back to article Sex offender email monitoring plan mothballed

A plan to require registered sex offenders to notify police of their email addresses and social networking identities has been shelved while the government battles a human rights judgment in the High Court, according to the Home Office. The measure was the centrepiece of a suite of announcements on child protection on and …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Could it be, a good decision?

    So a STUPID policy which would have generated a ton of paperwork, a bucketload of utterly false security, and would never have had any beneficial effect WHATSOEVER has been cancelled? Sounds like somebody actually made a good decision.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will they get it?

    When, oh when, oh when ... will the government face up to the fact that there IS only one way to police the Internet ... which is to pull the plug on it. Anything else is insanity. Anyone doing anything criminal should already be encrypting their traffic and sailing straight under the nose of any effective form of policing.

    The only thing sent unencrypted these days is spam mail. I feel for the poor civil servant who has to wade neck deep through that kind of stuff to find any meaningful correspondence that the government can prosecute someone with.

  3. michael

    new rule

    no laws named after victims or pepol there is a good reason a law needs to be made logicality for a good reason to manage a country of millions in the future a law made after a victim is about 1 person and in the past it is bound to be badly thought out with emotion and hindsight

  4. Jamie

    As it should be.

    They have served thier time and have been released, so no there should be no restrictions.

    If the government believes that they still pose a risk, which most predators do and always will, then they should be locked up for good.

    The idea of a possible stretch in prison should scare no one as anyone in the public will realise that the cops cannot catch you, and if they manage to then the government has informed judges not to sentence people to prison time.

  5. Cameron Colley

    Listen very carefully, fucktards:


    This whole "online predator" thing is complete bollocks -- if your child is young, naive or stupid enough to give out any real, usable, personal information on the internet then you have failed as a parent, simple as that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thin end of the wedge

    In Wacky Jacqui's big brother world she has the right to do almost anything she wants and existing laws and interpretations thereof are only temporary inconveniences.

    I always thought the idea of a prison sentence was to punish and also rehabilitate the offender. If the law calls for a particular sentence then how does the home secretary have the right to effectively extend that sentence to one of life?

    Yes child sex offences are an emotive subject, anybody opposing WJ on this will no doubt be told to "please think of the children!" but if she pushes this one through how long will it be before she moves for similar legislation for other offences? How long before anybody with a criminal record has to report regularly to the police or probabtion service and hand over details of their personal life?

    The problem here is that, in concentrating police efforts on previous offenders she is taking precious resources away from the hunt for new offenders. Remember that Sweeney style of policing where they just pulled in all the known scrotes on the manor until one of them coughed to the blag? That's the way WJ thinks policing should still work. Great, we've got Gene Hunt as home secretary.

  7. Enrico Vanni
    Black Helicopters

    Whacky Jacqui does it again

    "Jacqui Smith said failure by the more than 30,000 registered sex offenders to supply online identities or supplying false identities would attract up to a five year jail term. "We need to patrol the internet to keep predators away from children in the same way as we patrol the real world,"

    In other words "We need to be flailing around making it look as if we have the power to stop things simply because it is our will. In reality we have neither the resources or brains to achieve anything useful".

    Also, If sex offenders are required to supply details of their on-line identities then it means the authorities do not have the ability or wherewithal to find these out for themselves, so what is the likelihood of someone supplying false identities being caught for having done so?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teenage sex offenders

    Teenage sex offenders are given a life of luxury. There's one that lives in a flat above me.

    There's a private organisation that takes care of them! They actually support them.

    He's been put up in a privately owned flat, and the furniture, kitchen appliances all bought for him! It's unreal. And they send him on holidays too.

    So, a sex offender, which the officals have presumably decided has had a bit of a rough childhood is treated to holidays and a privately owned flat, he's loving every second of it.

    He should be banged up! And whilst living in the flat, he's sexually assaulted another girl and the Police have been round to question him about that.

    He needs to be chemically castrated.

    It's madness.

  9. JonP
    Black Helicopters

    real world...

