UT: Utah considers making phone numbers, email addresses searchable in sex offender registry

Source: msn.com 6/16/23

Changes could be happening to the Utah Sex Offender Registry. Lawmakers and the Utah Attorney General’s Office are planning to add more “searchable” details available to the public, but some victims’ advocates said crucial information will be left off, in certain cases.

According to state law, people on the sex offender registry are required to provide information to law enforcement, like their names and aliases, their general description, a DNA sample and their work information. 

Currently, not all that information is searchable to the general public, like phone numbers and emails. 

The draft bill being considered on Utah’s Capitol Hill would allow people look up phone numbers, email addresses and other internet identifiers like Twitter handles, to see if they’re linked to someone on the registry.

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Here we go! Soon we’ll have all our information out there for the public to harass us. How much more can a pile on us when we’re done with our sentence? They keep on doing this and there’s going to be more PFR’s going underground. If this happened to me and my cell phone number was given out, every time I’d have somebody harassing me I would be calling the police and filing a police report.

What I foresee is innocents people on and off the registry being caught up in this check. Especially phone numbers. My wife’s phone number has been through a lot of different people and even to this day she still gets their debt collectors calling her.

Must be time to prep for next year’s elections already.

The nurse provided no validated info which backs her statement other than she gets into the media by name by saying what she said.

The UT AG office did not provide evidence either that the danger is coming to the minors or that minors aren’t going to find it, but made a blanket statement with no validation.

I’m sure glad CASOMB is considereding those other changes instead of changes like this. Thank you for existing Janice and ACSOL team!

Well, seeing that Doe v. Shurtleff (2008), was vacated based on the fact that internet information would be a private record, this would be a violation of the prior order of the Court. Looks like I am going to have to write some people to remind them.

Mr. Larson and Rep. Wilson,

It has come to my attention that the State of Utah is attempting to remove the GRAMA protections regarding the internet identifiers of registered sexual offenders. As the plaintiff in Doe v. Shurtleff, I believe that allowing unfettered searching of internet identifiers, looking for a hit, is in violation of the spirit of the Utah Federal District Court’s prior binding ORDER. 

The State of Utah represented to the Federal District Court that those records would only be accessible, “…in certain limited situations including when requested by the subject of the record, those authorized by the subject to receive the information, or when the information is subject to a court order or legislative subpoena. Id. 63G-2-202…” Doe v. Shurtleff, Case No. 1:08-CV-64-TC, 4 (D. Utah Aug. 20, 2009).

The Federal Court noted that its decision was based on the, “…restrictions on the use of the information, the chilling effect on speech is significantly diminished.” Id. at 8. However, allowing the public unfettered access to submit unrestricted searches of internet identifiers, without assurance that the search is for reporting a crime, would make any person pause their anonymous speech. Even a notice and declaration stating a rule, such as if searches are only authorized if a crime has been committed, is troublesome and would be nearly impossible to enforce. 

Such would effectively allow internet “trolls” to chill the speech of registrants by allowing them to cross reference the speakers of unpopular political opinions online (such as pointing out in forums and comment sections that the recidivism rate of sexual offenders is actual quite low as backed up by multiple empirical studies), and use the search tool to harass, make false criminal reports against, and unmask the speaker as a registered sexual offender (by reposting their record “hit” in a rebuttal comment on any such social media outlet).

The least restrictive means of the meeting government’s legitimate interest in investigating crimes, as to not unduly chill the anonymous free speech rights of registrants, would be to gather internet identifiers through normal investigative tools (warrant and subpoena) after a crime has been committed and properly reported. As is the currently the case.

Passage of S.B. 282 or any similar bill will result in the parties appearing before the Federal District Court, reopening the prior case, for contempt proceedings and any other available legal remedies.

As a reminder, the prior Federal Court Order protecting the plaintiff’s identity (pseudonym) in Doe v. Shurtleff (2008) at page 16 is binding and enforceable.

