Sunday, June 24, 2012

Louisiana requires sex offenders to indicate in their social profiles that they are sex offenders.

In the U.S., some of the states have passed laws that force people who have been convicted for sexual offenses to report this fact to its neighbors and, therefore, if they move from home, are obliged to inform schools area and the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Today for example, there's an online database to locate sex offenders (with photos, home address, etc). The State of Louisiana has decided to take this practice a little further in its efforts to combat sexual crime, especially through the Internet and has developed a law which will force sex offenders toreport this fact in their profiles in the social networks.

With this legislation, which comes into force on 1 August, the Louisiana State authorities want to curb sexual harassment through the network, particularly the child with the idea of ​​preventing recidivism, which require convicted of such crimes to report, we assume that data within your profile, who have been convicted for sexual offenses:

The sex offenders included in the profile of any social network is an indication that a sex offender or a pederast and include information on the crime for which he was convicted, the jurisdiction in which he was convicted, his physical description and the residence address. The user must ensure that the information shown in your profile is visible to other users and visitors of this social network

If someone were to ignore this obligation, the State of Louisiana has provided penalties of between 2 years and 10 years imprisonment with hard labor and fines of up to $ 1,000 and, for this lack of repetition, doubling penalties (5 to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor and fines of up to $ 3,000).

This law is actually the second attempt by the state to regulate social networking presence of this group since there was already a first attempt to use vetoed law that was declared void by a federal judge to be seen as too restricted to include a high number of websites banned (although it was a law that emulated laws in the states of Texas and Illinois).

The measure calls some attention because, by definition, social networks like Facebook, for example, as reflected in the terms of use that their service may be used by sex offenders ("Do not use Facebook if you have been convicted of a sexual crime"). So why regulate something that is self-regulated? Indeed, this legislation seeks to standardize the treatment, ie avoid having social networks that do not impose such restrictions and thus eliminating the fact that it is a third party who has the power to accept or not to these users.

I think it's important to protect children from harassment on the network but do not know if the measure will be effective enough as it opens the door to the creation, for example fake profiles. Responsible use of social networking combined with education and awareness of children and parents are pillars which, in my view, should also be addressed.


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