Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Criminal conviction can result in severe restrictions on Internet use, and therefore earning capacity


I haven’t spent a lot of energy on the problems for people convicted of crimes – which could include wrongly convicted.  One issue is that conviction of many crimes results in great restriction or sometimes total denial of Internet use, including electronics such as smartphones and personal computers and laptops.  This is particular true of sex offender cases (which I have covered a lot on my COPA blog) and one problem is that people who obviously don’t endanger the community are placed on registries for quasi-consensual acts under literal reading of some state laws. I covered the case of Zack Anderson on the TV blog Aug. 1, and the media reports that his sentence was reduced and he was removed from the registry and can hopefully resume a career in information technology.

I would even add that the first interim job I had after my “career-ending layoff” at the end of 2001, was a job calling for the Minnesota Orchestra, part time – I did it for 14 months, and everything was paper and pencil, manual, and phone.  I was amazed that a job could exist without a computer.  (That’s a sub-theme on the screenplay I am working on now.)

On December 16, 2015, Adam Schwartz of Electronic Frontier Foundation offered a piece, “Internet free speech for people on supervised release from prison”, summarizing the history of Darren Chaker.  Typically, people on probation are prohibited from many behaviors online, and these have sometimes spilled over to interpreting criticism of public officials as expressing threats or malice.

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