Starting in 2009, if you are a convicted sex offender in the state of Georgia, you are required to hand over your Internet passwords, screen names and email addresses to authorities to monitor. The new Senate Bill 474 passed in 2008 is just one of many states complying with guidelines of a 2006 federal law requiring authorities to track Internet addresses of sex offenders. This law covers approximately 16,000 offenders in the state of Georgia.
However, privacy advocates are questioning this aggressive Georgia law but so far no one has challenged the law. Advocates claim it threatens the privacy of sex offenders and burdens cash-strapped law enforcement officials.
The state senator from Georgia, who wrote the bill, said that the measure is designed to keep the Internet safe for children. Law enforcement authorities can monitor offenders use of the Internet to make sure they aren’t stalking children online or chatting with them. The primary goal of this law is to protect children, which outweighs the privacy of sex offenders individual rights.