Sex offender password laws

| Comments (4) | COMSEC
As part of America's ongoing effort to ensure that sex offenders can never, ever, reintegrate with society (see also) Georgia is now requiring them to hand over their passwords.
"There's certainly a privacy concern," said Sara Totonchi of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights. "This essentially will give law enforcement the ability to read e-mails between family members, between employers."

State Sen. Cecil Staton, who wrote the bill, said the measure is designed to keep the Internet safe for children. Authorities could use the passwords and other information to make sure offenders aren't stalking children online or chatting with them about off-limits topics.

Staton said although the measure may violate the privacy of sex offenders, the need to protect children "outweighs a lot of the rights of these individuals."

"We limit where they can live, we make their information available on the Internet. To some degree, we do invade their privacy," said Staton, a Republican from Macon. "But the feeling is, they have forfeited, to some degree, some privacy rights."

Obviously there are privacy concerns, but that's not the only issue: it potentially exposes those subject to these rules to a whole bunch of financial threats to e-commerce, banking, etc. Even if the requirement is limited to communications systems like IM, email, and Facebook, the ability to receive email is used as a generic authentication mechanism for things like password reset. For instance, e-commerce sites like Amazon or Zappos will email you a copy of your password. One wonders what, if any, controls Georgia intends to use to protect sex offenders from unscrupulous state officials who have access to this information.

4 Comments

The system containing the required information will make an attractive target for hackers. Not only will it concentrate a great deal of valuable personal information, but those whose information it is will more likely take the blame for misuse than random identity-theft victims would. (Of course they'd try to blame the misuse of their accounts on identity theft! They're sex offenders!)

Again - we ignore the basic problem that this doesn't actually solve any issue. Its passing a law for passing a laws sake.

Staton is an idiot.

I think we should make them give over copies of their keys, too.


By tim on December 30, 2008 9:53 PM

Again - we ignore the basic problem that this doesn't actually solve any issue. Its passing a law for passing a laws sake.

Staton is an idiot.

Educated idiot at that.

www.cfcoklahoma.org

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