Monday, April 18, 2011

Dot-XXX address puts porn sites on the spot

Original Article

I think this is a good idea. It will be easier for kids to find porn, but also easier to block as well. But, will the parents be parents and block it? I doubt it.

04/18/2011

By Stuart Fox

Though joining the new domain is optional, opponents of the move fear it might become compulsory

Pornography finally has an official home on the Internet, and how governments treat this newly formed parcel of digital real estate could have significant implications for everything else on the Web from the presence of ethnic minorities to the spread of free speech.

With “.xxx” finally joining the ranks of top-level domains including “.com” and “.edu,” decades of speculation about the impact of this new Web destination will finally be put to the test.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which coordinates the basic codes responsible with routing Internet traffic, took the .xxx top-level domain name live, along with the websites sex.xxx, xxx.xxx and porn.xxx, April 15. This came a month after ICANN, the organization that runs the World Wide Web, ended a decade of litigation with the final approval of the new top-level domain (TLD).

The long fight over a ".xxx" domain pitted adult- industry groups — who opposed what they envision as an easily blocked, digital ghetto for legal content — against various groups arguing that a TLD specific for adult material could provide better service to customers and better protect minors.

"It's a win for people who want to consume adult content, it's a win for people who produce adult content, and it's a win for people who want to stay away from this material as well,” said Stuart Lawley, chairman and president of ICM Registry, the company that will administer the .xxx TLD.

Lawley believes that over time, the majority of adult entertainment sites will forgo the dot-com domain. Members of the adult-content industry are less bullish on the idea of acquiring a .xxx address.

Depending how much it costs, I would buy it just to direct traffic to my site, but I would not change from Burningangel.com to Burningangel.xxx,” said Joanna Angel, owner of that adult website. “If it cost any more than $50, I wouldn't invest my money in it. Everybody thinks that there's billions of dollars sitting around in porn, but there isn't, especially now. Once you're porn, you're not allowed the same rights as a band. Anything that puts us into a smaller box will make it harder for us to make money."

Though joining the new domain is optional, opponents of the move fear that someday it might become compulsory, and could subject adult sites to censorship.

Since different countries have starkly different rules about what does or does not constitute adult material, deciding whether or not a site deserves a .xxx domain will force ICM Registry into the world of international power politics, said Milton Mueller, a professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

How ICM Registry and ICANN deal with the different definitions of pornography in, say, liberal Sweden and conservative Saudi Arabia will serve as the precedent for how Internet regulatory bodies deal with countries trying to silence the Web voice of ethnic minorities, dissidents or free-speech activists, Mueller said. And with the .xxx TLD now up and running, that precedent is already getting written.


DC - Obama Calls for Secure Online-Identity System

Original Article

Next they will want to implant it under your skin on your right hand or forehead. This is just the first step towards that goal. Push it through slowly, so people don't see what is going on, then it will hit you like a ton or bricks.

04/15/2011

By David Kravets

President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious proposal Friday urging the private sector to create a trusted-identity system to boost consumer security in cyberspace.

Digital rights groups cautiously welcomed the first-of-its-kind government proposal, calling it a blueprint for increased internet security and privacy, as the nation drifts to the virtual world to take care of basic needs from grocery shopping to paying taxes and dating.

The internet has transformed how we communicate and do business, opening up markets, and connecting our society as never before. But it has also led to new challenges, like online fraud and identity theft, that harm consumers and cost billions of dollars each year,” President Obama said in announcing the so-called “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (PDF)”.

The announcement came days after Sens. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and John McCain (R-Arizona) proposed online-privacy legislation that for the first time would give web users the right to demand they not be tracked online.
- I'm sure that doesn't include sex offenders, which it doesn't mention, but I'd not be surprised.

The latest plan, which distances itself from a national ID approach, calls on the private sector to develop methods by which consumers can create a secure, online identification to enable web transactions. The plan envisions replacing today’s reality of generally having to remember passwords for dozens of sites where consumers have already lodged their sensitive data, such as credit card numbers.

The government estimated that 11.7 million Americans were victims of some form of identity theft in the past two years, and it suggests Friday’s proposal could reduce those numbers.
- Why don't you crack down on identity thieves like you do sex offenders?

We must do more to help consumers protect themselves, and we must make it more convenient than remembering dozens of passwords,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday.
- It's not the governments job to do this!

The Center for Democracy and Technology lauded the idea, at least in theory.

It’s not a national ID card at all. This is a proposal to figure out ways for more reliably saying who we are on the internet,” Aaron Brauer-Rieke, a CDT fellow, said in a telephone interview. “This is the beginning of the story, not the end. There’s potential gains for privacy and empowerment. But if it goes wrong, it could have the opposite effect.”
- And we all know, it will go wrong!

