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A few clicks of the mouse pull up a map with my house designated by a push pin icon surrounded by a red circle, sitting dead center like a bull’s-eye. The map tells me that there are no registered sex offenders living within a mile of me. A few more clicks expand the radius of the circle to five miles, and this time the map identifies 23 registered sex offenders living in the vicinity. The offenders are identified by name, address, often a photograph, and a link to a site where I can find out the nature of the offenders’ crimes.

Every state has a sex offender registry. A National Sex Offender Public Website is maintained by the Department of Justice and links information from all 50 states, several U.S. territories, and a large number of Indian tribes. Aside from the voyeuristic appeal of knowing your neighbors’ secrets, there are some legitimate reasons for public disclosure of sex offender

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