Feeds

Sex offenders need internet access, judge rules

Banning online access 'unreasonable'

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

A British court has ruled that denying a sex offender access to the internet is an unreasonable intrusion into his civil rights.

"Nowadays it is entirely unreasonable to ban anybody from accessing the internet in their home," Mr Justice Collins ruled at the court of appeal in London, the Guardian reports.

The case stemmed from the case of Phillip Michael Jackson, 55, who was convicted of sexual offenses after he was found to have hidden his mobile phone in a shampoo bottle and used it to video a 14-year old girl in the shower. The girl raised the alarm after she spotted an LED flashing inside the bottle.

A police investigation into the affair found that Jackson's home computer contained pornographic images of children as young as four, as well as scenes of bestiality. Jackson received a community order with three years supervision in June, but appealed against the sexual offenses prevention order (SOPO) which came with his sentence.

Under the terms of the SOPO, Jackson was banned from having a computer, using a camera in public, and working with children. Police would also have been allowed to inspect his home at any time, and the sentencing judge had harsh words for Jackson.

"The judge imposing the SOPO said, 'I anticipate that you will die subject to this order – that is my wish anyway.' They were not appropriate remarks to have made," Collins told the court.

In the ruling, the court found that the original ruling had been "entirely excessive," and Jackson will now simply have to give the police access to his browsing history.

The case raises some interesting legal questions. Hackers and crackers are routinely denied internet access if convicted, as are some other forms of criminal. If the courts are setting the precedent that internet access is a fundamental right, then a lot of sentences could be up for review.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.