TRENTON – Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that will make New Jersey a national leader in the fight against Internet sex predators was signed into law today by Governor Richard J. Codey. “The ease with which anyone can hide their true identity on the Internet means that we need to be especially vigilant in monitoring and limiting its used by known sex offenders,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Megan’s law helps parents to protect their children from sex offenders and this law will allow us to extend those protections to the online world.”
Under the new law, formerly bill S-1979, any individual convicted of committing a sex offense while using a computer will be prohibited from using a computer or accessing the Internet for their entire period of parole. Additionally, these restrictions could be placed on other sex offenders, regardless of whether they used a computer to facilitate their crime at the discretion of the State Parole Board.
To comply with these restrictions, offenders will be required to submit to periodic, unannounced examinations of their computer equipment and to install hardware or software systems on their computer to monitor their use. Additionally, they must inform law enforcement if they have access to or use of a computer or Internet device and will need to secure written approval from the state before accessing or using a computer or the Internet.
“While there is no absolute way to prevent all sex predators from using the Internet, this bill gives us a powerful new tool to reduce their numbers and help protect our kids. No matter what, the best way to keep children safe from Internet predators is for parents to constantly monitor their computer usage and teach them how to avoid dangerous situations, both on-line and off-line,” added Senator Turner.