Proposition 35 Seeks to Extend The Reach of Current Sex Offender Registration Law (CA Penal Code 290)

Prop 35 is a recent ballot measure in the state of California that attempts to require all registered sex offenders to make information like their Internet identities, user names, and even their Internet provider.  However, there are those who have argued against this action on at least two counts. First, such a measure would go directly against the Constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech. Second, such a law would increase the already Draconian requirements for sex offenders. Some of whom have only been accused of minor infractions like indecent exposure in the state.

California already has current laws in place, which makes registration as a sex offender mandatory (CA Penal Code 290) and this is a hefty price to pay indeed.  What it really means is that the general public, and not just law enforcement officials, have access to your home address, a description of the type of crime that you have committed, and other personal information.  Clearly, this may lead to vigilantism and other breaches of privacy from fellow citizens.

District Judge of San Francisco recently blocked a request to enforce the Internet identity portion of Prop 35 on similar principles.  He reasoned that it would mark a direct violation of free speech (offenders could no longer post even anonymous comments on websites) and at the same time, would not effectively work to prevent the rise of sex-related crime rates.


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