Tuesday, December 12, 2006

registry of online identities

I've got huge problems with the idea that once we've released people from prison we still treat them like criminals when what we really need to do is completely fix the multitude of problems associated with sex offenders (which makes me like the McCain plan better). But this is a fascinating idea and one that takes a semi-legit view of the problem, for once, from my perspective. Instead of simply saying no, it's too dangerous, we must simply scare everyone away from anything collaborative, let's look at the details of the (overblown and inflated) issue of safety on the internet for our kids. This on the heels of last weeks announcement from MySpace saying they will be checking their records against registries of convicted sex felons, which came with an acknowledgment that it wouldn't work if people didn't use their real names (from the NYT):

December 12, 2006
Virginia: Registry of Sex Offenders’ Online Identities

Attorney General Bob McDonnell said he would seek legislation to require convicted sex offenders there to register their online identities with the state to help MySpace and other Web sites frequented by teenagers more easily block access. Senators Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona., announced plans for similar federal legislation last week, but theirs would apply only to those on probation or parole. Mr. McDonnell’s plan for Virginia would apply to all convicted sex offenders. Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace’s chief security officer, applauded the Virginia announcement. “This legislation is an important recognition that the Internet has become a community as real as any other neighborhood and is in need of similar safeguards,” Mr. Nigam said.

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