Bflo News has just reported passage of new legislation requiring sex offenders to reveal their identities behind on-line screen names.
This is an important step forward in undoing the incredible newly established culture that inter-net preditors may wear high-tech "hoods" . . establishing a virtual "neo-Klanism".
The problem is often seen as well on SUWNY & BfloRising, where the powerful new technology to inform & reform in a struggling city, is regularly sabotagued by anonymous online preditors. They lie in wait to distract from serious discussion in order to appear clever, get attention, or attack their enemies. And they are often the heaviest posters, driving away serious posters while setting a destructive tone.
They have little regard for the TOS, requiring that posters comment to "make Buffalo a better place".
Both SUWNY & BfloRising need better 'laws' to save a powerful technology being taken over by anonymous bullies, eager to attack & disrupt, but too cowardly to reveal their names.
If the most dysfunctional legislature can address the problem, can't SUWNY as well?
New law requires sex offenders to reveal their Internet identities
By Tom Precious - News Albany Bureau, Updated: 05/14/08 3:19 PM
ALBANY — Convicted sex offenders in New York will be required to reveal their online screen names and other identifying information to authorities as part of a new law.
The new law also allows the information to be obtained by MySpace and other social networking sites to help block the Internet contacts with children.
The measure, pushed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, was signed into law today by Gov. David Paterson. It makes it a felony for sex offenders to try to keep secret their screen names, chat room names, e-mail accounts and other Internet details from the state. It also bans serious convicted offenders on parole, probation or conditional release from using the Internet to contact children.
The law updates the state's Sex Offender Registry law, which now has more than 26,000 individuals on it. Technological changes in the past decade have made the Internet a major stopping point for sex offenders.
"The playground is in cyberspace," Cuomo said of societal changes in which children now head to the Internet after school — followed, in some cases, by sex offenders.
Cuomo said MySpace and Facebook, the biggest social networking sites on the Web, have agreed to obtain the list of convicted sex offenders' screen names when the information is available. The companies can, officials say, then move to keep the individuals off Web sites in which they might be able to contact children. If sex offenders change their screen names, they must notify the state.
"It's going to keep New Yorkers safe," Cuomo said.
The law was praised today by social Web sites, Microsoft, a major high-tech trade association and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Other states are expected to follow the New York law.
The social Web sites are not required to obtain the lists of sex offenders and their screen names from the state's Sex Offender Registry. But Cuomo said the marketplace will drive them to want to comply with the new law.
The law singles out for new Internet restrictions those convicted of the most serious, Level 3 sex crimes, crimes against a minor and those who used the Internet to facilitate their crime. Such individuals are now banned from accessing social Web sites, online pornography, communicating with anyone for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with a minor and to use the Internet to communicate, with some exceptions, with anyone under the age of 18.
The state will begin notifying individuals on the Sex Offender Registry that they must provide any information on screen names and e-mail accounts for the purposes of online chatting, instant messaging or social networking.