New Hampshire v. WhiteAnnotate this Case
The State appealed a superior court decision dismissing its indictment against defendant Thomas White for violating RSA 651-B:4-a (Supp. 2012), which requires registered sex offenders to report to law enforcement the creation of an "online identifier." RSA 651-B:4-a requires registered sex offenders to report to law enforcement "any changes to an existing online identifier, or the creation of any new online identifier," before using it. "[O]nline identifier" includes "electronic mail address, instant message screen name, user identification, user profile information, and chat or other Internet communication name or identity information." The indictment alleged that the defendant "did knowingly fail to . . . report a MySpace account" as required under the statute. The trial court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that the defendant used his own name and already-reported e-mail address to create the account; thus, the trial court concluded, the defendant was not required under the statute to report the account's existence. The Supreme Court reversed. Construing "user profile" to include defendant's Myspace account "also comports with the general purposes of sex offender registration and reporting requirements, including the twin goals of 'investigating crimes committed online by registered sex offenders' and discouraging registered sex offenders 'from engaging in such criminal activities.'" The Court concluded that a Myspace account includes "user profile information," which, therefore, is an "online identifier" subject to the reporting requirement of RSA 651-B:4-a.