Friday, May 20, 2011

Topic: The Kids Act

The Kid's Act: Also Known As
"Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008"

It is important to know the History of this Act:

History: This is a very touchy subject for all FSOs: Remember when John McCain was posturing for the Presidency in 2008? Well, he wasn't doing well, so like all politicians, he pulls out the sex offender issue to hopefully spring-board him into office. Well it didn't work, but what he did then, is now hurting all FSOs nationally, and into the future.

Congressional Background: Sen. McCain (AZ) joined forces with Sen. Schumer (NY) and proposed this bill in Congress "Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008" HR-719 which was combined into "The Kids Act" or S-431 and enacted into law by 110th Congress: The Kid's Act. It was FAST TRACKED and passed under the 'Suspension of the Rules" nonsense, which I believe is the most unconstitutional procedure in Congressional rules, simply because it can be misused.

Our Earlier Blogging on The Kid's Act: As a refresher folks may want to read "Congress passes Schumer and McCain's S-431 Amended bill, obviously a political campaign move," just so folks know who the good guys in Congress are..
Back then eAdvocate blogged copiously on that S-431 Kid's Act, and tried to get folks to submit comments to their respective Senators and Representatives in Congress, and even if folks made those contacts it was for naught, FAST TRACK and "Under Suspension of the Rules" overrode all efforts. Well, thats water over the dam, today it is law.
Important to note is, that no legislator presented any evidence that "Internet Predators" were a mass problem -at that time- nor has there been any evidence presented since that time. Lawmakers spoke in hypothetical terms. Speeches at the time mentioned pornography more than anything else, and a handful of cases where someone, not a former sex offender, did prey on children on a social network.

They also presented the TV series "To Catch a Predator" in which it was never proven that the chat transcripts could not have been doctored, courts accepted them without a proper chain of evidence. When one lawyer did ALMOST get a court to force Perverted Justice to turn over their hard drives (where they stored the chats), guess what happened, the drives were mysteriously destroyed.

So much for history, onward..

Why is The Kid's Act Important Today?

Today the Kids Act (KA) has been phased into the Adam Walsh Act (SORNA title) and effects registrants because they can no longer join and participate in social networks (SN), if that SN is participating in the Department of Justice's system which allows SNs to cross check their accounts with the National Sex Offender Registry. The clear intent, although not stated within KA, is to deny registrants access to SN whether or not their past offense has anything to do with SN or the Internet.
Lawmaker's cry was, and continues today (2011), that since minors MAY USE a SN, that FSOs will prey on them if FSOs have access to the SN. Another hypothetical political ploy.
The result of this KA is that registrants must provide all of their Internet IDs to the state, and when the state sends that information to the DOJ, they insert it into the "No Name DOJ Checking System for Social Networks," a system which really has no public name but is maintained by the DOJ. We call it the "No Name Checking System," and it is loaded with tricks to deny registrants access to SNs, and deny them their right to appeal SN denials.

Note: Even if your state does not yet require you to give your Internet IDs, the No Name Checking System has your basic name and address information to match to, to begin the checking process, and ultimately kick you off the social network site. You must learn about the appeal process below.

Now the law:

The Kid's Act:
"Checking System for Social Networking Websites"
Trickery Built Into the Act



The Attorney General, using the authority provided in section 114(a)(7) of the SORNA ... provide to the sex offender registry those Internet identifiers the sex offender uses or will use of any type that the Attorney General determines to be appropriate under that Act. These records of Internet identifiers shall be subject to the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) to the same extent as the other records in the National Sex Offender Registry.
Privacy Act is Violated: CLICK for Explanation

(c) NONDISCLOSURE TO GENERAL PUBLIC.—The Attorney General, using the authority provided in section 118(b)(4) of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, shall exempt from disclosure all information provided by a sex offender under subsection (a).

