The US Department of Justice this week announced stringent new restrictions limiting access to the Internet for criminals on parole for offences such as child molesting, because it fears that the information available online will lead them to repeat their crimes.
Justice Department officials on the US Parole Commission announced on Monday that, as of this month, people on parole might require written permission before signing up with any Internet access provider. There will also be a requirement to provide daily logs of usage from those who are granted access to the Net.
Edward Reilly, chairman of the Commission, said officials were concerned by the availability of ?how-to-do? information that existed on Web sites. "Unrestricted access to the Internet and other online services can provide sophisticated offenders with new opportunities for crime and criminal associations," he said.
But civil liberties groups and Internet lobbyists said the restrictions were part of a government campaign to ?demonise? the Internet. The American Civil Liberties Union said that there was an increasing number of unjustified restrictions on Net use, while the Electronic Privacy Information Center argued that such rules led to an assumption that most uses of the Internet are suspect in some way.
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