Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FL - Effective State Advocacy & Lobbying Strategies

Reform Sex Offender Laws Logo
Video Description:
Psychotherapists Eric Imhof and Suzonne Kline talk about their experiences talking to Florida legislators trying to educate them to the real facts about sex offender risk.

Moderated by Gail Colletta of the Florida Action Committee.

Recorded Friday August 30, 2013 in Los Angeles at the RSOL National Conference.

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UK - Pensioner shocked by child porn ransom threat

Jack Clark
Jack Clark
Original Article


A pensioner is warning other computer users to be vigilant after he was targeted by scammers trying to extort money.

Jack Clark, 74, of Fatfield, Washington, was shocked to see a message purporting to be from the police after his computer locked him out while he was researching his family history.

The message said his PC had been blocked after claiming it had been used to view child and animal pornography.

The ransomeware virus installed itself on his computer, and threatened that unless he handed over £100 to clean his PC, he could face a £250,000 fine or six years in jail.

Grandfather-of-two Mr Clark, married to Hilda, 73, said “I just couldn’t believe it.”

I rang the police, and before I had finished explaining, the officer said ‘it’s a scam’. It was a good hour before my legs had stopped shaking.”

A police spokesman said: “We would always warn people of the dangers of anyone calling a number which pops up on their computer claiming there is a problem. Reporting anything suspicious to police is the right thing to do.”

We always advise people never to give out any personal details – particularly bank details – out over the phone or online.”

These are fraudsters who want to scam the owner out of cash or get access to personal details.”

He added that anyone with doubts about such calls or messages should contact the Office of Fair Trading.

OK - Local man's case illustrates complexity of sex offender registry after Supreme Court ruling

Newspaper and coffee
Original Article


By Malinda Rust

While officials with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections review whether over 7,000 criminals will remain on the state's sex offender registry following a July Supreme Court decision, one Comanche County man is protesting a conviction he received locally for violating the Oklahoma Sex Offender Act.

_____, 49, received a letter Oct. 7 stating he had been removed from the sex offender registry in Oklahoma after the DOC reviewed his case and determined he had been kept on the list longer than statute allows a process started after the June 25 decision in Starkey v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections. By Friday, _____ had filed three motions requesting a court-appointed attorney, free copies of court records, and permission to withdraw his guilty plea out-of-time.

Law enforcement officers and legal professionals have been anticipating the effects of the ruling in Starkey's appeal. Starkey moved to Oklahoma after pleading no contest to one count of sexual assault of a 15-year-old in Texas.

The sentence required him to register for 10 years following his release from prison, but in the years following his conviction, the laws related to sex offender registration changed several times. Starkey argued he was illegally kept on the sex offender registry for longer than 10 years like _____ when DOC applied new statutes to his case retroactively rather than subjecting him to the laws in effect at the time of conviction.

The court sided with Starkey and ruled that Starkey's registration period should have ended in 2008. Now, the DOC web site states that officials are reviewing each of the over 7,000 sex offenders in Oklahoma to remove those no longer subject to the Oklahoma SORA.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Jerry Massie said that as of Friday, a little over 1,300 registrants had been reviewed resulting in 679 offenders being removed.

"It's a slow process, and there's over 7,000 to perform," Massie said. "We have to look at each case and determine what laws were in effect at the time the offender was sentenced, when certain revisions to the law happened and how they might be impacted by the Starkey case."

Massie said one of the areas of most concern is how the review might play into cases in which a registrant has been charged or convicted for failure to properly register when he or she was not required to, like _____.

"I was illegally charged with a felony for not complying with Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act where none applied pursuant to new Oklahoma Supreme Court decision of Starkey v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections," he wrote. "Detective Nancy Lombardo of Comanche County acting with and for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections retroactively applied the 2007 amended scheme of OSORA to Mr. _____."

Dissenting Factions Withing the Internet Safety Community

Internet Safety
Original Article


By Dr Rachel O'Connell

In a blog post entitled Beware of the Internet Safety Industrial Complex Larry Magid, highlighted the factions that have emerged in the Internet safety world.

On one side is the ‘Internet Safety Industrial Complex’ faction that includes representatives of companies that sell internet safety technologies, i.e. Internet filtering, monitoring and age verification technologies. Members of this faction also include internet safety experts who promote the idea that internet safety technologies, along with education and parental engagement are key factors in mitigating the risks to children and young peoples’ well-being online. Larry Magid urges readers to ‘beware’ because he alleges the ‘Internet Safety Industrial Complex’ faction exaggerates the nature, scale and extent of online risks to children and young peoples’ well-being online.

The other faction, of whom Larry Magid is one of the key figures, is the ‘Anti-Media Panic’ faction, relies on selective pieces of research, which serve to substantiate their position. The central tenets of the Anti-Media Panic faction is that the majority of children are not at risk online, and, in fact any perceived risk has its genesis in ill-informed media hype generated to a large degree by the Internet Safety Industrial Complex faction.

When and why did these factions emerge and what effect is it having?

Let’s start with the Anti-Media Panic faction, who, for more than five years, has been talking about the media coverage of online child safety issues and describing it in terms of “media panic”. This narrative can be traced back to the mid 2000’s, but it really coalesced in 2008, in the aftermath of the publication of a report by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF). The ISTTF was a multi-stakeholder Task Force convened in response to a request by the US Attorney Generals to explore whether or not the age verification solutions available on the market at that time were fit for purpose, i.e. could provide the global internet industry with scalable, commercially viable, proportionate, low-cost, privacy preserving, age verification methods that would augment the safety of children online.

