Vermont May Ban Sex Offenders Using Aliases Online

Vermont lawmakers want to prohibit convicted sex offenders from using fake names on Facebook and other websites, and would make violation a misdemeanor with the punishment of two years in jail.

Only two other states have similar laws. Illinois and New York disallow disallow convicted sex offenders from using any social networking sites as a condition of probation.

State senators have discussed whether it’s possible to prohibit convicted sex offenders from using computers altogether, the Associated Press has reported. In opinion, such a measure would interfere with these individuals’ ability to re-enter society and seek employment, forever making them pariahs.

I think any legislation prohibiting sex offenders from using aliases online needs to occur at the federal level — ideally, this would be a multinational effort because the Internet is a global phenomenon, not limited to the state where the individual sits at a computer.

Of course, Facebook already prohibits aliases among users. So any legislation on this front would simply give teeth to rules on the social network, making it easier to punish violators.

Readers, what do you think about possible legislation barring convicted sex offenders from using aliases online?

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