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Georgia sex offender law raises privacy concerns

January 2, 2009 by  

Sex offenders in Georgia must surrender passwordsThe difficulty of balancing privacy issues with the need to protect the public has been highlighted by a new Georgia law.

Beginning on January 1st 2009, convicted sex offenders in the state are required to submit their internet passwords, screen names and email addresses to law enforcement officials.

The rule will make it easier for police to track the online activities of sex offenders and make sure they are not behaving inappropriately, said Georgia state senator Cecil Stanton, who authored the bill.

But others question if this is one measure too far. "There’s certainly a privacy concern. This essentially will give law enforcement the ability to read emails between family members, between employers," Sara Totonchi of Southern Center for Human Rights told the Associated Press.

According to the AP, at least 15 states have laws that obligate sex offenders to turn over email addresses and user names to the police, but Georgia and Utah are the only places where passwords are also included.

One criticism that has been leveled at such laws is that they are too broad, as those who have been arrested for crimes including public nudity or underage consensual sex may still be classified as sex offenders.

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  • Bob Livingston

    Sex offenders shock the moral sense of a Christian society. To be allowed at all is to acknowledge and approve of willful sin against humanity. A sex offence is a sin against man and God. They don’t have any rights to privacy as this is not a right but license to offend.

    Of course America is not in any sense a moral or Christian society. A more liberal approach or interpretation would favor the sex offender and would favor so-called “privacy of rights” in his e-mail particulars. In a so-called “democracy” there are many pretenses for personal privacy when in fact personal privacy is not the issue, as stated above. The overpowering issue here is that this is a sign of a breakdown of society and the end of the current system. –Bob

    • http://None Harold

      Treatment of homosexuals is a waste of time and money!
      The only solution is death. The God given reason of sex is to
      repuduce. The enjoyment is to encourge people to due so.


        **gay people been around since people on why have hate against them.i know a lot off gay man and woman they donnot bother anyone.they donnot harm the chidren like a lot of man and woman do.wake up you donnot know what u say .you hate them u must been one who went straight and now u hurt.

        • http://None Harold

          I never have had any desire to have sex other than with women !!! Those who desire sex with the same sex should be pinned up or slain as animals the are !!!

          • Casey

            Real Christian there, fella!

        • Joe R.

          To start with they are not “gay” they are homosexual and that is a sin in God’s eyes. Also Cletus who must be that way should learn how to spell and use proper English. He must be a grade school drop out.

      • Jim

        I’m guessing that this is what your message was supposed to say:

        Treatment of homosexuals is a waste of time and money!
        The only solution is death. The God given reason of sex is to
        reproduce. The enjoyment is to encourge people to do so.

        By taking such a stand against any person or group, you make it almost
        impossible for any company to hire you. Government and businesses are required to comply with Federal laws which ban discrimination in hiring on the basis of race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.
        You will find that during the course of your career you will be working with many different kinds of people, most of whom are not exactly like you.

        • Joe R.

          I would not go as far as death for homosexuals but I would not want any special laws to protect them either. Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God. Remember this is a Christian nation no matter what BO says about it. He is not a Chirstian and never will be one.

      • brent

        harold, i bet you dont know any one person that is homosexual. man or woman. I bet your God doesnt appprove of your hate; and the hate you have helped perpetuate on this earth with your beliefs that you have tought your children. Break your cycle of hate & make the world a better place.

        • Joe R.

          Brent must be a faggot. I do not hate homos, I pity them. By the way one of my best friends who has now passed away was bisexual. He had a really nice wife and two wonderful daughters. He also had a male friend. Another thing is that I have a brother who is homosexual so do not try and tell me that I do not know any homos.

      • Casey

        Gee, how did we get from sex offender to gay?

        • Joe R.

          Casey, I have no idea how that happened. I was just replying to people who send in messages which I find offensive. As to child molesters they should go to jail for life and no chance of parole.

    • Jim

      This is in reply tou your message, which is displayed below:

      Sex offenders shock the moral sense of a Christian society. To be allowed at all is to acknowledge and approve of willful sin against humanity. A sex offence is a sin against man and God. They don’t have any rights to privacy as this is not a right but license to offend.

