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Texas bill calls for sex offenders to register game accounts

New bill could prevent high risk offenders from using social network services

A new bill to be debated by the Texas House of Representatives would require convicted sex offenders to register with state officials any and all account names they use on online networks.

As originally introduced bill HB 22 makes no specific mention of gaming networks, but appears to encompass services such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as well as social networking sites such as Facebook and massively multiplayer online titles such as Second Life and World of WarCraft.

A House Committee report on the bill goes further in prohibiting high risk offenders from using the internet to access any kind of social networking site, as well as pornographic material and any internet access that allows communications with those under the age of eighteen.

The bill has yet to be passed by either the Texas House of Representatives or the Senate. The third stage in the seven step process to becoming law will see the bill being voted on by the House. The bill passed the second stage out of House committee by a unanimous five votes.

Texas is one of the first states to consider such a bill, following increasing police and media concern over the use of the internet for 'grooming' by sex offenders.

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