Suit Contests Limits on Online Activities of Sex Offenders

The ACLU and EFF argue that new law’s requirements violate the First Amendment.

California’s sex offender registry, the nation’s oldest and largest, lists more than 74,000 living Californians convicted of sex crimes since 1947. Like sex offenders elsewhere in the nation, they have been increasingly restricted in recent years as communities have barred them from not only schoolyards and playgrounds but also beaches, libraries, harbors and other public places.

Now, under a ballot initiative that California endorsed on Election Day, sex offenders’ movements will also be monitored in the digital realm. They must inform the authorities of their e-mail addresses, user names, screen names and other Internet handles, as well as report any additions or changes within 24 hours. The information will not be included in the public registry that lists sex offenders’ names, addresses and other details.

The new law immediately brought a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that its requirements violate the First Amendment by infringing on the right to free, anonymous speech on the Internet. A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Internet provisions of the law, which also includes increased prison terms for sex trafficking. The judge is expected to consider a request for a preliminary injunction at a hearing on Tuesday.

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I’m really concerned about this. What I did was a mistake that happened when I was 13 years old, stemming from sexual abuse in my own past, and now I have to register (in CA) for the remainder of my life. The original offense occurred 16 years ago, so while I am still fairly young, I have a lot to lose if this goes through. I can’t remember every user name I’ve ever used! How is this not an invasion of privacy? What “identifiers” must I report?

Online bank usernames? They are used for chatting with bank reps when I have questions regarding my account.
Playstation Network? I send messages to my online friends and play video games together. Also, my credit card info is attached to this as well.
My ebay/paypal account? Why would they need this? So they can have more of my credit card info? Track my purchases maybe?

This also concerns my spouse. The ISP is in her name, not mine. How does that affect me? Will I have to report HER ISP since I use it as well? How is that not an invasion of HER privacy? Are they going to monitor her internet activity as well since I am associated with it? How is that not a violation of her civil rights and her right to privacy?

This law is seriously over broad and I do hope this judge sees the senselessness behind it and tosses it out. It effects more than just sex offenders.

Also, on a side note, statistically speaking, aren’t somewhere near 90% of sex offenders non-violent and their crimes have absolutely nothing to do with the internet? Additionally, from a common sense standpoint, wouldn’t a violent predatory sex offender not really care about reporting internet identities if he/she were planning to re-offend? And aren’t most new sex offenses committed by people who are NOT registered?

I’m sorry, but I believe that law enforcement doesn’t have the means or the funding to truly carry something like this out. If I can’t remember every post or username I’ve ever used how can they expect anyone else to? What about pseudonyms that people use that someone else could also use? Obviously “Concerned” is not my real name, but what if some dangerous person also uses it? I’ve reported that I’ve used it so it must be me, right? It’s completely ridiculous and needs to go.

I do agree that child abuse is terrible and needs to be stopped, but this is too broad. If they want to implement internet monitoring they need to take the time to categorize offenders by the danger the pose to society and the chances of re-offending. I agree that there are very dangerous individuals out there that need to be monitored, but they are NOT the majority of “sex offenders”.

Has the case been argued yet? November 20 was the last day of the current stay, and unless there was a court decision or an additional stay, RSO’s MUST disclose all their identifiers within 24 hours. (Yes, I know this is not technically enforceable, but then again, I never have depended upon the rationality of law enforcement with regard to giving any slack to RSO’s if they can latch on a technicality).

Facebook say that they can delate people who are on Megan law website but however it is clear that they aren’t suppose to do this.

Californa Penal code 290.46

Except as authorized under paragraph (1) or any other
provision of law, use of any information that is disclosed pursuant
to this section for purposes relating to any of the following is
(A) Health insurance.
(B) Insurance.
(C) Loans.
(D) Credit.
(E) Employment.
(F) Education, scholarships, or fellowships.
(G) Housing or accommodations .
(H) Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business

What part of “Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business
don’t they understand

Does anyone know the best way to find out if and when the lawsuit is lost and Prop 35 goes into affect? will I be in trouble if I don’t know the law has gone into affect and they are expecting me to turn in all my internet identifiers within 24 hours? Do you think the Department of Justice intends to notify registrants and give them a reasonable method with which to provide the required information?

Any insight? – Thanks.