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Sex offenders must register e-mail under new laws starting July 1

3:54 PM, Jun 27, 2007   |    comments
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House Bill 1326 seeks the e-mail addresses, chat room identities and text message handles of the state's roughly 4,500 child sex offenders. Those who fail to provide accurate information or no information at all will face separate felony charges and a revocation of their parole.

"We know they've done it before and they're capable of doing it," said Attorney General John Suthers (R-Colorado). "Why shouldn't we require those people to register their computer ID before they use them?"

The measure is part of Suthers' Safe Surfing Initiative designed to protect kids using the Internet. Two years ago, state lawmakers criminalized luring and the exploitation of children online. Earlier this year, they took the step of highlighting the Internet identifications of the paroled offenders.

"I'm under no illusion that it's a cure all," said Rep. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), who sponsored the measure with Rep. Spencer Swalm (R-Centennial). "My real hope is that it will allow parents another tool to help educate their kids and parents to be educated as well."

Suthers says the benefit could be even greater, if Web sites like MySpace, Facebook and eHarmony end up scanning the information which will be visible to the public on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Web site.

"If we can, in kind of a private-public partnership, with these social networking sites, which are legal and we're not going to stop them," Suthers said. "Kids are going to continue to be attracted to them. If we can keep as many of these guys off these sites, that would be a huge, huge step in the right direction."

Other new laws set to go into effect on July 1 are HB 1163, which gives in-state tuition to the children of armed forces members who are transferred into Colorado; HB 1117, which requires kids riding on motorcycles to wear helmets and HB 1249, which increases consumer protections for people dealing with moving companies as well as requiring their officers to undergo criminal background checks.

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