Sunday, February 20, 2011

WI - Offender unhappy about mapping website

Original Article

Isn't it ironic and hypocritical that she is okay with sex offenders being mapped online and on a registry, but her, with multiple DUI convictions, thinks it's unfair? Why eradicate peoples rights and privacy under the guise of "protecting children," for just some, why not all criminals?

02/20/2011

By TED SULLIVAN

JANESVILLE - [name withheld] wasn’t happy when she saw her name and picture on a Janesville police website listing felony drunken-driving offenders.

I just thought it was kind of bizarre and crazy,” she said. “We’re not sex offenders.”

[name withheld] is one of 55 Janesville residents on an online map revealing information about people with at least five drunken-driving convictions.

[name withheld], 44, said the Janesville police mapping program, Project Sober Streets, is a violation of her privacy.

She acknowledges that her eight drunken-driving convictions are serious, but she said the map goes too far.

Do they really have to go to the extreme of putting all of our information on it?” she said. “Why don’t they do one for drug dealers or crackheads?

Police say Project Sober Streets allows people to track offenders such as [name withheld] to protect the public, report problems and deter drunken driving. The map reveals [name withheld]’s name, address, photograph, driver’s license and probation statuses.
- Many people have their social security number as their license number.  So are you opening some folks up to identity theft by doing so?

Police Chief Dave Moore said the map doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy. He said the project publishes information available to anyone on websites such as Wisconsin’s online court records system.
- So lets here you say that when you or someone in your family gets put onto the list.  Of course it violates privacy.

Janesville police arrested 304 people in 2010 for drunken driving. The city averages about 100 drunken-driving crashes a year.

This is a public safety issue. These are folks that have shown repeatedly that they are unable to follow the law,” Moore said. “Given the public safety measure of this issue, I think the disclosure is appropriate.”
- So why aren't they in prison and forced to get therapy?  Once again, this doesn't protect anybody or prevent crime.  If someone is intent on driving drunk, they will.

He said police always are looking at ways to fight threats in the community, including drunken driving, drug dealing or other problems.
- You could put everyone, even non criminals on a online registry, and it would not deter crime, but you folks continue to live in fantasy land.  One day, you will also be on an online registry, it's only a matter of time.  You might have to have one to buy, sell or trade as well, and it may be in your right hand or forehead.

He said drunken drivers were chosen for the mapping project because the website is a proactive way to fight the problem.
- Fight it how?  And why not gang members or drug dealers as well?

Absent Project Sober Streets, these people pretty much live in anonymity,” Moore said. “Even at the police department, we were surprised at the sheer number of these people living in our community.”
- Well, they should be allowed to live in anonymity, and I highly doubt you were shocked.

[name withheld] said she is worried about a dangerous man from her past finding her by using the map.
- Exactly!  And it does happen, sex offenders are targets of violence all the time.

She admits she never raised her concerns with the police department, even though she was notified she would be on the website.

Moore said he would consider removing offenders if they had valid safety risks. He said sex offenders had similar concerns that never came to fruition.

This was mirrored after the sex-offender registry,” Moore said. “Even with sex offenders, we never experienced any violence from disclosing where they live.”
- Well, I beg to differ.  You should look around the Internet at the news articles, like the link above, and also the blogs by eAdvocate in the LINKS section.

Moore said he thought he would get several phone calls after notifying offenders they would be on the website. But the calls never came.

Five offenders contacted the department about the website, Moore said. Three were supportive of the program, the fourth was upset and the fifth claimed he no longer lived in Janesville.

One offender wrote the police department a letter, stating he has been through treatment and would like to help keep drunken drivers off the streets.

I support my community and public safety and am willing to speak and mentor anyone in the community,” the letter states.

Several people in Wisconsin and other states e-mailed the department, complimenting Janesville police on the idea, Moore said. A radio talk-show host in California had Moore on as a guest to talk about the website.

West Allis Police Chief Mike Jungbluth said he liked Janesville’s idea so much that he is doing the same thing at his department. He learned about the program during a meeting of Wisconsin police chiefs.
- Of course, and each new registry wastes a ton of money.  Why not have one CRIMINALS registry with all criminals on it, so we can "protect" ourselves from them?

West Allis police in 2010 arrested 615 people for drunken driving, more than twice as many as Janesville. He said the website would bring awareness to residents and hopefully deter the problem.
- And how many of those you arrested were already on the list?  I am willing to bet less than 2%.  Most are new people who are not on the list already, and it did not deter them, nor will it deter any other person.

The city of West Allis has a huge issue; it’s a cultural thing,” Jungbluth said. “We have 120 bars within our 11.1 square miles."

It’s just an ongoing issue that we have within our community,” he said. “We’re definitely doing our best to tell people that it’s not tolerated in our city.”

Posting information about offenders online is not new to Janesville police. The department also publishes the names and addresses of people arrested on criminal charges.

The drunken driving map had 8,000 hits from eight countries in the days after it went public. The site has since dropped to about 270 hits a month.
- So you see, people don't care, or else you'd be getting a lot more hits.  So how is it protecting anybody when nobody uses it?  Even if they did use it, it still would not protect anybody.

[name withheld] said family and friends immediately told her they saw her on the map after it went online. She said some people posted about it on her Facebook page.

She wonders what else police could put on the Internet.
- Why don't they put online all the police brutality cases, or cops in prison having sex with inmates, importing drugs into the prisons, or even the cops who have been busted for DUI or drugs?

