(A similar bill was signed into law in Illinois in 2009 and put on hold in California in 2011.) Late last month, Match.com, e Harmony and the Spark Networks signed a “joint statement of business principles” to attempt to screen out registered sex offenders.
The aim of these approaches is understandable, but their effectiveness is questionable, and some experts see potential for it to backfire.
There are already strict restrictions placed on where sex offenders can live in the real-world — how far can we go in limiting their existence in the virtual realm?
Those questions are being sorted out on a law-by-law basis, says Ruthann Robson, a professor at CUNY School of Law.
“If you’re convicted of a crime and you serve your time, there are very few things that extend beyond that — like some states have felony disenfranchisements and that sort of stuff,” Robson explains.
OK, so banning sex offenders from accessing most sites on the Web is unconstitutional, but what about banning them in more limited ways?
Constitutionally speaking, where can the line be drawn?