    "We need to patrol the internet to keep predators away from children in the same way as we patrol the real world," - only when the pubs kick out and on special occasions?

    maybe if people treated the internet like the 'real world' then lots of problems would go away...

  10. John Smith Gold badge

    The BIG announcement

    and then the *very* quiet climb down.

    Have we not been here before?

  11. Dave Coleshill
    Paris Hilton


    Yet again, the UK govt proves they are without a clue about the Interweb. And they wonder why no-one trusts them when they moot ideas like the uber database, and ID cards?

    Paris, because even she could invent a new net identity in under 10 minutes.

  12. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down


    This sounds to me like a blatant attempt to discredit the Human Rights Act (even further).

    As for Sarah's Law ..... Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time I visited a large electrical retailer in my home city to buy a washing machine. I chose the model I wanted and went to the desk to discuss my payment options. All seemed to be going well, until ..... "COMPUTER SAYS 'NO'!" I was refused credit, on the basis that a former occupant of my address had run up substantial debts.

    Being turned down for credit in front of a store full of customers -- all of whose eyes I could feel turning on me, staring at me, drilling into me -- for the actions of somebody else far beyond my control felt bad enough. A false positive under "Sarah's Law" (which, by the way, would not even have helped Sarah Payne) is a horror I can't even begin to imagine.

    Anyway, either someone has learned their lesson and repaid their debt to society, in which case they deserve exactly the same rights as if they had never been convicted; or they haven't, in which case they deserve still to be in prison.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    still haven't learned

    Not only does it remain fundamentally unworkable, but they still don't "get" the idea that once you've served your sentence, you're no longer 'owned' by HMG. Once you've done your time, you are (or should be) a free person again.

    Oh, I hear people saying, but we're talking about paeds here, they deserve no rights. Really? Who decided that certain classes of criminality strip you of basic and unalienable human rights such as privacy?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha

    "We need to patrol the internet to keep predators away from children in the same way as we patrol the real world,"

    ....using part time officers, too young to shave, no real powers of arrest, never to be seen, ...... mmm that'll be effective

  15. Hombre sin nombre

    Those pesky human rights.

    Always getting in the way of the government's perfect world.

  16. Tim

    Typical govt. ineptitude

    So they can't do this for sex offenders, but still plan to keep a database of everyone else's emails.

    When does the revolution start?


  17. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Teenage sex offenders

    Who let the Daily Mail reader in?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    'Sex offender' does *NOT* equal 'child abuser'.

    In any case, if parents weren't so stupid as to give their little darlings unrestricted access to the internet and computers in the privacy of their own bedrooms, complete with webcams, digital cameras, and mobile phone cameras, then there wouldn't be aparticular threat to children anyway.

    Letting a child use the internet unsupervised, even without cameras, is about as bad as letting underage children tart themselves up and go out to nightclubbings at weekends getting drunk, and no parent would be so irresponsible... oh... wait... *sigh*

  19. Luther Blissett


    Always getting in the way of the government's perfect world.

    Cause and effect constrain reality to be one of a number possible worlds. Not so for imagination, where cause and effect need not apply, even tho imagination has effects, particularly in the autonomic nervous system.

    Observe, then, the real states of mind of our governing politicians. No joy there. No happiness. Fear. Lots of fear. Fear of the masses. Fear of loss of power. Fear of motivated individuals. In some cases, fear of themselves.

    Government is always getting in the way of reality's perfect world.

  20. Bill Cumming

    How about...

    ... Having the same type of 'megan's law' for druggies and house breakers? They pose more danger to the general public in my view. I'd rather know where they all live so i can keep family safe from drugged out hoodies breaking in to steal my comp to sell do a quick fix...!!

  21. Andy Bright


    If a person is this much of a risk to society that we actually need to listen to every phone call they make, read every email they write and watch their daily activities through electronic tagging, shouldn't we be looking at why they're being released rather than what to do about it afterwards?

