Illinois outlaws sex offenders from using Facebook, MySpace

Governor signs bill aimed at keeping known predators from online prowling

The state of Illinois made it a law this week that convicted sex offenders cannot use social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed Bill HB 1314 this week, making it a class 4 felony for a sex offender to use or even access a social networking site. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

"I am pleased to sign this important legislation which prohibits sex offenders from using social network sites like Facebook and MySpace," Quinn said in a statement e-mailed to Computerworld.

"I want to thank the Illinois General Assembly, who passed this bill unanimously, for their commitment to protecting the families and children of Illinois."

The new state law is geared toward making it more difficult for predators to connect with previous or new victims.

The issue, according to Dan Olds, principal analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, lies in how to put any teeth into the law.

"Whether banning convicted sex offenders from social networking is just or not can be argued, but the greater point is if it can be enforced," he added.

"It is relatively easy to build a bogus online persona so that person can still participate in any social network. The only way to have any hope of enforcing this law is to require social networks to check user identification and then cross-reference that against court records. I doubt that will happen any time soon."

Social networking sites, such as MySpace, have been dealing with the sex offender issue for some time. In 2007, MySpace came under fire when attorneys general from eight states told MySpace to turn over the names of potentially thousands of registered sex offenders who may be members of its site.

The states' head attorneys said at the time that they were "gravely concerned" that sexual predators were using the Web site to lure children to meet them offline.

They asked MySpace to tell them how many registered sex offenders they've identified on the site and what the company is doing to remove them.

Later that same year, the spotlight turned to MySpace rival Facebook when Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned that sex offenders were lurking on the increasingly popular social networking site.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sexMySpacelegalsocial networksFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Computerworld Staff

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?