Texas bill forces sex offenders to register online

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Registered sex offenders in Texas would have to give their e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers and Internet IDs to law enforcement under a bill in Austin.

The bill is designed to let officials monitor what they are doing in cyberspace and remove the anonymity of the Internet.

Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano sponsored the bill that passed the Senate and is on its way to the House.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today joined Shapiro and Rep. Aaron Pena of Edinburg at a Capitol news conference to support the bill.

Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit, since 2003, has led to the arrest of 105 people trying to arrange sex with investigators posing on the Internet as young children. Another 96 have been convicted of child pornography charges.

The bill also requires some high-level offenders, for crimes such as rape and assault of a child, to be banned from sites such as MySpace or Facebook as a condition of their parole.

The sex offenders registry bill is SB689.