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Sex-offender data is used to collect money and intimidate

A network of Arizona-based Internet companies is mining data from sex-offender sites maintained by law-enforcement agencies and using it to demand money and harass those who complain or refuse to pay.

State and national registries are set up to provide information on where the most serious sex offenders are living and warn that the information cannot be used to threaten, harass or intimidate offenders.

But sex offenders and others profiled by the Arizona companies accuse their operators, in a civil lawsuit and elsewhere, of running an extortion racket by demanding up to $499 for removing names, criminal histories, photographs, addresses, phone numbers and other personal data from their non-government sites.

They accuse operators of posting inaccurate or old information and using the threat of exposure as a sex offender as leverage. Full Article

Related:

Operators have had legal issues
Offendex.com critics speak out

Join the discussion

  1. Anonymous

    They tried to hide behind unregistered websites. They tried to hide from their victims. Now they are exposed. I am very proud to have found their identities and promise to do this for free to anyone else who wishes to discover the identities of those behind criminal acts like these guys.

    This article clearly illustrates the uphill battle we’ve been dealing with. Especially when we file complaints and nothing gets done. Nothing.

    So we do what Americans are supposed to do, DO SOMETHING.

  2. steve

    Is everyone getting a bunch of spam looking emails saying that you’re record has been added to a national database? Here’s a question. Isn’t it illegal for us to look at the Megan’s Law website? Is it illegal to look at my information on those sites?

    • Janice Bellucci

      It is unlawful for any registrant to look at the profiles on the Megan’s Law website. However, it is legal for any registrant to look at the remaining material on the website, including the home page. It is also legal for someone else to obtain a copy of your profile and give it to you.

      • Scoop213

        There is no disclaimer stating it is illegal for a registrant to view his/her profile on the private party websites such as SORarchives, Homefacts, Family Watch Dog and Online Detective. The California SORA laws allowing for a criminal penalty against a registrant viewing his/her profile specify Megan’s Law (www.meganslaw.ca.gov). The law did not anticipate privately operated databases collecting public records and displaying them for the public to view.

        So, yup. It is perfectly legal for a registrant to look at private sites…just not Megan’s Law. However, if you have any concerns, have someone else not on the registry check profiles for you if you have to register.

        Also, make sure any volunteer work you do you register as “employment.” Stories are beginning to float about registrants who are not being paid are still be charged with failure to register a “job” even if they do not get paid. Stay Compliant. Be safe.

        • Anonymous

          The information on these 3rd party sites is more than often than not, out of date or flat out incorrect.

    • http404

      steve, I would defer to an attorney for a safe answer, but as I understand it, registrants are only prohibited from accessing the information provided on the California DOJ website. There is a warning popup or something to that effect that you have to click to continue and that’s where you should stop. But, as far as I remember since I last read it, accessing information on third party websites is not something specifically called out in PC290.

      When the California Megan’s Law website first went live and for about the first year and a half, Google was returning search results directly from the DOJ site via the DOJ site’s own search scripting file, prosoma.dll. They eventually fixed that, or Google did… Whoever the programmer was must have thought they were being really funny, because a prosoma is the upper body of a spider. Yeah, that’s right, just a little extra insult on top of injury.

  3. Google Guy

    Hi,

    I dont think Google is liable, but i believe they are a responsible company that hates it when their algorithms are spammed. Report your images, citing libel per se, defamation or the rico act as violations. You may also want to mention that these companies are extorting you and even paste in any communication that proves they are offering to remove your image for money. Here is the link for content removal on Google – request image search Google Content Removal
    Isnt there a pro per attorney that can file a civil suit against websites like these and pay them 40% damages?

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