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NY: Sex offender gets jail for not reporting social media password

A Level 1 sex offender from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation was sentenced Thursday to a year in the Niagara County Jail for not telling authorities one of his social media passwords.

____ ____, 48, of Susie’s Lane, must register because of a misdemeanor sex conviction in 2004, defense attorney David J. Mansour said.

In April, ____ pleaded guilty to a felony count of failure to register. He reported two social media accounts last year, but only one password. Mansour said ____ thought the accounts were linked. Full Article

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WTF really? A misdemeanor from 14 years ago. I bet this is more time than he got for his original charge. I feel sorry for him it seems he has tried to live a clean life and all this over a password.

You can comment at the source article.

Wage war. Especially over this long weekend. As long as the Registries exist, there must be no peace.

Is this for real? NY wants your social media account PASSWORDS???? That is nuts!

@CR: exactly. That’s the real story here… I’ve never even heard of a state requiring passwords… that’s CRAZY. Especially assuming he was not on paper.

Reread the story. I think you missed the part about ” Tuscarora Indian Reservation”

What happens when social media companies start using fingerprint logins?
Oh, law enforcement already has that info, don’t need too ask, and they can get what they want from our willing corporations. Welcome to the panopticon. They can see you everywhere. You don’t know if they are watching or not.

@Tim Moore That’s a good question. One partial solution might be to use 2FA with a USB device where possible, like gmail.

There are other 2FA USB devices are are more widely implemented, like the YubiKey.

These should be part of basic online security for everyone anyway .

For a password manager, I suggest KeePassXC

Last I knew you just had to let them know your email and /internet identifiers. It’s a violation of privacy and not required by law for the password. If they have the password they could fuck your life worse than it already is because many people use the same password for all accounts like bank and student loans.

Anyway the NY police send your email to facebook which will ban you from facebook permanently with that Email unless you win an appeal.

This is insane, it is nothing but abuse. The people on the registry are reaching almost a million nation wide. It is going to be time to take the masses to the streets and wake people up. You have gang members with multiple firearm convictions treated with less concern than a misdemeanor level one of a single offense 14 years ago. This must stop.

Now what if that million just happened to move to , oh like a place like Wyoming, with a population of only 570k?

A man that had committed a misdomeanor 14 yrs ago can be incarcerated for not providing a password? And you guys think the registry can be abolished? Yeah, right.

I’m inclined to believe he thought the two accounts were connected with one password. So he gets a year for a mistake. Seems the government thinks her should be thankful he didn’t get the full 4 years.

Has this law been challenged?

What SPECIFIC law was he prosecuted for? I don’t see any law REQUIRING disclosure of passwords under any New York statute. The following information was taken from the official New York criminal justice government site, of which I will post the entire section here (

“The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act, added by Chapter 67 of the Laws of 2008, took effect on April 28, 2008.

The Act requires all registered sex offenders to report to DCJS any Internet accounts with Internet service providers belonging to such offenders and e-mail addresses and designations sed by such offenders for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, social networking or other similar internet communication. In addition, a registered sex offender must notify the Division no later than 10 days after any change of the above-mentioned Internet information.

Failure to comply is a crime. It is an E felony upon conviction for the first failure to comply with any registration requirement and a D felony for any subsequent conviction. Failure to register, verify or provide the required information as described above may also be the basis for revocation of parole or probation.

The Act authorizes the DCJS, upon request, to provide sex offender internet information to social networking websites which have members under the age of 18. The websites may use the information to prescreen or remove sex offenders from their services and/or advise law enforcement of potential threats to public safety and/or violations of law. Please note that DCJS does not control whether websites remove offenders from their sites, nor does the law prohibit offenders from using the Internet.

The Act requires, as a condition of probation, conditional discharge, conditional release, or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender’s access to the Internet in cases where the offender was convicted of a sex offense against a person under the age of 18 or the Internet was used to commit the offense. For instance, the offender will be banned from using the Internet to access pornographic materials and social networking websites. The same restrictions apply to all Level 3 sex offenders on probation, conditional discharge, conditional release, or under parole supervision.

NOWHERE in that sequence does it say ANYTHING about passwords. In addition, I had searched for the CURRENT text of the law regarding registrant Internet disclosure requirements, and I can’t find ANY text that states that passwords MUST be disclosed. NONE. Not in any of the original assembly, senate, or even NY Attorney General’s office text.

TO CONCLUDE: What specific ordinance or law was the registrant convicted, and sentenced, under? I can’t find any!

Notice it is a reservation. Have you looked up that tribe’s laws?

