|Sex Offender Registries and Websites|
© Cybertelecom ::
The Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act was passed in 2006 and, among other things, created state public online databases of sex offenders and the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website through which all of the state databases could be accessed. Leveraging information technology, the Department of Justice has now put within everyone's reach information about sex offenders in their neighborhood. Visit the site, punch in your zip code, and get a graphical map displaying who lives in your neighborhood, their name, where they live, and what they were charged with.
It's easy to use and the results can be, unfortunately, surprising.
The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website provides information about who is near you in the real world - but what about in the virtual world. What about on social networking sites. How do you know whether a person near you online is a sex offender? Your child may be discussing with a "new friend" how yesterday some one-hit-wonder-pop band is, or how good it is that Jagr left the Rangers and went back to Russia to play hockey. That "new friend" could be anyone.
Sen. Chuck Schumer attempted to address this problem with the recently passed Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act (KIDS Act). This new law would require sexual offenders to register their email addresses and another other online identifiers that they use. The Department of Justice will house this information in a secure database and permit certified social networking sites to securely contrast their subscriber lists against the sex offender database. The statute calls for this comparison to be secure such that the DOJ Database Operator cannot see the social networking site's list - and the social networking site cannot see the database - except for those records that match records on the social networking site's list (this security is possible using cryptographic measures).
Use of the service by social networks is voluntary, they must be certified, and they may not abuse the information they come to acquire from the database.
Registration of email addresses and internet identifiers is not voluntary for the convicted sex offenders; failure to comply may subject violators to up to ten years' imprisonment.
Upon passage, sponsor Sen. Schumer stated"Millions of teenagers log on to websites like MySpace and they, and their parents, shouldn't have to worry about running in to these predators online," Schumer said. "Sex offenders have no business joining social networking communities - especially those with teenage users - and our legislation will help keep them out. We know that many predators are using the Internet to find victims. This legislation will take a big step toward keeping sexual predators out of the online neighborhoods our kids frequent."
The KIDS Act was also co-sponsored by Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ).
- S.431 Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008' or the `KIDS Act of 2008'
- Title: A bill to require convicted sex offenders to register online identifiers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 1/30/2007) CoSponsored by Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain
Related Bills: H.R.719
Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 110-400 [GPO: Text , PDF ]
Senate Reports: 110-332
- President Bush Signs Schumer Bill To Crack Down On Child Predators On The Internet - New Law Will Mandate National Email Registry For Sex Offenders, Sen. Schumer Press Release (October 14, 2008)
- "Millions of teenagers log on to websites like MySpace and they, and their parents, shouldn't have to worry about running in to these predators online," Schumer said. "Sex offenders have no business joining social networking communities - especially those with teenage users - and our legislation will help keep them out. We know that many predators are using the Internet to find victims. This legislation will take a big step toward keeping sexual predators out of the online neighborhoods our kids frequent." Sen. Schumer
- H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006
- Mandate Internet access to state sex offender registries, greatly facilitating public access to this information
- Establishment of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website which provides one portal access to all state sex offender registry information and resources.
- From this site and the state sites, an individual can easily find out whether any sex offenders live in their neighborhood, who they are, where they live, and what they were convicted of. Many states conveniently display this information on maps, graphically displaying people's neighborhoods
- Making the sale of the date rape drug over the Internet illegal
- Making it illegal to use misleading words or digital images to deceive people into seeing obscenity or content harmful to minors.
- Call for additional prosecutors, forensic examiners, and ICAC task forces
- President Signs H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 , White House (July 27, 2006)
- Fact Sheet: The Adam Walsh Child Protection And Safety Act Of 2006 , White House July 27, 2006
- Sec. 118: PUBLIC ACCESS TO SEX OFFENDER INFORMATION THROUGH THE INTERNET (a) In General- Except as provided in this section, each jurisdiction shall make available on the Internet, in a manner that is readily accessible to all jurisdictions and to the public, all information about each sex offender in the registry. The jurisdiction shall maintain the Internet site in a manner that will permit the public to obtain relevant information for each sex offender by a single query for any given zip code or geographic radius set by the user. The jurisdiction shall also include in the design of its Internet site all field search capabilities needed for full participation in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website and shall participate in that website as provided by the Attorney General. (b) Mandatory Exemptions- A jurisdiction shall exempt from disclosure-- (1) the identity of any victim of a sex offense; (2) the Social Security number of the sex offender; (3) any reference to arrests of the sex offender that did not result in conviction; and (4) any other information exempted from disclosure by the Attorney General.
(c) Optional Exemptions- A jurisdiction may exempt from disclosure-- (1) any information about a tier I sex offender convicted of an offense other than a specified offense against a minor; (2) the name of an employer of the sex offender; (3) the name of an educational institution where the sex offender is a student; and (4) any other information exempted from disclosure by the Attorney General. (d) Links- The site shall include, to the extent practicable, links to sex offender safety and education resources. (e) Correction of Errors- The site shall include instructions on how to seek correction of information that an individual contends is erroneous. (f) Warning- The site shall include a warning that information on the site should not be used to unlawfully injure, harass, or commit a crime against any individual named in the registry or residing or working at any reported address. The warning shall note that any such action could result in civil or criminal penalties.
- Sec. 119: National Sex Offender Registry (a) Internet- The Attorney General shall maintain a national database at the Federal Bureau of Investigation for each sex offender and any other person required to register in a jurisdiction's sex offender registry. The database shall be known as the National Sex Offender Registry.
(b) Electronic Forwarding- The Attorney General shall ensure (through the National Sex Offender Registry or otherwise) that updated information about a sex offender is immediately transmitted by electronic forwarding to all relevant jurisdictions.
(b) Information To Be Provided- The Website shall include relevant information for each sex offender and other person listed on a jurisdiction's Internet site. The Website shall allow the public to obtain relevant information for each sex offender by a single query for any given zip code or geographical radius set by the user in a form and with such limitations as may be established by the Attorney General and shall have such other field search capabilities as the Attorney General may provide.
- Sec. 120: Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (a) Establishment- There is established the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (hereinafter in this section referred to as the `Website'), which the Attorney General shall maintain.
Sec. 201: Internet Sale Date Rape Drug illegal 21 USC § 841(g) Sec. 629: Children's Safety Online Awareness Campaigns Sec. 630: Grants for Online Child Safety Programs Title VII: Internet Safety Act Sec. 703: Deception by Embedded Words or Images Sec. 704: Additional Prosecutors for Offenses Relating to the Sexual Exploitation of Children Sec. 705: Additional Computer-Related Resources (forensics) Sec. 706: Additional ICAC Task Forces
- Department of Justice
- National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) Program. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 authorized and created an ICAC within DOJ , which is described as: "The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This help encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education. Numerous task forces have been established throughout the nation. " DOJ ICAC Website .
- Project Safe Childhood: " Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. In Vermont, federal prosecutors are teaming with the Vermont Attorney General's Office, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the FBI, ICE, the Vermont State Police and local police departments to identify, investigate, prosecute and convict those individuals who prey upon our children, and those that distribute, receive and manufacture child pornography. "
- Doe v Shurtleff, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 21988 (10th Cir. October 26, 2010). The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law requiring convicted sex offenders to register their online identities did not violate the First and Fourth Amendments.
- US Offender Monitoring System Goes Offline Because Someone Didn't Realize They Ran Out Of Storage, Techdirt 10/12/2010
- NY predators deleted from Facebook, MySpace, NetFamily News 12/4/2009