What are they going to do next,” [name withheld] said, “have a website for people who smoke too many cigarettes a day or drink too much coffee in a day?
- Well it was all predicted in the Bible, if you believe in the Bible, which I do.  Everyone will eventually be marked, it's only a matter of time.  They have to introduce it slowly, so people get accustom to it.


ARC Radio - Join in to discuss the AWA Reauthorization Hearings which took place in D.C. this past Tuesday, February 15th

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Episode: DISCUSS WASHINGTON D.C. AWA HEARINGS (Listen)

Please join us on Monday, February 21, 2011 to discuss the AWA Reauthorization Hearings which took place in D.C. this past Tuesday, February 15th. Many advocates attended these important hearings and will join us to share their thoughts and opinions regarding testimony, the appearance of Mark Lunsford and Ed Smart and other issues.

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We are here to talk about the TRUTH and not MYTHS of a range of topics going on around the USA. Agatha Christie once famously said, "The simplest explanation is always the most likely." However, when something shocking or catastrophic happens in our lives, simple explanations just aren't satisfying. We crave deeper reason and meaning and when that isn't given to us, sometimes we create our own. This is how conspiracy theories are often born -- someone doesn't like the official account of a major event and challenges it with a different version. Conspiracy theories can attract a wide array of people, from vehement supporters to those who just like a good story. Whether they're somewhat believable or completely ridiculous, the most popular conspiracy theories got that way for a reason -- they're just plain fascinating.

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Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites

Original Article

So now the power hungry gestapo is closing down entire domains under the "for the children" campaign. This is like shutting down all Google sites because one or more have child porn on them.

02/18/2011

By Dan Goodin

Feds' Operation Powergrab slammed

The federal government's unprecedented practice of confiscating internet domain names in secret court proceedings took a new and ominous turn last week when it resulted in the closure of as many as 84,000 website addresses.

The power grab came last Friday, when the mooo.com, an address a service called Free DNS used to resolve more than user 84,000 websites was unceremoniously suspended at the registrar level. Sites that relied on mooo.com soon displayed a banner that said the domain name had been seized by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the main investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security. The banner went on to include this creepy nugget:
- So now the government is slandering many people due to a few?

“Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution.”

Speculation has abounded ever since that mooo.com was one of almost a dozen domains confiscated under Operation Protect Our Children, in which the government obtained a secret court order to seize addresses allegedly involved in child pornography without first giving the owners a chance to defend themselves before a judge.

By Sunday evening, mooo.com was restored, but by then the damage was done. Not only had 84,000 websites been silenced for 72 hours (a term lawyers call prior restraint) with no legal authority, but it was going to take another day or so for the world's domain name servers to reflect the change in tables most people use to access the sites. Condemnation of the move by ICE, which is overseen by Director John Morton, was swift and scathing.

Mr. Morton, with all due respect: 'f--- off,' one affected website operator wrote. “Pulling a total domain, sweeping up innocent people along the way, feeling that you don't have to comply with due process of law and indicating that you don't give a damn is wrong. It's not as wrong as child pornography or counterfeiting, but it's still wrong.

Department of Homeland Security officials didn't respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.

Lawyers and civil libertarians say the act was unprecedented and a naked affront to Free Speech guarantees at the heart of the US Constitution.

You don't take down speech unless you have some sort of justification for it, and that's why, over and over, courts have said if you're going to take down a website, or take down speech anywhere, that take-down has to be narrowly tailored to a specific objective,” Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Register. “This is basic constitutional law.”

Operation Protect Our Children comes on the heels of a separate ICE initiative dubbed Operation in our Sites, which seizes domain names for websites accused of offering pirated or counterfeited content or products. Like last week's operation, it didn't afford any prior notice to the owners, many of whom are located outside US borders.

The latest initiative came about the same time US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the Egyptian government for pulling the plug on the internet. The irony hasn't been lost on critics.

Our government has gone rogue on us,” Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, said. “Our government is going into court with half-baked facts and half-baked legal theories and shutting down operations. This is exactly what we thought the government couldn't do. I'm scratching my head why we aren’t' grabbing the pitchforks.”


Public Safety, Individual Liberty, and Suspect Science: Future Dangerousness Assessments and Sex Offender Laws


Original Article

Melissa Hamilton
University of South Carolina - School of Law

Temple Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:
This article argues that the new preventive law focus in sex offender laws is largely ineffective and too costly to personal liberty. The application of sex offender laws involving civil commitment, sex offender registration, and residency restrictions is often based on an individualized analysis of future dangerousness, i.e., the risk the defendant will sexually recidivate. In assessing future dangerousness, experts and courts place heavy emphasis on the use of actuarial tools, basically checklists that mental health experts use to derive statistical estimates of risk. This article provides substantiation that actuarial tools, while enjoying the imprimatur of science, suffer from significant empirical faults. Yet courts are largely abandoning their gatekeeping roles in accepting the experts’ testimony using actuarial tool predictions of risk without critical review as required by the Daubert and Frye evidentiary standards. The paper theorizes that this is likely a pragmatic strategy considering the current political and public thirst for retribution against sexual predators. But, use of this empirically-challenged science exacerbates the practice of applying sex offender restrictions to inappropriately labeled individuals. Finally, this article takes advantage of the interdisciplinary trend of engaging social science with the law on expert evidence. More specifically, it offers an empirical assessment of future dangerousness opinions within the Daubert/Frye scientific evidence frameworks. The significance of the conclusion reached in this article is clear: if the law continues to rely upon suspect science that results in the wrong individuals being subject to liberty-infringing sex offender laws, then the drain on criminal justice resources will leave the truly dangerous offenders without sufficient supervision at the risk of public safety.