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VA: Sex Offenders’ Social Media Notice Law Upheld

Virginia’s law requiring sex offenders to provide law enforcement officials with information about their social media identity is constitutional, a Virginia appeals court ruled. Full Article

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  1. Karl Nonsense

    This is a disturbing opinion. I could only hope that it is corrected by a higher court.

    • Bo

      I’m not expecting a state change, once it goes federal, then, maybe change.

  2. AJ

    Having read the Opinion, it seems diametrically opposed to Doe v. Harris (CA) even though they basically are the same facts. Actually VA is a bit worse in that it requires notification within 30 minutes! CA “only” required 24 hours…and yet that was found to be, “onerous and overbroad.” It’s also in stark contrast to the AL District decision, where the judge found AL failed not only strict scrutiny, but intermediate as well. There are other courts, though (IA? 7th?) that find it all hunky dory.

    There is certainly a disagreement among the courts on this, seemingly due to varying interpretation of the intermediate-scrutiny standard. I hope this gets appealed higher…though I must be honest, I somewhat fear the outcome.

    What really boils my butt about this Opinion is the contention that the State isn’t prohibiting anything, it’s merely requiring reporting…which then gets told to the platforms via the Feds, and then the platforms prohibit use. Though not directly prohibiting, the State’s actions and requirements start the ball rolling and result in the prohibition. But that’s all legal and fine, of course. The State can hand out a list of “bad people: all day long, but as long as the State itself doesn’t do the the blacklisting, all’s good. How F’d up is that? That’s merely contracting out the banishment.

    • Will Allen

      It is government created and intentional apartheid. Fully desired, encouraged, and promoted.

      Only a true idiot could believe it affects safety at all.

  3. Facts should matter

    “The requirements are the cyber-equivalent of providing identifying information such as photographs and fingerprints, the court said.”

    Piss poor argument seeing how identification is not awareness and that doesn’t translate into prevention, much less minimization of risk. Lawmakers really do have a skewed perspective of reality selling this “knowledge is power” crap to the public.

    More like the “cyber equivalent” of public shaming and retaliatory mob justice.

    Privacy is not “secrecy.” Nor is it cover for criminal activity.

  4. JohnDoeUtah

    White v. Baker, 696 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (N.D. Ga. 2010)

  5. Scotus Save Us Now

    The real argument in federal court is this will chill free speech and removes the constitutionally protected right to anonymous speech, even on the internet

    • JohnDoeUtah

      While I would agree, and argued as such in Doe v Shurtleff, the court of appeals disagreed.

      “Applying precedent from an earlier decision, US v. Perrine, 518 F.3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2008), the Tenth Circuit held that the statute did not violate the Fourth Amendment because Doe did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in “information that he voluntarily transmitted to the third party internet providers,” including his internet identifiers.”

      The fact that the ISP knows who you really are, forfeits any reasonable expectation of privacy and also lessens the anonymity afforded.

      Specifically with regard to anonymous free speech the court held, “The court further noted disclosure of anonymity would occur after the speech had already been made, thus lessening the statute’s chilling effect.”

      Because that statue did not require reporting as a prior condition on speech, it was not chilling.

      Now of course I disagreed and appealed to SCOTUS; but, they didn’t want the case.

      • AJ

        Doe did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in “information that he voluntarily transmitted to the third party internet providers,” including his internet identifiers.”
        Ahhh…the good old Third Party Doctrine, which needs to be tossed on the rubbish heap ASAP. At least Gorsuch gets it, Roberts kinda sorta does but I suspect he’s too LE-friendly to change.

      • NoName

        The government is not the only one that does or wants to track you. Everyone does. Only a VPN helps.

        • Happy, Joyous and Free

          Even then, VPN providers can be compromised. When Tor (aka Onion routing) was compromised, the consequences were significant. At some point, taking physical control of a node in a network, even a secured and encrypted network, allows LE to see everything. VPN technology will never be immune to “Man in the Middle “ (MITM) attacks. We are lucky that our SSL certificate providers are not arms of the government (unlike several foreign countries). Once someone has the private key for any security certificate, it is super easy to decrypt data. Every bit of internet traffic is replicated and stored for data mining. It isn’t hard, just takes government and private company backing to make it happen. I trust no one.