(d) NOTICE TO SEX OFFENDERS OF NEW REQUIREMENTS.—The Attorney General shall ensure that procedures are in place to notify each sex offender of changes in requirements that apply to that sex offender as a result of the implementation of this section.
According to above registrants are to be "Notified," and a close review of state forms will show, that registrants are ONLY TOLD they are required to provide all Internet IDs (e-mail addresses, chat room names, etc).

Now, what they are not told:

What Registrants ARE NOT Told About:

(5) a description of policies and procedures to ensure that—
(A) any individual who is denied access to that website on the basis of information obtained through the system is promptly notified of the basis for the denial and has the ability to challenge the denial of access; and

Above is one DOJ requirement for a social network to participate in the "DOJ Checking System," (see below for others). This requirement raises RED FLAGS because it signals an appellate process requirement when a registrant is denied access to a participating social network website. RED FLAGS are raised because registrants are not told this exists. No registrant will find anything about this on their State Registration forms, but they will find that they are required to submit all their Internet IDs; the heart of this checking system. This leaves us with perplexing questions:

1) Why is the DOJ HIDING this procedure?
2) Why have a procedure that can never be used?
3) How would the DOJ know if a social network website, is or has, violated the requirement with respect to a registrant's appellate right following a denial?
4) What social networks websites are using this system, is there a way to tell?
It looks like they want to give the appearance of due process, but never allow the registrant to exercise his right. This sounds like a scheme a setup of sorts. But to what end?

Thousands of registrants have already been kicked off of various social network websites, most way before the Kid's Act. (Facebook 5,500 and MySpace 90,000 if we can believe the stories). Other registrants have been arrested for having social network accounts following that mass removal, and some of these have been since the enactment of the Kid's Act.
Here is where things get hairy, and we believe a cover-up begins, in May of 2010 the DOJ issued "Proposed [P-]Supp Guidelines" to make changes to SORNA as the result of the Kid's Act. This is what the DOJ said in those P-Supp Guidelines:
"These supplemental guidelines augment or modify certain features of the SORNA Guidelines in order to make a change required by the KIDS Act and to address other issues arising in jurisdictions’ implementation of the SORNA requirements. The matters addressed include certain aspects of public Web site posting of sex offender information, interjurisdictional tracking and information sharing regarding sex offenders, ....(pg-1 of P-Supp Guidelines)"
When the DOJ issued the P-Supp Guidelines, registrants (many having been kicked off social network sites) across the nation began looking at the Kid's Act (as passed by Congress) and realized this problem with not being told about the appellate procedure (42 USC 16915b).

Many registrants responded to the P-Supp Guidelines, asking the DOJ for a system to exercise their rights under the Kid's Act (42 USC 16915b) given they have been denied those rights.
Following receipt of over 300 responses to the P-Supp Guidelines, on 1-11-2011 the DOJ published their "Final [F-]Supp Guidelines" and again they referenced this:
"These supplemental guidelines augment or modify certain features of the SORNA Guidelines in order to make a change required by the KIDS Act and to address other issues arising in jurisdictions’ implementation of the SORNA requirements. The matters addressed include certain aspects of public Web site posting of sex offender information, interjurisdictional tracking and information sharing regarding sex offenders, ....(pg-1 of F-Supp Guidelines)"
Then in response to the many registrants' complaints about their rights being denied under the Kid's Act (42 USC 16915b) the DOJ had this response:

"Some of the comments received included complaints or criticisms relating to 42 U.S.C. 16915b, which directs the Attorney General to establish a system enabling social networking Web sites to compare the Internet identifiers of their users to information in the National Sex Offender Registry. Section 16915b was separately enacted by the KIDS Act, Public Law 110–400. It is not part of SORNA. Any measures that may be needed in the implementation of § 16915b would not belong in these supplemental guidelines, which are concerned with the implementation of SORNA. (pg-4 of F-Supp Guidelines)"
WHAT? WHAT? What is found within the Kid's Act which pertains to SORNA information, is OUTSIDE of SORNA? Thats plain INSANE, the DOJ is charged with both SORNA and handling the Checking System!!!!