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, agreed.

He applauded the proposal for it not being a government-run “Big Brother,” national-identification plan. The administration, he said, was “genuinely trying to solve a hard problem.”

But he cautioned that there’s a risk in consolidating online credentials.

If that gets compromised, that’s like losing your whole wallet, instead of just losing your driver’s license or credit card,” Rotenberg said.

The government is allotting up to five years for the “standardization of policy and technology” to come together. Implementation of the plan, the government said, “will not occur overnight.”


A Sex Offender's Wife Speaks

Original Article

03/05/2011

By Joseph Doherty

The following is being published with the permission of the person who wrote it:

"It has been three months since my husband Jim was arrested for molesting a neighbor's 7 year old daughter. I'm still terribly frightened and confused. My family is upset with me that I haven't left him. My friends have been distancing themselves from me. I have no one to turn to, and even if I did, I'm not sure what I'd say.

The hardest part for me is dealing with my feelings. I loved and trusted him - we've been married 10 years and knew each other for 3 before we got married - yet now, with this, I'm questioning how much I really knew him and if I really loved him. I certainly don't trust him.

It seems like I've been crying non-stop since he was charged. At first I sided with him and said the girl was lying but it soon became obvious she didn't make this up. I'm not a violent person but when he first acknowledged to me that he did it I felt like ripping his eyes out! At times I question my own ability to understand reality.

I'll be honest and say I wanted to kill myself. I'm not so certain I still won't......It made the papers and a local TV reporter came to the house several times wanting an interview. Jim still has his job but he'll never advance in it if he manages to stay out of jail. I've sent our two children to live with my parents in another city. My co-workers are pleasant but I sense they are less friendly to me since all of this began.

I feel like I'm rambling and not making sense. I just want to go to asleep and wake up to be told all of this has gone away."

How would you respond to this woman?


CA - Match.com bans sex offenders -- feel safe now?

Original Article

See Also: Match.com to Screen for Sex Offenders After Lawsuit

Turns out, she has several books out on bad dates. How ironic! See here, here and here.

04/18/2011

By Tracy Clark-Flory

You shouldn't. The dating site's decision to bow to pressure creates a false sense of security

I suppose this should come as no surprise: Match.com has decided to start screening for sex offenders. As I reported last week, a Los Angeles woman filed a suit against the online dating giant after a man she met on the site sexually assaulted her; turns out he had a criminal record of repeated sexual battery. Match has always resisted such calls, but suddenly it changed course late yesterday, announcing that it would begin booting sex offenders from the site, and preventing any new ones from joining, within 60 to 90 days. So, what exactly has changed?
- We have all become a bunch of pansies, not wanting to take responsibility for ourselves.  So is the Wal-Mart greeter going to start asking for finger prints, blood samples and papers next, to make sure thieves do not enter their stores?  Or what about McDonalds, Toys R Us, and all other businesses?  Should they also screen everyone at the front door to make sure they are not criminals?  Why not?  Fair is fair, right?

For several years now, the company has argued that the available screening services are unreliable and could ultimately provide a false sense of security (which is also the tack I took in response to this recent controversy). On Sunday, President Mandy Ginsberg said in a press release, "In recent conversations with providers over the last few days, we've been advised that a combination of improved technology and an improved database now enables a sufficient degree of accuracy to move forward with this initiative, despite its continued imperfection."
- So now, they are going to check people against the sex offender hit-list.  So are they also going to check other criminal records to make sure someone is not dating a serial killer?

Now, there have been positive shifts in electronic data collection, to be sure -- but nothing revolutionary has happened on this front. I suspect the most dramatic change here is in Match.com's cost-benefit analysis of screening. Sure, that recalculation has something to do with technological advances, but you also can't overstate the P.R. liability of being in any way associated with sex offenders. Ginsberg herself notes, "While these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed." It isn't just the sex offender checks that are faulty; remember that domestic abusers, murderers and all other fun flavor of criminal are still welcome to join.
- So why do them then?  You say it's a false sense of security, but then you go and do this to help that false sense of security, and helping destroy peoples right to privacy.  This is just like that woman who ordered hot coffee from McDonalds, and then burnt herself by putting it between her legs, and is also why warning labels are on stuff.

Look, from a political and philosophical standpoint I disagree with banning sex offenders of all stripes, all of whom have served their time, from online dating. I also think it's irrational to single out this one breed of violent criminal above all others. Also note that the vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported. That said, this isn't about politics, philosophy or rationality -- as is so often the case with sex offenders, it's about making everyone else feel safe.
- Exactly, so what are they going to do when someone not on the registry, does the same thing?


IN - Indiana using Offender Watch, and still spreading lies and disinformation


NY - Would A Domestic Violence Offender Database Help Families Suffering From Abuse?

