Addressing the House of Representatives earlier this week, Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus, announced that “high-tech bounty hunting is now occurring in the United States.” He went on to laud the role of the Internet (mentioning LexisNexis in particular) in protecting children from convicted sex offenders:
The Internet allows law enforcement to track down known sex offenders in the United States. States can find convicted sex offenders that must register under the new Adam Walsh Child Safety Act. Failure of a child molester to register is a Federal crime.
So these convicted sex offenders who do not register with local authorities are now being arrested using LexisNexis Internet tracking.
Florida police were hunting for a known sex offender. They traced him to Illinois, but Illinois officials claimed the offender was dead. The Internet search tools tracked the child molester to Indiana, where he was arrested for absconding and for failure to register as a known sex offender.
Studies show that convicted sex offenders often remain dangerous and become recidivists once released from prison. Sex offenders are now being held accountable for failing to register; law enforcement is informed of known sex offenders’ whereabouts; future recidivism is prevented; and, meanwhile, children are safer because of high-tech bounty hunting.
Of course law enforcement and others have been making such use of online resources for several years now. But with all the recent headlines touting the “evils” of certain Internet destinations, I thought Congressman Poe’s positive remarks merited some attention here.