I just commented here with a long response, and for some reason it didn’t take. I’ll write a summarized version here:

There is no law in the state of New York that states that passwords must be disclosed to the authorities. Only the usernames and websites have to be disclosed, and it is apparent that the registrant indeed disclosed every site. So WHAT was the registrant convicted of, if there is no SPECIFIC law he violated?

Search for New York ESTOP law, and search all the texts you can find like I did to confirm.

EXACTLY! Thank You Eric Night! New York State Law does not require that passwords be provided so he violated NO provision of the law.
It’s pure BS.
NY continuously railroads registrants who are in full compliance through corrupt Courts.
It’s awful!

The only people who should have been jailed are the JUDGE and PROSECUTOR for such gross negligence of serving the public’s interest and waste of taxpayer funds.

Please someone leave this as a comment on the article because it’s asking me to subscribe to read it. Thank you.

There has to be something more to this. Passwords are not legally required to be given to LE unless you’re on supervision. Once you’re off, they can’t “enter your home” which is what a password to any account would be. All they can do is track you, which would be updating your address and providing them with your identifiers. Getting a felony for no actual crime when the original crime was a misdemeanor is just stupid. This is totally entering Wonderland territory where up is down and everything is crazy.

I have emailed his attorney to ask how they got a conviction does not appear to violated any laws. I also asked how they didnt challege the collection of Internet Identifiers under Packingham as ESTOP only serves the purpose of removing RC from Social Media.

Have you researched the tribe’s laws?

Indian reservations have their own registry rules just like each state has. The fact the Indian nation is physically in NY is why the story’s title references New York. My bet is on the Indian nation requiring those passwords. Recall that the AWA compliance levels are for states and tribes when measured.

He was prosecuted by a state, not federal, court, so New York laws are the only factor here.

At one point in time, Georgia did require passwords also. It was very plainly written into the law. I gave them passwords. I changed many of them to something very rude (e.g. “gofyourself”). I also had an attorney send them a letter that stated that they did not have permission to use any of my passwords to login to anything. They did not login to anything as far as I know. The law was not on the books for very long. I assume that they were sued. It went away so fast I never did look into it.

If a person needed to give a criminal regime passwords these days they could fairly easily make it useless. You could enable multi-factor authentication on the account and they wouldn’t be able to login. But it would also be fun to have an account where they did login and you just e-mailed back and forth a bunch of large, encrypted files, with interesting names. That would surely drive them crazy. Would be fun.

Anyone who has to give any criminal regime any “internet identifier” or passwords needs to retaliate. Make them pay. Make them sorry. Do not allow people who support these laws to live in peace. They are no different than the invading Nazis were in WW2. Or any other criminal army has ever been. We need to run Registry Terrorists out of OUR country. Or at the very least neutralize, ostracize, and marginalize them. Let’s make sure they don’t count.

This case reminds me a lot of Doe v. Harris. Doe v. Harris was one of the earliest cases that ACSOL, then known as CA RSOL — and with the help of ACLU of Northern California — took on to fight for registrant internet anonymity and Free Speech rights. It’s one of the reasons to why most (but not all) registrants, at least here in California (and in most of the 9th Circuit), are *not* burdened by any internet reporting requirement that serve to chill Free Speech. The opinion was unanimous in favor of registrant Free Speech rights. Surprisingly, ultra-conservative Judge Jay Bybee wrote the Harris opinion in siding with registrants. As Bybee wrote, even a username reporting requirement “has the inevitable effect of burdening sex
offenders’ ability to engage in anonymous online speech.”

The thought of having to report any and/or all internet identifier(s) is outlandish. The added burden of having to report your freaking PASSWORD is at least thrice as outlandish!

Link to oral argument by ACLU attorney Michael Risher, argued September 10, 2013:

I am pretty sure CA still has that requirement except that it is not retroactive. Not positive about that because to be honest I have not checked into more.

Mike R,

Correct that California’s internet identifier requirement is not retroactive. However, the internet identifier requirement in California still applies moving forward to a limited number of registrants, per SB 448, as specified in Section 290.024. Specifically:

(a) A person who is convicted of a felony on or after January 1, 2017, requiring registration pursuant to the Act, shall register his or her Internet identifiers if a court determines at the time of sentencing that any of the following apply:

(1) The person used the Internet to collect any private information to identify the victim of the crime to further the commission of the crime.

(2) The person was convicted of a felony pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 236.1 and used the Internet to traffic the victim of the crime.

(3) The person was convicted of a felony pursuant to Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 311) and used the Internet to prepare, publish, distribute, send, exchange, or download the obscene matter or matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 311.4.

