Ok. You all know I prowl the net all night looking for anything to occupy my mind while I wait for sleep to take me. Tonight, I was glancing at the news headings down on the left side of this blog and I saw an article titled: Senators Want More Protection For Social Networks, so I clicked on it to see what it said.
Now, I'm gonna paste the article here because I think it bears repeating, but you can always read it by clicking the link above. Here's the context of the article, in its entirety, so you know I'm not just picking on a portion of the article out of context.
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) want all registered sex offenders to submit their active e-mail addresses to law enforcement officials. (Good Idea. Not gonna happen, but good idea. How are you going to make them? Do they have to register all 47,642 email addresses, or just the one they plan to molest kids with?)
Under legislation to be introduced in January when the new 110th Congress convenes, any sex offender who submits a fraudulent e-mail address to authorities could face jail time. (Ok. I can't even begin to describe how asinine this comment is. It's like that plastic popcorn your TV came shipped with.. completely useless.)
The two senators said the bill would allow online companies such as social-networking sites to cross-check new members against a database of registered sex offenders to ensure that predators are unable to sign up for the service. (Which you just completely ruined ANY chance you had of this working the moment you publicized it, you idiot! You might have just as well told them you bugged their car with a gps tracker. Oooh that's smart. They'll just take the bus idiot!)
"Just like in our actual neighborhoods, sex offenders must themselves be known in our virtual neighborhoods as well," Schumer said in a joint statement with McCain. "Millions of teenagers log on to websites like MySpace and they shouldn't have to worry about running in to these predators online." (NO ONE HAS TO BE "KNOWN" IN A VIRTUAL NEIGHBORHOOD. THAT'S WHY THEY'RE VIRTUAL!!! *slap*)
The announcement by Schumer and McCain comes just a day after MySpace said it is developing a database with Sentinel Tech that will collect the background information on 550,000 convicted sex offenders now listed in numerous individual state and federal databases. (Very good idea, but once again, you ruined their chance by publicizing it. The public should NOT have the right to know everything under the mask of journalistic freedom you constitution-waving moron. Some things just can't be protected if you tell the whole 180 BILLION PEOPLE BY PUTTING IT ONLINE IN A NEWS ARTICLE! I bet the guys at MySpace REALLY love you today, Roy!)
MySpace has been subject to criticism that it does not do enough to protect minors who members of its community. Earlier this year, MySpace instituted a number of membership changes, including limiting contact between users above 18 with those under 16. The social-networking site also made it possible for users to set their profiles to private, as well as make ads more age appropriate. (No, the judicial system LET them come under fire by not throwing that case out on its ass the moment it came up in court!)
Both Schumer and McCain praised MySpace's efforts. (That's the only smart thing they've done so far that I can see.)
"[The bill] highlights our interest in working with the private sector to find innovative and effective approaches to stopping the exploitation of our nation's children both online and in the offline world," McCain said. (Let me explain something you don't seem to get. Let's say that in your best and wildest dreams, there are 1 million of you trying to protect people's safety online, and that's about ten thousand percent higher than you actually have, but I'm giving you the benefit of virtual firepower here. There are BILLIONS of others who are smarter than you that will hack past ANYTHING you can deliver in a matter of minutes. You will spend billions of dollars on projects like this and a fifteen year old whiz-kid with a graphics calculator will shred your security in minutes. Look at Microsoft. If ALL OF THE TEAM AT MICROSHAFT can't stop ten year olds from hacking the worlds' strongest encrypted operating system, what makes you think you stand a chance of protecting the nations' children online with a lame-ass program like this?)
Schumer added, "Sex offenders have no business joining social network communities -- especially those with teenage users -- and our legislation will keep them out." (Your legislation isn't worth the rash I'd get wiping myself with it. Go back to the drawing board and find a way to keep them OFF the net. I know... smart ass. Why don't you just KILL PEOPLE WHO SCREW KIDS? HOW'S THAT FOR EFFIENCY? I'll make you a deal. You line up 1 million registered sex offenders, and I'll buy you the 1 million bullets. At the going rate, it would cost the US government less than twenty thousand dollars to put a bullet in each of their brains... hell, maybe less if you lined them up in a row and shot from the end.)
Can I stop and just ask these idiots exactly WHAT they know about the web? I applaud MySpace's efforts to protect minors, especially when they almost got sued because some sex offender used their web site to contact a minor. Ok, first off I have a big problem with that. MySpace is a portal site that connects users together. That's it. How true the information on the site may or may not be, is absolutely no responsibility of myspace.com. No idiot ever sued Yahoo when a sex offender used Yahoo messenger to communicate with a minor? How is what that guy did anymore the responsibility of myspace than any other portal provider? Does this mean I can:
- Sue the phone company if someone harrasses a minor by a telephone number from the phone book?
- Sue Google, Yahoo, AIM, MySpace, ICQ, Jabber, or any other messenger if someone contacts my underage daughter through their service?
- Sue the mall where my daughter might get stalked by some sicko, just because they are a mall that creates a place for social interaction?
It's friggin' ludicrous!
Now, that wasn't even the point of my rant here. My actual rant is for the purpose of taking objection to the LAME ASS attempts to protect minors. Do you REALLY think that an already-convicted sex offender is going to just call everyone up and say "Hi, I'm a pedophile and I like boys! I just wanted you to know how to reach me via email. Thanks!" Hell no they're not! IF they are online and IF they want to pursue that particular avenue of disgusting.... stuff, they're certainly not going to do it with their own contact information. I could sit here for days and type out all the anonymous remailers and free web based email sites that exist specifically to allow people their privacy. Now, I'm not saying that the IDEA is bad. It's certainly not. Trying to crack down on sex offenders is certainly a great idea. However, they're going about it all wrong.
First off, you CAN NOT trace everyone online all the time. Anyone who wants to REALLY be sneaky just needs to go to the free wireless at a starbucks, barnes and nobles, etc and just pop on their internet connection for free to do their surfing instead of doing it from home. This means you can't trace their IP back to their home address or home connection.
Second, they're going to use a series of random, rotating, anonymous email addresses that they can dispose of easily within 30 seconds if they need to.
Third, they're going to be smart enough to use a web-proxy to mask the geographical IP idendity information.
So, gee whiz man, what do we do?
MONITOR YOUR DAMNED CHILDREN YOU FREAKIN IDIOT!
I have a ten year old daughter who I'm pretty sure can out-hack most grown adults. You have GOT to be smarter than your kids or at LEAST PAY SOMEONE WHO IS to monitor what they do online.
Even that has its drawbacks. If you take the above scenario and flip it over on the parent, now the child will be the one going to the mall to use the free internet because they can't do it at home because Mommy has locked down their browsing habits. They'll go to a friend's house, use their CELL PHONE BROWSERS, etc.
I'm not one to traditionally just blow up and legislation, but for God's sake, these people are running our country! Let me explain something to you people, and I'm not kidding when I say this. I had a ten year old the other day who knew better than ME how to crack the new encryption algorithms on microsoft's operating system to get past their "new" top of the line validation protocols. You think a motivated sex offender can't get at LEAST that much help? Hel, I got an idea; Let's hire a bunch of fourth graders to solve the problem and let you idiots get back to your pastrami on rye... your cappuccino is getting cold, Senator!