Okay, not technically.
Technically, Stacey Campfield‘s legislation, which was introduced in February of 2007 and would have amended TCA Title 40, Chapter 39, Part 2 requiring registered sex offenders to disclose to the sexual offender registry their electronic mail addresses, screen names, user names or aliases, instant messaging or chat names, or any other internet communication names, was put out to pasture like most of Campfield’s bills are.
Yet… beginning July 1, registered sex offenders in Tennessee must tell authorities any e-mail, user name or instant messaging screen name they use.
So, how did that happen?
Overbey’s bill, which amends Title 40, Chapter 39, Part 2, requires a person who is registered as a sexual offender or violent sexual offender to disclose to the sexual offender registry any email address, instant message, chat, or other Internet communication name or identity that the registrant uses or intends to use. This bill would also require any person who is registered as a sexual offender or violent sexual offender to report to the offender’s registering agency any change in his or her email address, instant message, chat, or other Internet communication name or identity that the registrant uses or intends to use. The changes must be reported within 30 minutes to within three days, excluding holidays.
The only significant difference being the law specified this info can only be made available to those businesses or organizations responsible for prescreening online users or account holders.
Overbey said the bill would make use of the Internet safer for children.
You know, Campfield said the same thing last year. Of course, no one seemed willing to listen, compromise or suggest improvements to the proposal. In fact, we didn’t agree with him. The idea wouldn’t work, we said. Predators would just skirt the process. The bill was a waste. (Although I should point out – last Fall, I found 14 registered sex offenders from Hawkins, Greene and Knox counties on Myspace with names and photos listed on their profiles – so some predators actually are dumber than a bucket o’ rocks, but I digress.) No one bothered to mention: hey, if you don’t publish this info online, the bill might be worthy of consideration.
We discounted the idea altogether – chalked it up as a another bit of mental poo plucked from the mind of a Republican asshat and discarded it in the “Campfield’s Weird Conservative Crap” pile.
So, what changed everyone’s mind — aside from the bill’s sponsors?
(For additional Title 40, Chapter 39, Part 2, tinkerings: see HB4197/SB4199, which, according to the Knox News, places additional restrictions on registered sex offenders, such as they will now be prohibited from dressing up as clowns, playing Santa Claus and/or driving an ice cream truck. They are likewise prohibited from running over Santa with an ice cream truck while dressed as a clown – but that’s a whole other chapter altogether. )