Friday, June 24, 2005

Scary...

Isn't it great when a legitimate application gets turned into a lynching device?

A
posting on /. made referenced to a Google Maps hack to locate convicted sex offenders.

The referenced
site has since been taken down and replaced with a static page after the author received a bucketload of abuse. From the about page:
About the site

This site is a freely browsable listing and mapping of sex offenders. I'll be adding more states soon. Currently data for Washington DC and Maryland are provided. There are still some issues to work out but hopefully they'll all be resolved soon. I'll be adding some pages outlining how I made this site if anyone is interested in building their own google map application.

He then goes on to try and absolve himself of responsibility for presenting the data:
Don't lke the idea of mapping sex offenders?

Go talk to your local officals and congressman. I'm just taking data that's freely available on the web and presenting it in a slightly different manner. In fact there are states (like California and Texas) that map sex offenders.

For those of you who haven't figure it out yet, you can enter a zip code and see people in other areas. The zip codes set by default are just examples used to show how it works.

Why?

My reason for making this site was to learn more about Google Maps (and also to learn a bit about AJAX development).

I bet this guy writes spyware and/or adware too, just so he can see how pop up ads work.

Things like this really worry me, you don't see violent criminals put onto a registry when they get out of gaol. I would be more worried about those found guilty of murder, armed robbery or home invasions than someone found guilty of sex offences living in my street. And anyway, if these people have served their time in gaol, then don't they deserve to be let back into society not pushed to the edges and marginalised further?

I really don't know what is worse though, someone who presents information like this just for the hell of it or a
group of people who feel so strongly about it that they create an organisation to make sure sex offenders are advertised to all.

From the MAKO website:
MAKO aims to lobby Australian Governments for harsher penalties for convicted Paedophiles/sex offenders, including the introduction of mandatory lengthy jail terms (including first offence) community notification when a convicted sex offender moves into your neighborhood and A National Public Register of convicted pedophiles/ sex offenders in Australia

I notice they they don't want to help the convicted people get rehabilitated properly. They just want these people to be locked up for a very long time and then treat them like sub humans when they get out.

2 comments:

tealou said...

And, yet again, people start worrying more about the bogeyman sex offender than the uncles, cousins, fathers, defactos, brothers who ACTUALLY are the people most likely to commit the crime.

Having worked in child protection, I will tell you that in the great majority of cases it is a family member or close friend that rapes children. Not creepy Bill up the street.

Tom said...

I agree that I'd rather a sex offender than a guy that breaks into my house and violent attacks my family.

How come those people aren't being persued like this? Which crime is more heinous? Both are abhorrent acts.

I guess the only difference I can see is that sexual gratification is such a central theme to this crooked generation of mankind that even if they want to be rehabilitated, such sexual offenders are often incapable of helping themselves, which is what makes them likely to re-offend.