      Of course America is not in any sense a moral or Christian society. A more liberal approach or interpretation would favor the sex offender and would favor so-called “privacy of rights” in his e-mail particulars. In a so-called “democracy” there are many pretenses for personal privacy when in fact personal privacy is not the issue, as stated above. The overpowering issue here is that this is a sign of a breakdown of society and the end of the current system. –Bob

      Reply: The United States has a population of about 305 million people, about
      1/3 to 1/2 of which are “Christian”. This include Catholics, Protestants,
      and a wide variety of denominations. So you are saying that “Christians”
      ( like myself ) have rights and other people do not??? Even convicted criminals have rights under the law. Personally I favor life in prison without parole for sex offenders. I had occasion to work with prisoners in the 1980s as a college professor. Prisoners have their own moral code, which is in many ways more strict than the laws that govern our society. You can commit amost any crime against a man, and most prisoners won’t care. But if you harm a child or a woman, other prisoners might take the law into their own hands. The United States has never suffered a “brekdown in society”, even if society’s current condition doesn’t match up with what you think it should be.

    • Casey

      Dear Bob,
      Our justice system was designed to “punish” an offender. Once that “debt” was paid, the offender could rejoin society. If a sex offender is punished, and he serves his time, that should be the end of it. No monitering, no rules on where they can live, no loss of freedom that has been re-earned.
      If we (our society) feels that his (or her) crime is so heinous that we have to impose extra rules on such people, then they should not live in our society. Either keep them in jail, execute them or banish them.

  • Mike

    Well I cannot say that I agree with the statement of the previous Mr. Harold and it is important that I make it clear I am not a homosexual or an advocate of them in any way. I do recall the word of the lord stating that his judgement was to be what we go by and not our own and Jesus Christ exemplified this when he told the pharsees and sadusees when they were to stone the woman accused of adultery “He without sin cast the first stone”. Now this doesn’t make homosexuality right in the sight of the lord but it is not against the law of the land so we need to love our nieghbor as ourselves even if they are living a life of obomination they are still our brothers and sisters. Hating them because of their sin I believe is wrong.

    On the topic of privacy for sex offenders we have responsibility to potential victims of sex crimes and especially to our vunerable children and I belive that everything we can do to protect them should be mandatory of us as a sociatey. Sex offenders have made a choice and should not overly punished when they are faced with the consequenses. All this law states is that we realize that there are preditors out there that will use this internet method to continue to get to their prey and for the convicted ones of a sex crime we are going to keep an eye on you period! Thus protecting sociatey.

    • Russ

      It would seem to me that a sexual predator who used the internet for his activity, once convicted of the charge, should be as a condition of his eventual release, be ordered to not use the internet again for any purpose. Any such use of the internet would be a parole violation and subject to prosecution. We don’t allow a convicted felon to carry firearms afterwords, so why not do the same with computers on the internet for convicted sex offenders?

    • Jim

      Personally I favor life in prison without parole for child molestors and sex offenders who commit rape. The problem is that is takes about $50,000 a year to house, feed, and clothe a prisoner. But these criminals should be kept off the streets to keep the public safe, no matter what the cost.

  • Herb

    I think the sex crimes law is way too broad to start with.

    I know a guy that had sex with a woman he met at a bar. In the parking lot, in his car. Her husband caught them and she screamed rape and made the charge stick. The court would not even allow those of us that saw them making out, in the bar, to present any evidence that she was a willing participant. He is now a registered sex criminal and it is a complete travisty of justice.

    To add this type of invasion of privacy to the too dang broad law is outragous.

  • Russ

    I am not a sex offender, probably don’t knowingly know any sex offender and do not approve of real sex offenses. My concern is that a consensual sex act is doing what comes naturally and I don’t see how such an activity is a criminal offense. It may be a moral offense in some cases. Non-consensual sex acts are, and should be a criminal activity and the perp should be punished accordingly. Once charged and convicted of a criminal sex act, that label of being a sex offender sticks to a person for life the same as being a murderer is for the act of murder as it should be.

    I question the circumstances of a couple kids getting carried away in the back seat of a car in a consensual manner and having that sex offender label attached to their names for the rest of their lives. I am not advocating sex for kids be legal, but things of a natural sort will and do happen and a whole life should not be tarnished over an incident of this caliber. No, I personally do not know any kid that has been tarred and feathered because of raging genes, but you read about these things frequently in the news locally.

    Some Bible thumpers let themselves get carried away with the self imposed sense of being absolutely correct based on their interpretation of what the Bible says, but usually they are out of context with any particular situation. You know the type, one size fits all. No, I am not against proper morals, only that a little common sense prevail in these cases and that the law reflect these common sense concepts..