          This Virginia ruling is what was expected. I don’t see how the Virginia court system would rule in favor of Doe. Sadly VA RSOL is long gone, and all of the pages taken down; the history of Virginia in dealing with registered citizens has been deplorable at best. Even the state LE has a liaison at all General Assembly sessions and actively lobbies for stricter controls regardless of the validity or constitutionality of them.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          So what happened to VA RSOL? Was this Mary?

        • TS


          Last I read about VARSOL was Mary stepped away from it as you can read here:

        • NoName


          That is discouraging about Mary, TS. As a counterpoint I offer a video most of you are probably familiar with, to boost the encouragment.

          Jan Kruska v. Petra Luna on ABC 20/20

        • TS


          It is sad Mary has moved on, but it’s understandable given the energy and time needed can be exhausting. I enjoyed reading her blog from VA and wish her well. She left big shoes to fill by others if others are filling them.

        • NoName

          TS, yes, very unfortunate. A Google of her found very good writing, logical, powerful and ssucinct, and she was passionate. Hopefully after a rest she will return to the front lines. Part of the reason I argue in favor of RC families bringing suit is that only then is an emotional argument acceptable. They are victims, after all. Collateral consequences. Maybe Mary tried too hard to stick to the facts without revealing why it was so important to her personally.

  6. Tim

    It is already being used to prohibit speech – FB TOS – only possible via disclosure.
    At my 2011 FTR.
    Agent DOC SOR demands email address disclosure from registrants? A: Yes
    Agent does DOC SOR intend to use email to communicate with registrants? A: No.
    Did you just say no Agent? Yes.
    Agent communication is the usual purpose of email exchanges – what it’s used for? A: Yes.
    Agent DOC SOR demands email addresses for another purpose outside of communicating? A: Yes.
    Agent please disclose to the jury the other purposes the state intends to do with these disclosures. …………
    Agent the state and people intends to impose affirmative restraint with these disclosures? FB, MS,, etc etc.

  7. NoName

    @Happy, Joyous and Free

    There were a few Tor breakdowns. One was a phishing hack that claimed to be a Tor update. My point was that I don’t surrender my privacy to my ISP because I us a VPN (that has proven it doesn’t log). I’ve been on the Internet for about 25 years and have never done anything illegal on it that I know of (evidently, some have accidently downloaded stuff). The cops would find nothing. But I still use it to troll the trolls (stalkers) and to argue and debate, as here, by exercising my 1st Amendment rights anonymously, and to keep the corporate stalkers from sucking the data points soul out of me. On occasion I’ll run Tor through a VPN (safest) just to get the trolls’ b-hole all a quiver because they think they might be on to something. I waste their time. Gladly. It is not a very powerful weapon, but it helps a little because there is a little satisfaction.

    Bottom line, if doing something the government will want us for bad enough, eventually Tor nor a VPN will stop them because a mistake is inevitable. But we could safely organize a clandestine group with Tor. Many dissidents use it, it’s purpose in fact, according to

    • Happy, Joyous and Free

      @NoName, I agree with you 100%. Never surrender privacy to an ISP or any governmental agency. As a security professional, and probably as old as you, I have the same perspectives that you do. I keep quiet here because the less I say about myself, the less that can be used to figure out who I am. Having been to a NARSOL annual and a Texas Voices annual, we may have even met. Meeting Janice was super important and helpful.

      • NoName

        What would you think of a clandestine operation? I’m thinking defensive/offensive psyops of our own.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Yeah, what could go wrong? 🙂

        • NoName

          @Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly,

          Assume for a moment that nothing would go wrong because there would be nothing illegal about it. Can you conceive of a benificial course of action? You know, something more than complaining here. Something more empowering, I mean. Something other than waiting for someone else to do something.

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Who’s complaining? You’re reading too much into my reply.

        • NoName

          Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply you were complaining and I did not read that into you comment.

          An example of what I’m talking about. JohnDoeUtah commented about a person in India that wouldn’t clear his Reg info and he posted the Whois @ that included the site owner’s name.

          I googled the name and found a Twitter post about a “savage” sex crime by someone with the same name. I posted that here stating it *could* be the same person but it was stopped by the mod. Fine, but it’s legal. And it would be interesting to dig deeper.

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