Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell plans to propose legislation that would make Virginia the first state in the nation to require sex offenders to register their online identities -- e-mail addresses, chat room, message board, and IM user names, etc. -- with state police.
In theory, it sounds like a good idea. It is, however, probably disingenuous. Certainly, it would prove difficult if not impossible to enforce. Any person on any given day can have an unlimited number of online identities. Anyone who’s ever been plagued by trolls on their sites knows how easy it is for those of a peculiar bent to, hidden behind the anonymity of a computer monitor, create as many new free e-mail accounts as they want. Add to that spoofing (for which actual providers exist), piggy-backing, wireless public access, etc., and the odds increase exponentially for anyone to get away with virtually any online activities they please. Anybody at all can pretend to be anyone they wish. Oh, they're always going to get caught sooner or later, but they can do a lot of damage in the interim.
If a sex offender gets caught and is discovered to have not registered all of his Internet personas, that’s one thing. Some of them are canny enough, however, to create so many different layers of “identity” that they’re always one step ahead of the law. And once they’re caught and their online user names discovered, it’s a bit too late then for registration to have made any difference.
Law enforcement agencies are very good at delving into the identity of the person behind an online persona. They have to have something to go on before they can start digging, though. If, for example, Bubba Dunce, registered sex offender, complies with the proposed law and registers his e-mail address (bubbadunce-at-dummail-dot-com), it will do cops no good to flag and track Bubba Dunce – not when he’s already set up new accounts as goodbubba-at-hotmail or bubbadoright-at-yahoo, and so on and so forth. If only such a law would work, it could be an important tool in apprehending the perverts who prey on children. I don't see much viability in it, though, not when there are so many ways of thwarting it.
What shall we do with today’s roster of Words Gone Wild?
pimp of the wrong hoar
We should perhaps twist those warped linguistics into something like this.
Once upon a time, there were these duffueses who lived in a dark and stormy land called Ominouse. Their self-appointed leader was a tall and skinny man with a horribel scraggly mustash. There were some placies they couldn’t go ceopt when they sneaked in. They did that one evening, sneaked in to a party they hadn’t been invited to. There were some real cool contrcats at the party, the type of guys the duffueses had no experience with. When the one with the mustash went to help himself to some beer from the refidgerator, he fidgeted a bit and wished he had taken a few minutes to reconature because he had no idea how to handle the contrcat who wanted the same beer. Hoping to sidetrack him, Mustash Duffues congratualted Contrcat Man on his glistening pompadour, to which CM took offense in a new yok minute.
“You are the pimp of the wrong hoar!” he bellowed at Duffues Boy.
“Ha!” cried the mustash. “I’m going to snish your inquesition for that horribel remark!”
When the fight was over and the dust settled, their fate was not in quesition. They were toast, and were immediately placed into the refidgerator along with the butter and jam.
Ha-ha, now that I know what I'm getting reincarnated as, I won't mind so much popping off.
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