Also, such measures have been found unconstitutional in other cases. See, Doe v. Harris, 772 F.3d 563 (9th Cir. 2014); Doe v. Snyder, 101 F. Supp. 3d 672 (E.D. Mich. 2015), 834 F.3d 696 (6th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 55(2017); White v. Baker, 696 F.Supp.2d 1289 (N.D. Ga. 2010); among others. Only those states that have protected this information from public disclosure have had their laws upheld. Utah, having established this standard, baking away from it now, changes the circumstances upon which the prior injunction was vacated.

Thank you,
John Doe

There are two ways they can do this…they can just post all the phone number and email addresses on their website, or they can have a search box where there public can enter a phone number or email address and see if there’s a match.

If they post the information publicly then all bets are off, and you can be certain that the hacking/abuse will begin immediately. But if they just provide a search box for people to see if you’re information is in the database there’s at least some level of protection.

Does anyone know if there are any states which are posting phone numbers/email addresses publicly rather than enabling numbers to be checked against the database?

I predict registrant email accounts getting catfished, spammed, and flooded with messages from hate-filled Karens.

These poor, poor, pathetic criminals. It is hilarious how pathetically they keep trying to milk their Registry stupidity. All of the things that the criminals are attempting these days do not have a snowball’s chance in hell of protecting anyone from anything. It is nothing but harassment based on the wishful fantasies of idiots.

I promise the criminals that if I’m ever using a phone or email address to do anything nefarious that it will definitely never be one that I have told them about. I promise.

So they can go ahead and force people to give them that information but all they are doing is royally pissing people off and guaranteeing that retaliation is going to increase. I’m doing so much already, but I can do more.

Rise up against the criminals. Make them pay.

Utah has been leading the way with database exploitation for quite some time. Mr. Snow den was employed there. He told you the same. Both feds and state agencies are in play. They all seemed determined to protect their unfettered use of the DDI. The sex offender is generally where they start unconstitutional ideas, because the people will not protest gov doings for the sub group.

Someone please explain to me how making phone numbers and email addresses public will keep people safe and prevent crime. All this will do is lead to people harassing registered persons.
Thankfully here in Michigan that information is not public. I get more than enough BS calls from telemarketers and scammers. I don’t need John Doe Public calling and harassing me too.

The good news if this bill passes is that every single child will be safe to communicate with anyone online as long as the parents cross-check their contacts with the registry to be sure whoever they are talking to are not on it. If they find they aren’t on the registry, there is nothing to worry about. The contact is definitely safe and parents can rest easy knowing that their child will not end up a victim of a sex offense. Therefore if nobody on the registry is one of their contacts, they will not need to supervise their child’s online activities. (This is intentional sarcasm of course – see how I used legislator logic)

Parents need to be responsible about who their kid communicates with on the phone and online regardless of the danger(s), so a law isn’t needed Mr. AG ( Attention Grabber).

registries don’t protect the offend(er) from harassment, scams, injuries, murder, and all the other injustices Ms. Nurse.

How about someone ask Utah law enforcement how many sex crime investigations (less registry violations) were solved by tracing phone numbers and email identifiers in the past, say, 10 years to show how this proposal would be beneficial? Or explain why a citizen couldn’t report a suspicious phone number or email identifier to law enforcement anyway? Or why parents who are so worried about online predators (which I seriously doubt is as prevalent as portrayed) simply can’t take the cell phones away from their kids or at least monitor their use?

Oh, wait. Election season is approaching…

So what happens when email addresses made public are signed up for all sorts of adult websites or worse off something off the dark web? Or are they just going under the assumption that that cold never happen?

Who cares everybody already has our information anyways 🤷‍♂️

Pretty soon they’d be wanting to make our passwords and usernames public. Then you’d have Karen🧓 going thru our inbox and online bank statements.

You can’t close a “loophole” on a law that doesn’t work. But hey, do continue to paint that rusted-out shed with another coat of shiny paint to fool everyone.

If implemented, the former American citizens known now as sex offenders will be reporting far more crimes than they will be caught committing.

Their emails will be flooded with CP, threats and other criminal acts. Can you imagine how fast and burdened the system will become when every SO in Utah reports a crime at least daily?