The Task Force was comprised of representatives from industry, law enforcement, child safety advocates and technical experts and it met several times over a one-year period. The meetings were convened and hosted by the Berkman Institute at Harvard University. The circumstances that prompted the US Attorney Generals to ask for this Task Force to be convened were that Myspace – remember them? – had used the Sentinel solution to scrub their database of users against a data set of known sex offenders. MySpace found approximately 40,000 sexual offenders and there were some procedural delays in handing over this information to the appropriate authorities. The Attorney Generals were not happy about this situation and felt that industry could be called upon to do more to protect vulnerable children and young people online and so the ISTTF was convened.

TN - 'Operation Blackout' to protect children from sex offenders

Halloween sex offender hysteria
Original Article

They make it sound like this affects all ex-sex offenders, but we are willing to bet that this affects only those on probation / parole only.


By Lauren Squires

MEMPHIS - This Halloween, thousands of children will take the streets and their safety is key. If the Tennessee Department of Corrections has anything to do with it, sex offenders will not be anywhere near them.

No candy, costumes, decorations, or front porch lights are only a few of the rules given to sex offenders on Halloween for Operation Blackout.

Safety is always top of mind for parents this time of year.

"All our children should be kept safe, not just mine, but everybody's," stated mother Adrinne Akpan.

This is why hundreds of families flocked to trunk or treat at the Highland Church of Christ Sunday night.

"This is so much easier and more fun. We're members here at Highland Church of Christ and we love coming to trunk or treat," stated mother Anna Fagala.

Fagala and her family, dressed as three little pigs and the big bad wolf, are making events like the one at Highland Church of Christ the new norm.

"I think that, over the years, trick or treating in neighborhoods has kind of gone by the wayside because of safety issues," explained Fagala.

But, this 2013 year, law enforcement is taking notice and cracking down on sex offenders. The department of correction is teaming up with other agencies and the US Marshals to keep your kids safe.
- Not really, it's just the yearly mass hysteria and PR campaign so the police can come out and pretend they are actually doing something, but, not a single child has ever been harmed by a known or unknown sexual offender on this night!  It's fear-mongering and panic based on emotions and not facts.  The fact is that kids are more likely to be hit by a car than anything else.

"Well, we might go trick or treating after all. We've never done it before," said Akpan.

Law enforcement officials will make random visits to make sure sex offenders are following strict guidelines. They include the following:
  • Remain inside home between hours of 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
  • Leave porch lights off on Halloween night
  • Do not open doors for trick-or-treaters
  • Only open doors for law enforcement officers (If you are not on probation / parole, then you don't have to open your door to anybody!)
  • Do not display fall decorations, wear costumes, or dress in disguises

"Maybe foster a new time of people to maybe go trick or treating in their neighborhoods again. (It) was always fun when I was a kid," exclaimed Fagala.

Many residents are hoping extra enforcement will be the trick to making this holiday a treat.

The Department of Correction is warning sex offenders, if any of these rules are violated, they could face more charges.

However, TDOC officials are asking for your help as well. If you see anything suspicious, report it immediately.

HI - Your reputation and standing are protected liberties

Original Article

This article is about sex offenders, so click the above link to read the entire post.


By Will Bassler

A person’s reputation and standing in the community are a protected liberty interest as described by United States Supreme Court rulings as laid out in the Hawaii Supreme Court decision in State of Hawaii v Bani. Below is an excerpt from the Hawaii Supreme Court decision.

The United States Supreme Court has previously recognized that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest under the federal due process clause. Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (hereafter “Constantineau”); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972) (hereafter “Roth”).

In Constantineau, the State of Wisconsin authorized the posting of a notice prohibiting the sale or gift of liquor to any person who “‘by excessive drinking’ produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family ‘to want’ or becoming ‘dangerous to the peace’ of the community.” On appeal, the Constantineau Court recognized that “[i]t would be naive not to recognize that such ‘posting’ or characterization of an individual will expose him to public embarrassment and ridicule.” 400 U.S. at 436. The Court therefore held that a protectible liberty interest is implicated “[w]here a person’s good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him [or her.]” Id. at 437.

One year later, the Court again recognized a person’s liberty interest may be implicated by damage to his or her reputation. See Roth, 408 U.S. at 573. The plaintiff in Roth, a university professor, alleged that “the failure of University officials to give him notice of any reason for non-retention and an opportunity for a hearing violated his right to procedural due process of law.” Id. at 569. The Roth Court reasoned that in declining to hire the plaintiff, the state had neither advanced “any charge against him that might seriously damage his standing and associations in the community” nor “imposed on him a stigma or other disability that foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities.” Id. at 573. The Roth Court noted, however, that “a different case” would have been presented had the state either damaged the plaintiff’s reputation or imposed a stigma on him. Id. at 573-74.

However, in Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, reh’g denied, 425 U.S. 985 (1976), the Court clarified that “reputation alone, apart from some more tangible interests such as employment, is [n]either ‘liberty’ [n]or ‘property’ by itself sufficient to invoke the procedural protection of the Due Process Clause.” Id. at 701. The plaintiff in Paul alleged a deprivation of liberty without due process of law after the circulation of flyers publicizing his conviction for shoplifting and labeling him an “active shoplifter.” Id. at 712. According to the Paul Court, because the plaintiff’s harm was not accompanied by the alteration of “a right or status previously recognized by state law,” there was no deprivation of a protectible liberty interest. Id. at 711-12.