Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NH - Carol Shea-Porter: The Wrong Priorities for NH Families

More fear-mongering BS from corrupt politicians! This country is indeed sliding down the slippery slope to hell. Looks like it's time for me to download these fear-mongering videos, and make one of my own!

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NJ - Sex offender assessment grant awarded

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Since when did the state get into "predicting the future?"

10/15/2008

The New Jersey Department of Corrections received a $400,000 grant to assess the effectiveness of classifying sex offenders and to determine their likelihood of reoffending. This multi-state study will examine how well sex offender classifications within the 2006 Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act can predict repeat offenses.

It also will be among the first studies to examine the common procedures used to classify risk in American sex offenders. The project was developed by NJDOC researcher Dr. Kristen Zgoba, in collaboration with several major universities, including University of Minnesota Medical School and Medical University of South Carolina. Consultants from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers also will help with the project.


New Web Law May Be 'Worthless,' Watchdog Warns

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This is what you get, when the man creating the law, knows nothing about Internet technology, and I'm speaking of John McCain, who admitted he knows nothing about the Internet.  I feel he's just using it, as usual, to further his career, and it would not surprise me if he talks about it during his presidential campaign!

10/14/2008

Legislation signed by President Bush on Monday that requires sex offenders to provide Internet identifiers to state sex offender registries and tasks the Justice Department with creating a system that lets social networking sites compare their users' identifiers with those provided to a national sex offender registry may not achieve its intended aim of protecting children, according one high-tech policy expert who tracked the bill. That official, Center for Democracy and Technology general counsel John Morris, said Tuesday that the statute may prove "almost entirely worthless" and warned that it may also carry with it serious unintended consequences.

The bill was introduced in January 2007 by Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., now the GOP presidential nominee, and a companion measure was sponsored in the House by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. Pomeroy revised and reintroduced his bill after hearing concerns from CDT and other groups, but that version of the bill did not win Senate approval. Instead, the Senate version won out and minor modifications were made to alleviate critics' biggest fears, Morris said, acknowledging that "we have fewer concerns than we once did." Pomeroy's retooled measure would have let probation officers who supervise sex offenders install software on offenders' computers to monitor their Web whereabouts and target supervision to those who actually pose threats to kids.

Nevertheless, Morris believes the new law will not be effective because sex offenders who want to subvert or circumvent their conditions of probation, release or supervision -- which already typically stipulate that they cannot interact with minors -- will forge ahead regardless of the registry requirement. "If they're already intending to violate provisions that apply to them, why wouldn’t they also register a real e-mail and then go create another account," he said in an interview. "It is so trivial to create a new identifier, create a new e-mail address, or social network page. Anyone who is going to pose a risk to minors that this system trying to screen against can easily circumvent it."

CDT is also concerned that the congressionally approved definition of a social networking service is too broad and could "sweep in a great percentage" of blogs, discussion groups and other Internet offerings, he said. Before passing the final version, lawmakers refined the language to exempt many e-commerce sites like Amazon.com that could have unintentionally been covered in previous iterations of the bill by adding a provision that states voluntary compliance would apply to Web sites that whose primary purpose is to facilitate online social interactions.

Furthermore, Morris is worried that even though compliance is voluntary, the long-term impact of the federal government defining social networking could be daunting. "Congress or state legislators might take this new definition from the federal code and try to use it for some regulatory requirement," he warned. "We're increasingly seeing government officials at both the federal and state level pressuring private companies to do things 'voluntarily.'"

Meanwhile, popular social networking site Facebook hailed the legislation's passage and Bush's signing of the measure. The company's privacy chief Chris Kelly said in a blog post that the law "takes an important step in dramatically reducing the opportunities to harm children online." Facebook has long barred registered sex offenders from the service and currently works with individual states' attorneys general to check users against state-registered sex offender lists, he said. But those lists "lack the essential e-mail and IM data" and the process is less efficient and effective than anyone, especially concerned parents, would like, Kelly added.

