In May 2008 the government amended new legislation that required sex offenders to provide information about themselves that now included their email address.
While measures that stops or reduces sex offenders re-offending, this neither. In fact it is dangerous because it breeds complancency.
Everyone who has ever had a Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail address (which is most of the voters) know that each creating an email address is not a long and arduous task. Apparently the law writers do not know this.
While this law in itself is not normally a concern for this site, its stupidity makes it worth a mention.
The problems of complacency that this law creates are not only limited to the goverment, but also include those who are actually able to protect potential victims. Recently, and on the back of that, the social networking site FaceParty has deleted profiles for people over 36, as the email addresses are not verified, and therefore can not be checked against the goverment database for sex offenders.
This plan is so flawed it does not really need to be explained, but here are some of the reasons why it is so clearly flawed:
1) How are they verifying age? Surely offenders are going to pretend to be younger rather than older.
2) If they thought email verification was important, why not just get the users over 36 to verify their address now?
3) Even if they had verified the email address, why would any offender use the same email address for the purposes of committing crime as he had handed over to the goverment? If you going to commit a serious sexual offence surely you would consider getting a new email address and lie about it?
4) Why 36? what a random figure
This latest amendment, part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, does nothing to help protect victims, and creates compacency
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was speaking about this legislation, said:
“I want to see every child living their lives free from fear, whether they are meeting friends in a youth club or in a chat room….We have some of the strictest controls on sex offenders in the world to protect our children. We are working together with police, industry and charities to create a hostile environment for sex offenders on the internet and are determined to make it as hard for predators to strike online, as in the real world.”
Jacqui Smith, pictured right, is the Labour MP for Redditch, and Home Secretary. She voted for ID cards, for the Iraq War, against a transparent parliament, and against an investigation into the Iraq War.
She is also in favor of sharing DNA, Fingerprint and vehicle data with the EU,. On 22nd April 2008 she made a statement to the commons to that effect.