Yep, I am sure the courts would probably uphold this law as it is narrowly tailored. I am really surprised they did not attempt to make this particular law retroactive and let the courts decide. I guess with the Doe v Harris case they were gun shy or something…Where is the proceeding and preceding to the Harris case? Any links? I do not recall see any appeal or proceedings from this TRO.

Little off topic here, but I just watched a segment on FOX news where this college MVP football player was accused of rape (that was just the gist of it as I am not sure all the facts) and the girl was just sentenced for false accusations. I did not catch what the sentence was but this guy was treated as we all know he would be as guilty as charged without even being able to give his statement or any due process at all. According to his attorney Obama signed a law that denies anyone accused of a sexual offense on college campus any type of due process whatsoever. The kid was kicked out of school, lost all his scholarships and financial aid, and basically had his life ruined based on that one girls false statement. This is the new Salem witch hunt or McCarthyism at its finest….

Keep hearing stuff like ” The pendelum is swinging back your way”. Stories like this makes it feel more like, ” the Guillotine is being sharpened”.

Even when the guillotine does swing back towards our benefit (and I believe that we are seeing that) we shouldn’t expect our enemies to give up without a fight. If anything, hysteria-driven lawmaking may well escalate.

Correction: “pendulum,” not “guillotine.”

To be fair, registration does seem more akin to a guillotine than pendulum.

The pendulum implies some static forces at work here. If things swing one way, counter forces will swing it back. Don’t rely on Newtonian physics to give us any hope. Humans are something new in nature. The pendulum can just as likely break its pivot and spin on a tangent indefinitely in the same bad direction. It is the human will that determines its trajectory.

Something isn’t right here. SCOTUS has already declared passwords protected against unreasonable search AND is protected information for reasons of self incrimination….

The ONLY way this would be legal is if the guy was on parole. Misdemeanors aren’t prison offenses so there is no parole. I refuse to believe this story is real as written.

The more well known Doe v Harris was about the state being able to, regardless of Ex-Post Facto provisions, change plea agreements and allow harm to come from amendments to the registry.

A court has held, previously, that they can compel production of a passphrase if they know that what is being contained in an encrypted device is illegal.

As an example, if an encrypted folder is named “child pornography,” (and that would be pretty dumb, right?) then they can compel the key unlocking it to be produced. Similarly, if the defendant had told someone that he had encrypted a folder of illegal materials and that person then testifies to that fact, then the suspect can be compelled to unlock the folder. Not doing so can result in a contempt of court charge and can include being locked-up indefinitely until such time that he produces the key.

The maximum you can be held on contempt is 6 months. The US Supreme Court ruled that anything under 6 months is subjected to limited constitutional protections (no right to jury, lawyer, etc)

You may want to look at the curious case of Francis Rawl, then. He may well still be in custody for refusing to hand over his keys using the government’s invocation of “The All Writs Act” (there is nothing on him, doing a cursory Google search, after 2017 at which time he had been in jail for two years for having refused to hand over encryption keys). Here are three links: “Man to remain locked up “until such time that he fully complies” with court order.” At this point, he had been held for seven months and then, later, this: “Judge won’t release man jailed 2 years for refusing to decrypt drives – Kid-porn suspect to remain jailed pending 5th Amendment appeal to Supreme Court.” /// and then the later piece: /// /// Finally, there are these comments from the prosecutors: “Feds: Man jailed for not decrypting drives has “chutzpah” to ask to get out – Prosecutors use Yiddish to describe man imprisoned 2 years for contempt of court.” May we all have such chutzpah. Something is very farshtunkn in Philly, I’m afraid ///

No. The police can not demand your password under any circumstance. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to not provide information about yourself that is incriminating.

You should tell that to the judges who’ve ruled otherwise.

Also, didn’t SCOTUS already declare this unconstitutional?

How does one who gets prosecuted for a federal crime end up in a county jail?

I’m happy to read so many replies and I hope to see much much more.

I’ve been saying here that out of Manhattan New York State is a cesspit especially the farther north you go. I’d say Niagara is just about as far north! I don’t know what the tribal laws are.

Is the NYCLU going to get involved? Why don’t we all help this poor guy out and e-mail them to be involved?

I don’t know what the thing is about sex crimes and tribal law, but it seems like the feds are pushing this registration thing hard on the reservations. I have seen a couple of fliers for sexual assault workshops put out by the feds for some of the local reservations and one when passing through the Navajo nation. Seems counter productive. I guess they have a problem with sexual assault on reservations, but I think most of that, like the iconic depiction of Indians and alcohol abuse, can be attributed to poverty and destruction of social cohesion, and crime perpetrated from outsiders. Criminalizing more Indians is only going to make prospects worst for tribal members and increase poverty and social division. Way to go US, par for the course.

