Sex offenders in the United States are slowly losing their rights. First, they were banned from Facebook, now, in New York State, they’ve been banned from online gaming because there might be children playing those same games.

Many games contain an audio or text component that allows players to communicate with one another.

Mr. Schneiderman warned that those methods of communication could allow sexual predators “to establish contacts with children they would never be able to establish” in parks or playgrounds.

Before you think this is a great idea, think of all the people online. How many of them have bizarre usernames or sexually suggestive usernames? Use the name, “ilikeballs” and you’re now losing your account and could end up being arrested because you’re a sexual predator. After you’ve completed your jail time, your life will forever be restricted until the point that we will have towns made up of just people like you that we need to keep away from the rest of society.

Among the companies that agreed to close accounts linked to sex offenders were Microsoft, which runs the Xbox Live gaming network, and Sony, which runs the PlayStation Network. Other companies that closed accounts included Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers, Disney Interactive Media Group, Blizzard Entertainment and Apple, Mr. Schneiderman said.

Given the fact that nearly all video games now have an online component and a user cannot even player in single player mode without connecting to these companies’ servers, New York State is, essentially, telling sex offenders that they can’t play video games. Many of these companies are also pushing to eliminate physical media. If you want to play a game, you access a server and play. You don’t actually own a game or have access to play it offline.

The agreement was the latest effort by law enforcement authorities to prohibit sex offenders from gaining access to chat rooms or social media sites. Aides to Mr. Schneiderman said New York’s was the first such ban on using online video games.

Why doesn’t law enforcement just cut to the chase, ban sex offenders from the internet and force them to live in communities made up of only other sex offenders? They struggle to get jobs. Many cannot enter college to make something of themselves. They can’t live in certain neighborhoods. Their personal information is publically available on the internet and people are free to harass them while the police look the other way. Now, if they can manage to find a place to live and keep a job, they can’t even play video games to relax.

If the judicial system has released them, they have paid for their crimes and have been deemed to not be a harm or threat to the community. Punishing someone past their original sentence is a violation of human rights. Law enforcement, however, has decided to not follow what the courts have decided and are slowly eroding any rights a sex offender has remaining.

The law, as it stands, falls on anyone on the sexual offender list. This includes drunken people who just had to pee out in public. The law, and the article, does not make it clear if the 3500 sex offenders are a mixed bag of “had sex with my underage girlfriend,” “peed in the woods and got caught,” and “likes to have sex with little children,” or if those 3500 are truly just pedophiles.

If you have served your time and the justice system has let you go, then you are entitled to all the rights of a citizen. This includes free association with your peers. The only thing this law does is create a criminal underclass that should never exist in the first place and further ostracize an entire class of people. Apparently, it was easier to ban people than to just disable voice and chat features.

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