  • SteveP

    I am surprized that nothing has ever been done about rendering sex offenders (at least the violent, repeat type) incapable of using their ‘tool’ to commit more crimes. They can, and often do, go on to re-offend. The surgery usually reserved for prostate cancer seems to put an end to the ‘ability to perform’ if the Vagus nerve is severed. Even Robert Speck, who raped and then murdered 10 nurses went on to enjoy years of jailhouse sex.

    The inability to rape again ought to be investigated!

  • j

    Packers are toxic and have nasty behaviors. See

  • DawnD

    I’m shocked that Christian people (not all) are saying all sex offenders are REAL sex offenders. As a Christian, I am sad and dismayed that other Christians (at least they say they are, I can’t tell by the statements above) don’t love EVERYONE. I am speaking of those sex offenders I know personally (about 200) who NEVER hurt a child or raped anyone/molested anyone. I’m talking about those who may have chatted with a teenager and “dad” got mad, consensual teen sex, urinating in public (i.e. tinkling in the bushes and someone happens to see them), etc. I’m NOT speaking of the horrific crimes that are few and far between.

    Doesn’t anyone know what is going on in this country? You are more likely to become a sex offender than be abused by one – it is EXTREMELY easy to become a sex offender (and no, I’m not a sex offender, I am a mother of two children). Until these laws get it straight of who is a danger and who is not (not one that I know is a danger to a soul) they (the laws) will go nowhere.

    The Bible tells us to love everyone. Paul was a murderer before he became a child of God, there are some REALLY bad people that became Christians later on. So chatting with a teen is the unpardonable sin? Having sex with a teen as a young adult is the unpardonable sin? As Christians we should be standing up for the liberty of ALL Americans. People can and ARE forgiven for their past. Darn, my grandparents would be sex offenders right NOW if the laws were passed back in those days because both my grandmothers were 14 and 15 when they married my grandpas and both of them were in their 20′s! We need to stop pointing the fingers at the so-called “sex offenders” and really delve into what they all did because you can NOT tell online what they did for sure.

    Another interesting fact that obviously hasn’t been brought up is that only 3.5% of them re-offend. You never hear that from the media do you? And over 90% of the time, the offenders are inside the home of the children, babysitters, dad, mom, uncle Bob, teachers, preachers, Sunday school teachers. (Dept. of Justice stats – not my own). Find the truth – you’ll be shocked at the misleading things the media and newspapers have taught you. Once you learn the truth, maybe you’ll understand why I fight for the freedom of EVERY American because if we don’t – we ALL will lose our freedom. Period.

    Learn the truth – I pray you will. We must love everyone as God loves everyone. And we need to stop pointing fingers at who is the worst sinner. We are all sinners.

  • Ward Tipton

    I have to agree with Dawn D. All too often the law is used as much as a form of arbitrary control as it is for the enforcement of laws to protect we the people. I too know one person who is now a registered sex offender for life … and what is worse? … his actions according to the “law” was an act against children. Now that right there should raise the hair on the back of your neck but as Paul Harvey said, you need to know the rest of the story.

    His “crime” was walking the six blocks back to his house after a night of drinking … as he did not want to drive while intoxicated. Having the urge to relieve himself of some of his over-indulgence he stopped at the only “discreet” spot he could find in a schoolyard by a tree to relieve himself. His record will show for the rest of his life that he committed a sex act against children while in all honesty, his only “crime” was not endangering anyone by driving through a suburban area while intoxicated … but do you think “I wanted to get home so I could relieve myself in private and not become a convicted sex offender” would have gotten him out of a DUI had he been pulled over or had an accident on the major highways he had to drive on?

    It may be easy to sit back and judge these people “equally” but God forbid you ever discover firsthand that not everybody is what you think they are just because you read it on the Internet or in some newspaper.

  • BooHoo

    FOCUS on pedophilia. Psychiatrists, Mental Health Research, Law Enforcement Agencies convince us that this characteristic is NON-NEGOTIABLE, cannot be changed, and the person cannot stop themselves and will ultimately repeat. This would be a humane method of treatment for the pedophile. It would provide much more safety for children, and cost taxpayers much less.