In response to CDT's concerns, a Facebook spokesman said penalties in the law are severe, as they should be, and the company hopes the statute will be a deterrent. "We’re going to work with law enforcement to identify and prosecute those who aren’t deterred," he said. Facebook plans to add the forthcoming DOJ registry to its existing safeguards and will use the database "as vigorously and comprehensively as we can," Kelly said. Specifically, the site will check new users at sign-up and review existing users as regularly as the technology allows. "Anyone on the list will be prevented from joining Facebook. Anyone already on Facebook who is added to the list will have his or her account disabled forever. End of story," Kelly said.


Precocious Youngster Sells Cookies To Buy Attack Ad


Precocious Youngster Sells Cookies To Buy Attack Ad


FL - Deltona ponders new sex offender ordinance

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10/15/2008

By NICOLE SERVICE - Staff Writer

DELTONA -- City leaders are ready to try out another sex offender ordinance -- one they believe will survive court scrutiny.

City Attorney George Trovato told commissioners during a special workshop Monday that he just might have found a law that will ban sex offenders from city parks and recreation facilities and withstand legal challenges.

"This is something that has been tested in a different state," Trovato said, "and it could be something that would be ground-breaking in Florida."

Trovato said the new law would resemble one upheld this summer by the North Carolina Supreme Court. He said in 2005, elected officials in Woodfin, N.C., passed an ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from city parks after two sexual assaults happened in or near town recreation facilities.

Woodfin posted signs about the law at park entrances and enforces the ban with a $500 fine or up to 30 days in jail.

Resident David Standley, who spent time in jail for attempted sexual battery and aggravated sexual assault on a woman in Florida, eventually challenged Woodfin's law. In June, the court ruled in the city's favor.

Now, Woodfin's law is being copied by a number of cities, which could include Deltona.

Deltona has had problems with its ordinance, which attempts to ban sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, playground, park or other site where children congregate.

It has been argued the city's law is too broad and basically excludes a sex offender from living anywhere within the city. Last year, a judge said the city would have to pay for legal representation of three sex offenders Deltona had taken to court.

City leaders are still discussing how to proceed with that issue but have been unwilling to rescind the law, fearing the city would become a haven for sex offenders with surrounding cities all adopting similar laws.

Trovato said when he heard about the approach Woodfin took, he thought it might be something Deltona could do. The Woodfin law doesn't restrict where sex offenders live but limits their movements.

"It would be a month or so before we have a draft," he told commissioners, "but I wanted to bring the idea to you to get your initial reaction."

The reaction was positive.

"I think this ordinance could help us accomplish the commission's goal," said Mayor Dennis Mulder. "I think we should move forward with it and adopt it."

Commissioner Janet Deyette agreed.

"We needed something to fill in that gap," she said.

Commissioner Zenaida Denizac said she wants to see the draft, but cautioned that "it doesn't mean an automatic approval."


NC - Sex offenders could be banned

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10/14/2008

DOBSON — If approved by Surry County commissioners on Monday, local sex offenders will be banned from using public parks owned by the county.

At the last commissioner’s meeting on Oct. 6, Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson presented an ordinance for their approval. By law, the ordinance has to be accepted by the commissioners. A public hearing will be held at the Monday meeting and the commissioners could adopt it the same night.

If approved, the following county-owned properties will off limits to registered sex offenders: Fisher River Park in Dobson, Jones Family Resource Center in Mount Airy, Lowgap Community Center, Shoals Community Park, White Plains Community Center, Westfield Community Center, Beulah Community Center, Eldora Community Center, Paynetown Community Building and the Mountain Park Canoe Access.

The city of Mount Airy passed the same ordinance on Sept. 4 and the town of Elkin passed the sex offender ordinance on Aug. 11.

A registered sex offender is an individual who is registered by a state or federal agency as a sex offender and whose name is published on any state or federal registered sex offender listing including, but not limited to the sex offender registry established in Article 27A of North Carolina General Statute Chapter 14.

Mount Airy’s statute states that a sex offender may not be present on any publicly owned or maintained land which is designated by the city of Mount Airy as a park or recreational facility. The other ordinances will designate facilities within their jurisdictions.

According to Mount Airy’s ordinance, anyone who is found in violation of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 per offense and/or 30 days in jail. Each and every entry into the park, regardless of the time period involved shall constitute a separate offense under this ordinance.