Can a person really be banned from using the internet? According to a report by the Lowell Sun, that’s exactly what a judge has ruled in the case of a 29-year-old Lowell, Massachusetts, man. Luis E. Rodriguez is accused of sending provocative images to a 14-year-old girl and enticing her to send nude photos of herself to him. Luis, who is the father of two young children (of which he has custody), admitted to knowing that the girl was a minor when he exchanged messages with her. However, he has entered a plea of not guilty associated with the charges against him.
It’s because of the nature of his alleged crimes that Luis Rodriguez has reportedly been banned from using the internet. The judge released the 29-year-old father of two on his own recognizance after his attorney argued that he should be released, due to having custody of his two young children. The man also reportedly attended the court in response to a summons, instead of being brought there while under arrest. While he is free, he is to not have any access to the internet or any internet utilities such as email, social media, chat rooms — anything that most modern people take for granted as part of everyday life.
Luis Rodriguez is not the only person to be banned from the internet over the course of its existence. In 2014, a man named Jason Willis posted prostitution ads posing as his neighbor as a mean-spirited prank, which backfired on him. The New York Daily News reports that Willis was banned from accessing the internet for 30 months as part of his sentence. Also, a 15-year-old hacker, known online as Cosmo the God, was sentenced in juvenile court to parole spanning until his 21st birthday, which included a ban on his use of the internet. He pleaded guilty to numerous felony charges including bomb threats, online impersonation, and credit card fraud.
The first person to reportedly be banned from the internet was Chris Lamprecht, also known as MinorThreat on popular social media sites. He was reportedly barred back in 1995 as part of a prison sentence when he was convicted of money laundering. He wasn’t allowed to access the internet until 2004. Do you think it’s reasonable to ban people from using the internet when they commit crimes that are either done on the internet or involving elements of the internet, or is it one of those things that is impossible to enforce?
[Photo credit: BBS Documentary]