Original Article

See Also: NY Lawmakers Propose Domestic Violence Registry

Just more politicians trying to make a name for themselves and to look good to the sheeple. This is just more waste of millions of dollars of tax payer money, that won't prevent or deter crime, nor protect anybody. If an online shaming hit-list is okay for one group, why not one for all criminals, and save millions?

04/18/2011

By Danielle Sullivan

Three New York legislators are working to enact a proposed law which would automatically register people who have been on convicted of domestic abuse on a nationwide database similar to the national sex offender registry.

State Sen. Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries are pushing to have Domestic Violence Offender Database created. The proposed law comes on the heels of the murder of 23-year-old Sarah Coit who was stabbed to death and nearly decapitated last week during a domestic dispute with her boyfriend. The suspect in Coit’s death, Raul Barrera, has been linked to several violent incidents in the past. Just last year, he plead guilty to smashing a man in the face with a bottle.

As Senator Adams points out, Barrera has seven prior incidents of violence, and if Coit had that information, it could have likely saved her life.
- I doubt it, but you can continue to live on Fantasy Island.  Why pick and choose?  Why not put all criminal records online so we can all see them and "protect" ourselves?

Consequently, a law such as this would affect families who have a parent that has been convicted of domestic violence.

On one hand, it would make public the names of violent people right in your own neighborhood which might also come in handy when making playdates. Sometimes you might know the mother of your child’s friend but not necessarily know the husband who works long hours or the teenage son who will also be in the house.

While a national registry would certainly enable incidents of domestic abuse to become public knowledge, would it also make the victims less likely to press charges when the abuser is a husband or boyfriend, and they are afraid of school, work, and neighbors finding out?

Surely, more has to be done because too many children are growing up in abusive households and this might be a step in the right direction.
- Yes, insert "children" into the picture and people will pass it, anything "for the children," right?

Do you think a national domestic violence registry would help victims? Do you think it would help deter domestic violence incidents? Do you think the sex offender registry helps deter sex offenders?
- No on all questions.


MN - Sex-offender system casts wide net

Original Article

04/17/2011

By PAUL McENROE

Judges and prosecutors say Minnesota needs a less costly and more flexible program

McLeod County Attorney Michael Junge left his courthouse office the other night, feeling the weight that comes with a prosecutor's job and thinking about a sex offender named [name withheld].

[name withheld], 20, is scheduled for release from the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility in July. Junge could allow him to walk out of prison and into supervised parole. Or, endorsing a Corrections Department recommendation, he could ask a judge to send [name withheld] to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, where the young man might spend the rest of his life behind barbed wire.

Weighing the two choices, Junge feels he's the one in handcuffs.

"It's an all-or-nothing kind of approach, and it doesn't make much sense,'' Junge said. "He's offended one time, and are we talking about putting him in a program where he may never get out?''

Across Minnesota, prosecutors, judges and mental health experts are struggling with the same dilemma -- and now some key legislators are taking notice.

They say the state's commitment process for sex offenders is deeply flawed because it lacks a middle ground where they could cull low-risk offenders from the most violent psychopaths, housing them and treating them at lower cost to taxpayers.

One result, they say, is that the Minnesota program has become an expensive warehouse for more than 100 offenders -- some as young as 18, one nearly 90 -- who, mental health experts say, don't require high-cost, heavy security confinement. Among their ranks are more than 40 elderly offenders, some in wheelchairs; low-functioning adults considered to be little risk of re-offending; and young men without felony records who were hastily committed to the sex-offender program after completing juvenile sentences.

Court records show that there are at least five men who have no, or few, convictions for criminal sexual conduct; and five others who did not commit a sex crime as adults. Among those 10 are a Rice County man who was convicted of possessing child pornography as a juvenile and ended up at the program's Moose Lake facility when he became an adult. In Olmsted County, a 14-year-old boy was held for committing incest with his sisters; in 1995, he was moved to Moose Lake as an adult simply because he could no longer remain at the juvenile facility in Sauk Center.

"The net has been cast too broadly,'' said Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, who has introduced legislation to tighten commitment rules and increase treatment options. "We are capturing people in the program who probably don't need to be captured.''

If the goal of commitment is to get offenders through treatment and place them in secure group-home settings -- much the way dozens of mentally ill and dangerous persons live across the state -- then Minnesota needs new options, say Hann and others. Since 2003, when then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order that stripped the Human Services Department of the power to grant offenders supervised release, lawmakers have been unwilling to create less costly alternatives to indefinite commitment. Many blame the tortured, emotional politics of the issue, which paralyzes lawmakers who are loath to appear soft on one of society's most heinous crimes.

