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16 May 2007

Hmmm... Seems like maybe the Attorneys General might need to start thinking about banning law enforcement from MySpace? [More:]

Top prosecutors from eight states want MySpace to tell them how many registered sex offenders have MySpace accounts.

Eight attorneys general sent a letter to MySpace (PDF) Monday, saying that thousands of registered sex offenders have created profiles on the social networking site.

"MySpace is a treasure trove of potential victims for child predators," North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a prepared statement. "Sex offenders have no business being on this site, and we believe MySpace has a responsibility to get them off the site."


The attorneys general said that in 2006 the media reported almost 100 crimes involving adults who used MySpace to prey or attempt to prey on children in the United States. They pointed to two cases in North Carolina, which is leading the charge to get answers from MySpace.

A former sheriff's deputy from was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old North Carolina boy he met on MySpace. A North Carolina police officer was also arrested and charged with raping a 14-year-old girl he met on MySpace.

Bolding mine, obviously
post by: taz at: 03:47 | 4 comments
I remember William Gibson's novel Virtual Light had a CourtTV - type program called Cops In Trouble; I'm still waiting for reality to catch up to his fiction.

For example, here in central Ohio (in Licking County, of all places), a former deputy got in trouble for failing to update a sex-offender registry with another former deputy's whereabouts. "Protect and Serve" meets human nature, sadly.
posted by PaxDigita 16 May | 09:54
As bad as that seems, I am far more troubled that MySpace does not seem to balking at these demands. If [insert class of people] can be banned from online social networks, what prevents them from being banned from offline social networks?
posted by mischief 16 May | 10:07
what prevents them from being banned from offline social networks?

Not much, actually. Local and state laws about where sex offenders can live have caused one instance where they wound up homeless under a bridge, and a court ruled that it's OK.
-- Story --
posted by PaxDigita 16 May | 10:13
Well, MySpace is actually saying they'll comply only with a subpoena. It's fascinating to trawl the news sites and see which of them hed the story as "MySpace agrees to turn over names" or "MySpace refuses to turn over names" (never "MySpace to comply with subpoenas if issued", i.e. the law).

I've never seen a (major media) story discuss how they intend to get anonymous sex offenders off MySpace. Isn't that just what they're going to make happen? Send all of them underground?

I am generally down with the bleeding edge represented by associated state attorneys general -- they have been reacting before Congress in a number of areas where it's been needed. This, not so much.
posted by stilicho 17 May | 02:06
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