Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More on "sex offenders getting together"

It would be funny if this didn't come out of a high government agency.

Reading further, they want to post residential and work addresses for sex offenders on the Internet. Okay, many places do this already but some at least blank out the last few digits of the house number. Not that this always works; in running some experiments on a locale that does such, looking at multiple on-line databases I was able to obtain some down-to-the-last-digit street addresses.

But work addresses? Given a work address, a name and a phone book one could be on the phone to them in very short order. Even with a "blanked" address (requiring a short drive down the street, or reference to yet another on-line database) it would take only a few innocuous phone calls before making contact.

Are these government employees even thinking? I don't claim to be the brightest lamp on the street, but I figured this much out. The more you reveal to the public, the more those who are intent on being sex re-offenders, may be able to find each other.

In other words: increased revelation MAY result in increased protection; it also MAY result in an increase and propagation of circumvention strategies.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Unintended consequences (email addresses)

Reading through the proposed national guidelines for sex offender registration I had to laugh when I read the following:

On the other hand, some forms of public disclosure of this type of information—such as including sex offenders’ e-mail addresses as part of the information in their individual listings on the sex offender websites, which also include their names, locations, etc.—could raise serious concerns about unintended consequences and misuse. Posting of the information in this form could provide ready access by sex offenders to the e-mail addresses of other sex offenders, thereby facilitating networking among such offenders through the Internet for such purposes as: exchanging information about or providing access to child victims for purposes of sexual abuse; recruiting confederates and accomplices for the purpose of committing child sexual abuse or exploitation offenses or other sexually violent crimes; trafficking in child pornography; and sharing ideas and information about how to commit sexual crimes, avoid detection and apprehension for committing such crimes, or evade registration requirements.

The public safety benefits of public access in this context may be realized, and the risks and concerns addressed, by not including remote communication routing addresses or information that would enable sex offenders to contact each other on the individual public website postings of registrants, but including on the websites a function by which members of the public may enter, e.g., an e-mail address or phone number and receive an answer whether the specified address or number has been registered as that of a sex offender. In the case of a concerned parent as described above, for example, this could enable the parent to ascertain that the e-mail address of an individual attempting to communicate through the Internet with his or her child is the address of a sex offender, but without providing sex offenders access to listings showing the e-mail addresses of other persons who may share their dispositions to commit sexual crimes.

How naive! It has been proposed to give or sell such lists to public networking siteowners, or verify via the alternate method given above.

But it would be so easy for registered sex offenders to use this. Set up a public networking site and get the list. Okay, they'll close that loophole, no doubt.

But the address verification method is also usable. Let's say somebody sets up a sex-offender-only networking site calling it, oh, UnitedSexOffenders.com. (It's to be a safe harassment-free space for registered sex offenders trying to go straight, okay? Forget the Dept. of Justice's silly, silly hyperventilation -- geez, if you don't want sex offenders sharing ideas, why do you lock them up for years together?)

All he has to do is to advertise USO and use the address verification method to keep the general public out... and the deed is done.

Best host it outside the country though, because the screeching and wailing that will ensue when it's discovered by the public will be incredible.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How to force a sex offender out

Turns out to be real easy:

1) Pass a "non-residence zone law"

2) File for a daycare.

(S)he's now illegal and screwed, no matter the intentions. Guess what: it's happening all over the country. Coming to a (grateful and welcoming) locale near you.

Until the chickens come home to roost.