Huge cost

A recent report by Legislative Auditor James Nobles warned of the huge costs that stem from Minnesota's lack of options. Minnesota has more committed sex offenders, per capita, than any other state and has not released anyone from the facilities at Moose Lake and St. Peter since the program was created in 1994.

With more than 650 offenders under commitment, at a cost of $120,000 per person ($78,000,000 total), budget-conscious lawmakers are now confronted with assuring voters they can protect public safety while finding more creative and cheaper ways to evaluate and care for offenders.

Most states wrestle with the same challenge, and some have found practical answers.

In Texas, committed offenders can be placed in four small out-patient, secured residential compounds around the state, at a cost of $27,000 per man. In contrast to Minnesota, Texas commits only the offenders considered to be the most dangerous. They are required to participate in treatment; anyone found in violation of the policies can be sent back to prison for a lengthy term.

Wisconsin has 25 sex offenders living under supervised release, and since 1995 nearly 100 similar offenders have been released under similar terms, authorities said. The state's cost per offender on release is about $75,000. Overall, Wisconsin has more than 300 sex offenders in its secured treatment program.

Hann's bill, cosponsored with Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, would create a five-person sex offender screening panel comprising two retired judges, two attorneys with mental health and commitment expertise, and a psychiatrist or psychologist. In effect, it would start to separate the low-risk from the worst. The panel would determine whether county attorneys like Junge could proceed with a commitment petition.
- Wow, the deck is stacked against them.  They should have more sexual experts instead of ex-judges and lawyers.


PA - Six guilty in beating of man falsely accused of rape, after woman (Felisha Hardison) lied and said someone raped her

Original Article
She did the same weeks earlier
See slideshow here

They should all be charged with attempted murder!

04/18/2011

Six people have pleaded guilty in the hammer attack of a man after police say a woman falsely claimed he'd raped her.

Felisha Hardison, her mother and four men pleaded guilty Friday in the attack on 25-year-old [name withheld]. Investigators say the Latrobe woman had claimed Mr. [name withheld] raped her, prompting the attack last April.

Investigators say a group of men beat Mr. [name withheld] and hit him with a claw hammer as Ms. Hardison and her mother waited in a nearby van. Mr. [name withheld]'s injuries were limited to cuts and bruises.

Less than a month after that attack, Ms. Hardison pleaded guilty to filing a false rape report in a separate case.

Two other men still face charges.


CA - Match.com to Screen for Sex Offenders After Lawsuit

Original Article

Like I've said before, people are lazy. So instead of themselves checking the national registry, they want someone else to do it for them, so, when something like this happens, which it will, they have someone to sue. Instead of holding adults accountable for their own actions, or inaction, someone else has to be the fall guy! I scanned the National and California registries, and this man is not on the registry, so is he or is he not a sex offender? If he is, how would having Match.com scan the registries for names, have prevented this, when he's not on the list?

04/18/2011

She wants Match.com to check members' names against public sex offender registries.

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Days after a woman sued dating site Match.com, the president announced they will begin conducting criminal background checks on their users.

In a statement to the Associated Press Sunday, Match.com President Mandy Ginsberg said the company will starting screening both current and future subscribers against the national sex offender registry.

She also said they avoided doing such checks in the past because of the unreliability of the database and that users of the site should not have a false sense of security.
- So, do you also check the members against other criminal records to see if they are murderers, gang members, drug dealers, etc?  Just another company helping the sex offender moral panic along by discriminating against people.  Not all sex offenders are out looking for someone to rape or molest!

Last Thursday, an unidentified female Hollywood executive and other Match.com members are filed a civil suit against the online dating site.

She claimed she was brutally sexually assaulted by another Match.com member who had been convicted for sexual battery six separate times.
- So why did she not check the national registry herself?  Or was it because she wanted some quick money?

Attorney Mark L. Webb said his client, identified as "Jane Doe," met the suspect last year at Urth Cafe in West Hollywood after finding each other on Match.com.

She agreed to see him for a second date. That's when the suspect allegedly followed her home and raped her.

After the alleged assault, the woman went online and found that the suspect had been convicted of several counts of sexual battery, Webb said.
- She should have done this before even meeting the person.

"This horrific ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety," the woman said in a statement released through Webb last week.

"Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control."
- I disagree, you could have checked the man out beforehand, which WAS in your control.

The suit asks for temporary restraining order requesting no more members be signed up for Match.com until there's a way to screen out sexual predators.

Webb told the Los Angeles Times that his client wants Match.com to check members' names against public sex offender registries.

"It's not a guarantee," he told the Times. "But don't you think something is better than nothing?"

Match.com has called the alleged incident was "horrifying," but said cases like this are extremely rare.
- So what about all the other online dating sites out there?  Zoosk as one example, are you going to make them do the same?