by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 31st 2008 8:35am
It's really amazing what sort of laws are being passed in the name of "protecting the children." The latest is a law in Georgia that requires all sex offenders not only to hand over all of their online usernames and email addresses (which some other states require), but also the passwords to all of their accounts. The idea is that authorities can now log into their accounts and see what they're doing -- which seems like a massive privacy violation. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with punishing convicted sex offenders, but these sorts of laws go beyond punishment -- especially when the majority of sex offenders these days aren't the "internet predators" that everyone's so worried about, but people who already know the victim in some way. Also, this would mean that any time a convicted sex offender signed up for a new account somewhere, they'd have to hand over the info -- and even one slip-up can put them back in jail. It's hard to see how this law could possibly be constitutional, and I'm guessing that eventually we'll see a lawsuit to address just that issue, wasting plenty of taxpayer money. I'm not sure how that actually protects any children.
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