    The major qualification for gaining parole is satisfying the parole board you won't re-offend. If the parole board isn't qualified to make that decision, perhaps it should be left to people who are. Psychiatrists that specialise in kiddy-fiddling maybe? And if they don't satisfy the same conditions as everyone else who makes parole, why are they being let out? Completing a prison sentence is not supposed to be sufficient to gain release. The fact most parole boards accept verbal promises as evidence of rehabilitation simply proves they don't understand what their jobs are.

    Reality is most people that get released from prison probably don't qualify for that release. But we let them out anyway because our prisons are overcrowded and they've completed the minimum prison sentence they were ordered to serve. If we're just going to let predators walk free after a set number of years, what's the point of putting them in prison in the first place? All we're doing is delaying the inevitable. Perhaps, and I know this is controversial, but just perhaps it would be better to actually try to do some real rehabilitation? If we intend to let predators move back into society, wouldn't it be better just to let them do it right away when we still remember who they are and what they did? Or perhaps you prefer that we stealthily insert perverts and rapists into communities that aren't paranoid enough to monitor predator lists on a daily basis.

  22. Seanmon

    ...human rights judgment...

    ...yeah. Home-Secretary-shooting-uninformed-mouth-off-on-unworkable-policy-making-arse of-government judgement, perhaps.

  23. David Glasgow
    Thumb Down

    @ Cameron Colley

    "if your child is young, naive or stupid enough" ...well D'uh, my kids are naive and often stupid. Kind of goes with being a kid. Oh, and they're *young*, too.

    Me and the missus do try our best, but I think we'll just have to wait for them to grow up. That will cure the 'young' bit. Not so sure about the other two.

    So until then its my fault if a sexual offender gets at them via the interweb thingy? Maybe there should be a sentence for being the parent of a sexually abused child. That might help me and the missus try even harder....Oh but wait. No it wouldn't.

  24. Vetis

    double standards?

    Hmm, so they cant monitor those dangerous people but a database of exactly the same information for the whole law abiding population is fine?

    Good work government.

  25. Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield

    I refer you to those in the know

    Please see a selection of the USA responses, here:

    Reg, feel free to write a follow-up piece, based on this information, if you do not wish this URL to be here

    BTW, the HO has until the 20th to decide if they were going to contest the HC decision ... you may like to ask them if they are gong to - definitely?

    TY for your work.


  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Glasgow

    "So until then its my fault if a sexual offender gets at them via the interweb thingy?"

    Yes, partly. It's your job as a parent to 1. Teach your children the skills they will need to be safe online. 2. Assess your success in step one. 3. Monitor their internet use until step one is complete. This really shouldn't be too hard, the Internet is much safer than the real world after all, it's not like anyone can actually stab you or rape you through the computer.

    Of course it depends on what you mean be "get at". If a sex offender talks to your child online, that's not your fault. That's not necessarily a fault at all. If a sex offender (or anyone else) convinces your child to send naked pictures and then uses those pictures to blackmail your child into some unwanted act, then it probably means you failed step one, two or three above.

  27. kain preacher

    @David Glasgow

    Ont let your child have a PC in their room. Have it out in the open.

  28. Graham Marsden

    CEOP declined to comment on progress

    "saying policy announcements were a matter for the Home Office."

    Sorry? Is this a different CEOP from the one that has been pushing for policies like this and many others, simply, it seems, to bolster their own position and preserve their jobs?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Give them the address and then some

    I wonder how the government would take it if a sex offender got his own mailserver, and generated 10 million random email addresses for himself, each day, and sent the adresses as the wouldbe law states to police. There's no law that says you can't have more than one email addresses for yourself.

    In a year police would end up with 3 650 000 000 email addresses for that single individual, provided it isn't a leap year. If the addresses were 30 letters long, that would mean 100 giga bytes of useless information, each year. And there's nothing stopping him from generatin 100 000 000 or even a few orders of magnitude more email addresses for himself each day.

    If the government wants useless information it's best to provide them with it, overflowingly them with it. :)

This topic is closed for new posts.