NJ Legislation Addresses Sex Offenders on Social Media Sites [AUDIO]
Do you know who else is on most of the social media sites your children are using?
Convicted sex offenders are and one New Jersey lawmaker wants force everyone required to register under Megan’s Law to provide notification of that important fact on social networking websites.
“Sex offenders are very sneaky and despicable,” says Assemblywoman Donna Simon who sponsors the measure. “What they will do is they will have a myriad of screen names and other identities to use for communicating to children.”
The bill, which is modeled on recently enacted Louisiana legislation, expands sex offender registration requirements to include this disclosure on the offender’s profile on any social networking sites.
“It’s very similar to Megan’s Law,” explains Simon. “It protects children on the Internet. Anybody caught violating this could face a fine up to $10,000 and also jail time up to 18 months.”
Also under Simon’s measure, any person required to register as a sex offender must also provide the appropriate law enforcement agency with a list of e-mail addresses, screen names, or other identities used for web-based chats, instant messaging, or a social networking website.
“This is a total bi-partisan measure,” says Simon. “This is something that benefits everyone and I expect it to pass quickly.”
The legislation also requires registered sex offenders to provide a list of any social networking websites of which they are a member.
The Assemblywoman hopes the bill will become law before the calendar flips to 2014.
“That’s something we’re pushing for,” explains Simon. “This is very important and one of the bills that should be part of the spotlight for the lame duck session.”
Several social networking sites, like Facebook and Match.com, already prohibit sex offenders from using their sites in their terms of service.