Though I believe that sex offenders are generally scum and that the death penalty should be used in many cases for their offenses, we simply don't do that in this nation. The state and nation have decided via the legislative and judicial process that these offenders have to serve prison time and/or deal with the justice system on a continual basis. There is already a sex offender registry in the state. Now, there is a bill to ask for more privacy infringement.
A state Senate committee approved a bill that would require sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and any screen names they use on chat sites or for instant messaging. Though I understand the reasons for such a thing, I find it ridiculous. It is extremely easy to get as many free email addresses as you want all over the internet. I personally have seven or eight that I use regularly for different purposes and can easily get more. I have access to several others right now. How is the state going to enforce this?
Screen name registration? IM handle registration? Unless the state monitors all web traffic going through someone's computer, there is no way to enforce this. For instance, I have five different IM identities on different services with a few more available to me if I want to activate them. I have numerous message boards and chat rooms I use from time to time. I add different services for my use as I see fit. How in the world can this be enforced?
All it takes is going to the local library, wireless hotspot, or coffee shop and the concept of tracking one's ISP usage is out the window. There are also programs to make my web presence untraceable if someone wants anonymity. I have used a few of them before myself.
Then there is the entire 4th Amendment argument about unreasonable search and seizure. It is indeed unreasonable to have complete submission of one's entire life and privacy on the internet for government scrutiny. As my mother says, "That's just ruckin' fidiculous". If a person has complied with the lifetime stigma of being on the sex offender registry and the restrictions on where he/she can live as well as served the time for the crime, then in the eyes of the law and fairness, they should be left alone. Released murderers and violent offenders don't go through this much scrutiny. Not all sex offenses are heinous or violent, either. Some are simply being with someone who is underage (even if both parties consented to the act) or were false rape accusations. Then the offender has to pay for this the rest of his/her life? They served their time but have to give up all privacy for life?
Sorry, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, I disagree with you that this is "a good idea".