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More and more white-collar criminals are being banned from the Internet, even if their crimes didn’t occur online. And some critics say the punishment outweighs the crime.
While sex offenders have long had their web-browsing rights heavily restricted, now everyone from teenage hackers and wayward tech CEOs to people engaged in mail fraud have been given this new-fangled punishment, which means they cannot access a job forum — let alone check Facebook — without first asking a parole officer.
“What you’re doing is telling somebody, ‘I’m going to lock you into 1964, but you live in 2012,’” said Mark Schamel, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. “All you’re doing is forcing people to violate probation to live their lives in the 21st century.”
Legal experts and First Amendment advocates say that in today’s Internet-centric age — when people file taxes, get directions and keep in touch online — the punishment outweighs the crime. Worse, they say, such restrictions make it more difficult to reintegrate into society.
“What judges are doing here on the Internet is like saying to a shoplifter, ‘Not only can you not go into that store, you also can’t go on the road, the highway, or even back out of your driveway,’” said Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who specializes in white-collar crime. “It’s really draconian and overbroad.”
Cleared of a crime? It doesn’t matter — your mugshot will live forever online, unless you want to cough up hundreds of dollars to have it removed.
Websites like Mugshots.com and Arrests.org have collected millions of mug shots by scraping police department websites, and if innocent arrestees want their photos taken down, they have to spend anywhere from $399 to $1,479.
The other option is allowing the embarrassing — and potentially career-killing — image to stay near the top of their Google results for years.
“It’s legalized extortion, in my opinion,” said Anthony Rickman, a Florida attorney who said he has handled numerous inquiries from clients seeking mug shot removal.
The most hated guy on the Internet is back! And he’s aiming to create a bigger, badder version of ‘Is Anyone Up,’ the website that made him infamous.
Hunter Moore, founder of a now-shuttered “revenge porn” site Is Anyone Up, told The Daily that he is planning to launch a new online platform this fall — and he promises it will change the face of social networking.
“It’s going to be the scariest thing on the Internet,” Moore, 26, told The Daily this month. “It’s ‘Is Anyone Up’ on steroids.”
Photos by Bryan Derballa for The Daily
Porn is everywhere. So much so that new live-in summer camps have cropped up to help teens fight porn addictions with camping, fishing, horseback riding and one-on-one therapy.
“It’s chronic with most of these kids,” said [Mount Pleasant program director Manuel] Zizumbo. “By the time they come here, they’re like, ‘I have a problem. I don’t know what to do and I can’t control it. I can’t quit.’”
At $6,500 per month, Mount Pleasant accommodates boys as young as 12 for up to nine months. It was founded this year after issues with pornography kept emerging in other treatment centers for troubled boys.
“We realized we had to create something specific,” Zizumbo said.
Tag! You’re ugly.
Twenty-five percent of female Facebook users admitted to uploading unflattering pictures of their friends on purpose, according to a new survey.
“Photo sabotage is never kind, but I think we’ve all seen pictures on social networking sites that we know the ‘victim’ won’t be happy with,” said Rebecca Huggler, co-founder of MyMemory.com, which surveyed 1,500 female Facebook users over 18 years old.
The most common reason for purposely putting up a bad photo of someone else: revenge.
And even when the “victim” asked for the photo to be taken down, 20 percent of the women surveyed said they would refuse to do it.
15 minutes of Internet fame would give anyone a big head. Unless you’re Jack Blankenship and a big head is why you’re already famous.
With appearances yesterday on the “Today” show and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” the 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman has gone from Internet sensation to, well, just plain old sensation.
His claim to fame? He wields an oversized cutout of his head at Crimson Tide basketball games, capturing attention far beyond that of the targeted opposing team’s shooters.
“I might as well try to live out my 15 minutes as long as I can,” he told The Daily in New York City, where he is visiting from his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Any social media site big enough to worry a government like Burma’s or China’s can be replaced by another.
Before he was busted by police yesterday, MegaUpload’s top dog Kim Dotcom was living a jaw-dropping high life full of fast cars, private helicopters and bikini-clad babes.
Authorities in New Zealand yesterday loaded a fleet of 18 luxury vehicles — including Mercedes-Benzes, a 1959 pink Cadillac and a Rolls-Royce Phantom — worth an estimated $4.8 million onto trucks outside Dotcom’s palatial, $23 million estate nestled in green hills near Auckland.
^ Google’s homepage today
It looks like the online blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA is working — key lawmakers, including original PIPA co-sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio, either yanked support for the bills or spoke out against them for the first time.
Sen. Jim DeMint, who had remained silent on the issue, tweeted today that he opposes both SOPA and PIPA, calling them “misguided bills that will cause more harm than good.”
Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash went so far as to join the protest, disabling posting to his Facebook wall and replacing his picture with the words “SOPA” and “PIPA” crossed-out.