Something is being covered-up!

Below we show ALL sections of SORNA (w/links) and it sure looks like 16915b is within SORNA. Its time for lawyers to take up this task and figure out exactly why the DOJ is HIDING this procedure from registrants.

Wish we had more, but we don't. We are thinking the DOJ has violated 5 USC 552a, but we covered that near top of this page. So, we hate to leave this unfinished, but this is what we know and if anyone can see more, please let us know.

All Sections of SORNA
Including 16915b
Part A—Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORNA)

• § 16911. Relevant definitions, including Amie Zyla expansion of sex offender definition and expanded inclusion of child predators
• § 16912. Registry requirements for jurisdictions
• § 16913. Registry requirements for sex offenders
• § 16914. Information required in registration
• § 16915. Duration of registration requirement
• § 16915a. Direction to the Attorney General
• § 16915b. Checking system for social networking websites
• § 16916. Periodic in person verification
• § 16917. Duty to notify sex offenders of registration requirements and to register
• § 16918. Public access to sex offender information through the Internet
• § 16919. National Sex Offender Registry
• § 16920. Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
• § 16921. Megan Nicole Kanka and Alexandra Nicole Zapp Community Notification Program
• § 16922. Actions to be taken when sex offender fails to comply
• § 16923. Development and availability of registry management and website software
• § 16924. Period for implementation by jurisdictions
• § 16925. Failure of jurisdiction to comply
• § 16926. Sex Offender Management Assistance (SOMA) program
• § 16927. Election by Indian tribes
• § 16928. Registration of sex offenders entering the United States
• § 16929. Immunity for good faith conduct

Requirements for a Social Network
To Participate in the DOJ Checking System
42 USC 16915b


(1) SECURE SYSTEM FOR COMPARISONS.—The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a secure system that permits social networking websites to compare the information contained in the National Sex Offender Registry with the Internet identifiers of users of the social networking websites, and view only those Internet identifiers that match. The system—
(A) shall not require or permit any social networking website to transmit Internet identifiers of its users to the operator of the system, and

(B) shall use secure procedures that preserve the secrecy of the information made available by the Attorney General, including protection measures that render the Internet identifiers and other data elements indecipherable.
Upon receiving a matched Internet identifier, the social networking website may make a request of the Attorney General for, and the Attorney General shall provide promptly, information related to the identity of the individual that has registered the matched Internet identifier. This information is limited to the name, sex, resident address, photograph, and physical description.

(b) QUALIFICATION FOR USE OF SYSTEM.—A social networking website seeking to use the system shall submit an application to the Attorney General which provides—
(1) the name and legal status of the website;
(2) the contact information for the website;
(3) a description of the nature and operations of the website;
(4) a statement explaining why the website seeks to use the system;
(5) a description of policies and procedures to ensure that—
(A) any individual who is denied access to that website on the basis of information obtained through the system is promptly notified of the basis for the denial and has the ability to challenge the denial of access; and

(B) if the social networking website finds that information is inaccurate, incomplete, or cannot be verified, the site immediately notifies the appropriate State registry and the Department of Justice, so that they may delete or correct that information in the respective State and national databases;

(6) the identity and address of, and contact information for, any contractor that will be used by the social networking website to use the system; and
(2) AUTHORITY OF ATTORNEY GENERAL TO SUSPEND USE.— The Attorney General may deny, suspend, or terminate use of the system by a social networking website that—
(C) fails to comply with the procedures required under subsection (b)(5); or

(D) uses information obtained from the system in any way that is inconsistent with the purposes of this Act.
(A) NO PUBLIC RELEASE.—Neither the Attorney General nor a social networking website approved to use the system may release to the public any list of the Internet identifiers of sex offenders contained in the system. .....

(D) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—This subsection shall not be construed to limit the authority of the Attorney General under any other provision of law to conduct or to allow searches or checks against sex offender registration information.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

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