Virginia politicans are making yet more moves to keep sex offenders off the internet.
The proposal would make Virginia the first state to dovetail with MySpace.com's recently announced plans to block sex offenders from access to its popular social networking site for teenagers and others.
"We require all sex offenders to register their physical and mailing addresses in Virginia," [Attorney General Bob] McDonnell said in a prepared statement, "but in the 21st century it is just as critical that they register any email addresses or IM screen names. . . . I hope other social networking sites will join Myspace.com in implementing the software necessary to accomplish this goal."
I was living in Virginia when McDonnell won last year, and I don't recall seeing any campaign ads that weren't targeted at parents' fears about sexual predators. There was a nice stock video the ads all used of McDonnell talking to cops, then a lonely, sad white guy sulking as prison bars close on him. Their effectiveness was probably aided by the fact that MSNBC's "To Catch A Predator" series, now in installment 13,429 (I think), started in northern Virginia. Which is a way of saying that this flawed plan (IM names! Surely these crooks can't get new IM names!) is the tip of an iceberg.