocent," Said former Democrat Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg "But we're not willing to do that because there's too much politics in this crime-and-punishment business."
The attorneys that were representing the opposing side has said that the bill would do little because these criminals could just as easily change their email and/or instant-message addresses after they have been collected by the state.
The opposing side also believe that they offenders should instead be properly rehabilitated before they are released and that creating restrictions for them is counterproductive. This legislation is also similar to those in Kentucky and Virginia.
"MySpace is committed to working with California authorities to create ways to remove these offenders from social-networking sites and keep teens safe online," said a representative for MySpace.
This bill is suppose to expand on a previous law which requires sex offenders to report home addresses to police agencies. This new addition would supposedly add the new online dimension to the registry. However, the new law (if passed) would only come into place in July 2010.
The issue is a huge one in the online world. Many children are getting lured into these bad position because of poor knowledge of how to protect themselves online. The problem has escalated with MySpace, it formerly was due to chat room such as the ones provided by AOL.
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