"The Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation on Thursday that will require convicted sex offenders to register their "electronic mail address, instant message address, or other similar Internet communication identifier" with the state’s Commissioner of Public Safety. The penalties for failing to register an e-mail address would be identical to the failure to register a residential address, and include a possible jail sentence of up to five years," reported Top Tech News. Virginia, Arizona, and Kentucky already have adopted similar rules.
I am normally a huge believer in privacy rights. So, I feel a twinge as I say that this is a good thing. Predators on the net give the Internet a Wild West feel and make it dangerous. Finding felons who pray on innocent people is wise. In addition, the registry probably only makes the police job easier. Aren’t email addresses registered anyway? (Although, it is hard to know if an ISP really has the right name and location of an email address holder.) So, I endorse the idea in this case.
But, I am troubled about where to draw the line. Should we make it a law that any sex offender should register any name, code, or secret identity that he/she may have? In effect, should we would make it a crime for a sex offender to disguise his/her identity in any way? It is the logical extension. Should there be a registry for such identifies?
By the same argument, why limit it to sex offenders? Sex offenders have committed a serious crime. What about murderers? Should we extend the rules to any felon? And, for how long?
I actually do think the registry is a good idea. But where do we draw the line?