Reuters ran a story today about how Senators Charles Schumer (NY-D) and John McCain (AZ-R) have proposed legislation intended to keep sexual predators off of social networking sites like MySpace.
…require registered sex offenders to submit their active email addresses to law enforcement.
The legislation would enable social networking sites like MySpace to cross-check new members against a database of registered sex offenders and ensure that predators are unable to sign up for the service.
Under the proposed legislation, any sex offender who submits a fraudulent email could face prison.
Okay, we all know this isn’t going to work. If the pervs really want accounts on MySpace to prey on children, they’re going to get them.
They’re only going to get in trouble IF they get caught and they usually only get caught AFTER they’ve done something criminal.
I suppose it’s nice that there will be more/new reasons to tack on additional years of incarceration, but that’s really all this is going to accomplish. There’s no way this plan is really going to keep registered sex offenders off of MySpace.
So why are they even bothering with this stupid proposal? Well, it’s the start of the 2008 election cycle… and we all know McCain has his eye on the White House. (I’ll have to check to see if Chucky is up for re-election in 08).
Beyond the obvious “I care about the children!” campaign reasons, this bill (if passed) would be a HUGE gift to MySpace and other social networking sites; not because it’s actually going to keep the pedos away from the sites, but because it gives them something with which they may cover their butts.
If this becomes a law, the suggestion that sex offenders are stalking children on MySpace will be met with, “Oh no they aren’t! We’re complying with this federal law so we’re doing everything we can to keep the predators off of our network. We’re doing EXACTLY what the law says we have to do. See?” Thus removing the “but you aren’t doing enough (or anything that actually works)” argument from the arsenal of critics and potential litigants.
I’m hoping the whole idea just sort of falls by the way side and never moves any further, but if there’s a lot of NewsCorp money pushing it, it might very well become one more useless law.