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NJ: Trying to Ban Sex Offenders from Social Media Is a Waste of Time

New Jersey has become the latest state to try to regulate how (and if) sex offenders can use social media, an increasingly tricky problem facing legislators around the country. But privacy experts say the laws are problematic, and probably unconstitutional. 

The proposed bill would require all sex offenders in New Jersey to disclose the fact on all of their social media accounts. A similar measure was introduced, but not passed, last year. The measure has been pre-filed for the 2014 legislative session. Donna Simon, an assemblywoman who sponsored the bill, said anyone caught violating the law, if passed, could face a $10,000 fine and 18 months in prison.

“Sex offenders are very sneaky and despicable,” she said. “What they will do is they will have a myriad of screen names and other identities to use for communicating to children.” Full Article

Related: NJ Legislation Addresses Sex Offenders on Social Media Sites [AUDIO]

Join the discussion

  1. Q

    That’s ridiculous. This is just another attempt at mass public humiliation and opens the door to all sorts of bad things for the victims of the registry that are just trying to lead a normal life and do normal things. If Donna Simon cant come up with anything that is actually born of sound reasoning and beneficial to the public perhaps it’s time for her to go so she doesn’t waste anymore time and money. She can tend her garden or whatever it is she does to entertain her self.

  2. Tim

    “A lot of times, they’ll try to make their own goods and sell them online or start a business that you can’t successfully do without marketing online,” Wessler said. “Complying with this is probably going to completely destroy their ability to promote that business online.”
    Personally, if I didn’t have to market online, I wouldn’t; but it’s the only way to stay competitive, nowadays. There are real ways to protect children that don’t involve taking away my right to life (livelihood supports life). They’ve already mangled my right to liberty and pursuit of happiness. And they get back the taxes I earn for them, and use it to come up with stupid legislation, counter productive on all levels, except to elevate a legislator’s career.

  3. AS

    “Sex offenders are very sneaky and despicable,” she said.

    Some are or have been but what about all of those who have turned their lives around and became wholesome, law abiding and productive citizens.
    And what about their families?

    It would seem to me that the “Donna Simons” type legislators who ignore the obvious, for political gain, are indeed “the very sneaky and despicable” among us.
    Shame on them!

  4. Joe

    If you take the time to read the bill text, the following information is required to be disclosed by the registrant:

    … and shall include notice of the crime for which he was convicted, the jurisdiction of conviction, a description of his physical characteristics, and his residential address. If the person’s registration information has been included in the Internet Registry pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2001 c.167 (C.2C:7-12 et seq.), the person shall include a link to the Internet Registry.

    It is interesting to note that the date of the crime / conviction is not among those details to be posted. This would be especially pertinent if, say, a 290 registrant from California with a conviction from the 1950s moved to New Jersey.

  5. USA

    This is a joke. If you recall, when these crazy laws began, the police would simply provide those individuals who wanted to come down to the police station the opportunity to see who the sex offenders where? NOw, we have serial killers targeting sex offenders? Whats next?

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