After Court Ruling, FDLE Seeks Legislative Help To Clarify Sex Offender 'Internet Identifier' Law

Dec 7, 2016
Originally published on December 6, 2016 5:25 pm

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wants to revise a law further cracking down on sex offenders that was slated to take effect a couple months ago.

Among the law's many provisions is requiring sex offenders register “internet identifiers,” like URLS and websites, before using them with the FDLE’s online system.

But, critics were concerned it did not account for accidental omissions, like if the person has to regularly visit websites for a job. And, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen says a court agreed.

“In September, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued a preliminary injunction preventing the language from going into effect on October 1st, suggesting it was overbroad and vague,” he said, during Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. “The requirement for these individuals to register internet information has been an important tool for law enforcement in combatting the exploitation of minors.”

So, Swearingen says updating the law will be a top legislative priority for him in 2017.

“We plan to propose language to clarify the definition of internet identifiers and the scope of requirement language and second, an exemption regarding the collected information,” he added.

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