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New Jersey bans sex offenders from the web

Stay offline or face 18 months in jail, $10,000 fine

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Convicted sex offenders who used websites to help them commit their crimes are to be banned from using the internet under a tough new measure signed into New Jersey law yesterday.

The bill, which was signed by the state's acting governor Richard J. Codey, will apply to offenders who used email or other electronic messages in carrying out their crimes, reports Associated Press.

Paroled sex offenders under lifetime supervision will also have to obey the new law. However, the ban exempts computer work done as part of a job or search for employment.

Sex offenders will be required to tell the state parole board about their computer access and will also be subjected to surprise examinations of their computer kit. Those caught using the internet can expect 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

In July, News Corporation-owned MySpace deleted 29,000 profiles from its site after learning they had been set up by convicted sex offenders. ®

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