    Proof of ineffectiveness of current system of dealing with convicted pedophiles such as Ankle Bracelets, Computer Lists, Law Officer Routine Visits to Convicts, Jail Sentences is undeniably established by the Jaycee Dugard case and many many others. The bracelets can be removed/relocated to another person; the computer lists must be updated each moment due to convict’s neighborhood relocation or another jail sentence or death, so there is no accuracy; Law Officers who routinely complete checklists on a convict are not interested in integrity of their work and are proven not reliable. Sentences of convicts are revised and their victims are not notifed that they have been released, as in the JC Dugard case, the convict appeared at the workplace of one of the women he kidnapped and raped. Therefore, jail sentences are not reliable and certainly not a deterrant.

    First, a law requiring waterboarding must be established ONLY in the case of non-parental kidnapping suspects that are apprehended. Waterboarding upon first interrogation would convince the woman now being held in jail pending drug charges, to tell where the little missing girl is. Waterboarding in these cases would enable immediate investigation of the answers provided. It would not be a situation where waterboarding would provide answers that could not be immediately proven true or false.

    Second, upon conviction of child sexual abuse, the pedophile would be held in a prison, taught to read braille, taken to a work facility and taught a job that could be accomplished without sight. Taken to a furnished studio apartment and shown how to function in that area without sight. Shown the transportation means necessary to get to the job.

    Third, surgically blind the pedophile, and if male, surgically castrate. Tatoo a P on the forehead to differentiate the person from people blinded by nature or accident. After a medically determined healing process, transport the individual to the studio apartment. They will be working and taxpaying people. They will pay their own apartment rent, food, clothing, medical needs and be financially responsible for themselves.

    Fourth, The surgically blinded pedophile will no longer support sales of child pornography or pornographic magazines or pornographic videos or computer sites. Will no longer search for children on the internet. Will no longer seek out children on the street.

    Much more to this suggestion but it is the only way to start protecting children in our country. It requires adults that really care about the welfare of children and our country, to take a stand and have the courage to organize and do this. It is the most humane way of dealing with people who are sick and dangerous. Please don’t think this is an easy way out for these people. It reduces their life and ability, and SAVES the lives of many children.

    Nancy Grace, all of the TV shows related to child abduction, rape and murder, need to join forces and get this done. The government agencies would not be interested.

  • Valigator

    I cant believe some above are jumping on the “Christian bandwagon” in reference to sex offenders. In this day and age if a guy finds himself on a registry it isnt for peeing on a bush or having “consentual sex” with his underdage girlfriend. Most all states now have a decline to prosecute “Romeo Laws” in place to alleviate that argument once and for all and any guy who was on the list for those crimes now have the ability to petition OFF the Registry. That leaves the majority of offenders listed on a registry and their crimes are enough to set your hair on fire and leave you wondering what they are doing walking among us. There is nothing Christian about sexually based crimes, they need to be treated with the same “NO tolerance” attitudes we now give to drunk driving..with harsher sentences. Your Department of Justice weighs their decisions with a “bottom line” economic mindset..why do you think they keep releasing these guys back out to feed? The system doesnt give a damn about you or your families, the most you will get out of them is a slight blood pressure increase when they hear of another guy committing another crime against a child and hope the guy wasnt under their watch..then give a sigh of relief that it wasnt. When the public must get up EVERYDAY and read about one more sexually victimized person can bank that whatever the “system” is doing isnt doing it right. Now read that one story and multiply it at least 10 times a day. And thats the guys who get caught! Think how many dont!..There is nothing “Christian” about a guy who unzips his pants and offends against the vulnerable and weak..these men are the personification of evil and must be treated as such.

  • Damian Garcia

    Noone cares what you think, Valerie (valigator). What part of that don’t you get. The general public doesn’t need S.O. Telling them what to think. They have all the information they need from articles such as this one. The proof is mounting that the registry is both ineffective and counterproductive. People can make common sense observations: a 40 year old who has an affinity for 6 year olds is terrible and deserves to be watched like a hawk. R&j cases, public indecency or exhibitionism, and false accusation case? Not so much. Bottom line, everyone should know that I’m a sex offender at this date and time, but most people (ask anyone of my neighbors), would rather live next to me, than a deranged mad-woman, who pulled not one, but TWO weapons on a sex offender, simply for confronting you about passing out his flyer, followed, consequently, by YOUR arrest. Let the readers have the WHOLE truth, not just your opine Val. I don’t know, if someone were walking around attempting to further smear my name, ild probably confront them too. Luck up Valerie Parkhurst and HER police record, and ask yourselves if this is the kind of person you would want living next door to you and your kids!


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