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This legislation, however, is based upon a misapprehension of the nature and scope of the problem.
Moreover, it is unlikely that the proposed regulatory scheme will prevent registered sex offenders from using the internet; it will, however, place significant and constitutionally impermissible burdens on the use of the internet for legitimate and lawful purposes. threats to public safety.” The legislation would also impose mandatory restrictions upon certain registered sex offenders subject to probation, parole, and conditional discharge or release.
If barred access by the proposed law, it would be a simple matter to create a new e-mail address or to register with a different service provider.
The PBS investigation focused on teenagers, 90 percent of whom used the internet daily – including Facebook, My Space and other social networking sites. Most importantly, all the kids we met, without exception, told us the same thing: They would never dream of meeting someone in person they'd met online." As for children under the age of twelve who are the victims of child abuse, the perpetrator in more than 90 percent of such crimes is a family member or a known friend of the family.
There is no question that the state has a compelling interest in preventing sex crimes against minors.
However, e-STOP is not tailored to restrict only – or even primarily – speech that may be related to the commission of such crimes.
The proposed law would authorize the state to provide private internet entities with electronic identifiers – user names, e-mail addresses, access providers – for all registered offenders so that internet entities may bar access to internet services and advise government entities, including law enforcement of “potential . These restrictions prohibit registered sex offenders from using the internet to access pornographic material and commercial social networking websites; to communicate with other individuals or groups for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with persons under the age of eighteen; or to communicate with a person under the age of eighteen when such offenders are over the age of eighteen.
The sponsor’s memorandum accompanying the e-STOP bill states that the legislation would impose “reasonable and appropriate” restrictions on the use of the internet by registered sex offenders. Supreme Court jurisprudence, however, sets a higher bar: a broadly framed regulatory scheme restricting constitutional rights of speech and expression must be narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling government interest. What’s more, as a practical matter, it is unlikely that the proposed legislation would deter unlawful activity facilitated by the internet.
Many people visit My Space, for example, to engage in political speech or advocacy, or to learn about music performances.