I’ll probably be adding more to this thread.
I just checked my NYS Annual Registration form and it clearly asks for internet supplier, email addresses and to report any social media sites that you subscribe to ONLY. The form and the Sex Offender police do make you supply any social media sites that you are on as per Cuomo’s E-Stop law started by Laura Ahearn. Check as well his ban on joining Pokemon. That is ALL they require- that they have that information. They more than likely do forward that to the Social media site who will block you.
If you subscribe to Facebook, Instagram etc you will be asked to sign that you are not a sex offender. If you lie to them, that is NOT a crime. If you do not not inform the police of any social media sites that you are on that IS a crime.

It’s possible that a person could have an e-mail addressnthat they have not supplied the police with, use that to join social media. That is a BIG crime.

I think anyone doing that needs their brains examined and needs therapy.

It is possible that this poor guy either had a stip ordered by the original conviction judge or that he had signed consent with his parole/probation. They DO DO that and it can be upheld by Podunk Judge until successfully appealed.

My first NY Probation supervisor tried an evil number with me when I first started my probation, he wanted me to sign a totally illegal agreement which my PO whispered to me not to sign and I threatened him with legal action. I think he lasted a week there.

The best was the Sentencing Probation Officer who lied to me and two years later threw himself out the window of his 12th floor office. The message to us all, even though this is hard, look around you and one by one they will fall. If your’e reading this that means your’e alive- be grateful.

There was a discussion on this back when Calif. was going to require social media registration and names and password for various sites. I suggested signing up to sites with 20 or more random character user names and a different 20 random character passwords. Paste them to a txt file, print them out, and mail them in. Let the cops try to type them into their database. If we joined, say, 100 sites like that, think of all the time it would consume!

Perhaps many of us in California had taken it for granted that internet identifier reporting shenanigans are not something most of us are subject to. Doe v. Harris is perhaps one of the most understated, unappreciated, and forgotten cases that have helped us reclaim our civil rights. Just looking back at the Doe v. Harris case, I am extraordinarily thankful that many of us are not subject to internet identifier reporting requirements. The registration process is already burdensome as is.

Except as provided in Section 290.024, most of us in California do not have to worry about the ridiculous added burden of being required to report our social media information. I still cannot believe that social media and/or internet identifier reporting is required in most other jurisdictions — especially outside of the Ninth Circuit. Prohibition of internet identifier reporting seems like a no brainer, in the same realm of ridiculousness as registrants in California being prohibited from being able to search the Megan’s Law website (especially important to see whether the facists at the CA Department of “Justice” entered all of one’s information correctly).

With regard to those affected by Section 290.024 — which is still a very small group, since it only affects registrants convicted of a felony after January 1, 2017 — I think it is absolutely wrong that they are being targeted by a law aimed to chill Free Speech. Once probation and/or parole is complete, you have paid the punishment for your crime. After, you should be entitled to all the rights that were once taken away from you. Free Speech is especially important. The thing is that 290.024 affects such a small population, probably in the few hundreds (as many are perhaps still incarcerated — as 2017 was not too long ago), that no one seems to care.

But IMO we should care. Free speech for ALL is incredibly fundamental to a democracy. The fact that the legislature clearly intended to stifle Free Speech, even AFTER a person has paid their punishment, shows that politicians do not generally care about the Constitution.

@The Static-99R Is A Scam. They will claim that they are not squashing or limiting your free & anonymous speech one iota.

Can someone in New York that’s registered there please help me can you call me or email me please I have questions regarding registration?

If Janice can offer a method of putting us in touch, or you can leave a contact here

I may have found a clue … it appears he was picked up for Petit Larceny on August 1st 2018 (

They may have struck a deal, dropping this charge, if he pleads guilty to the failure to register charge?

Still don’t see where it’s written in the NY statute that disclosing passwords is required though …

Done extensive research regarding registration of social media on the sex offender registry. You do not have to register specific social media websites with the registry. You only have to register the user ID and/or screenname. I have received a definition of this law from the Department of Justice. If anybody has any proof that states otherwise, please provide me with the link to that proof.

Not that law enforcement needs a password to access it. Often just a letter will suffice, which I often wonder if it will turn into a social media compliance check…

If a person must give law enforcement criminals (LECs) a password, then the person should take other steps to ensure that it is useless. Using two factor authentication ought to be enough. Beyond that, if people really care, use encryption.

Personally, I think it would be hilarious to create an account for nothing more than to troll the LECs. Give them the password and let them look at it. Fill it with all kinds of encrypted e-mails with crazy Subject lines. Encrypt some EXE files and attach them to e-mails. Good stuff. The more time of theirs that is wasted, the better.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x