Attorneys General To Get Info On Thousands Of Sex Offenders Found On Myspace

New York, NY -- MySpace will turn over names and other information about convicted sex offenders the company has identified on its website, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today.

In New York, Attorney General Cuomo will share this information about registered sex offenders with law enforcement. The data can be used to look for potential parole violations by offenders who may be barred from using a computer or contacting minors.

“Working together, my office and MySpace have taken another strong step to help protect our children, and reign in sexual predators using the internet to find their prey,” said Cuomo. “Hopefully, more online communities will follow the lead of MySpace and make a stronger effort to police themselves.”

Following a letter sent by state attorneys general to MySpace on May 14 requesting that the company turn over information about sex offenders, MySpace confirmed that Sentinel Tech Holdings has already identified thousands of registered sex offenders as members of the popular social networking site. MySpace has deleted these users from its site but has preserved information about them and will provide it to the attorneys general.

MySpace will continue to search its site for registered sex offenders, and will give the states information about all offenders found on its site including their email and IP addresses. MySpace has previously taken other steps to improve safety on its site such as screening profiles for inappropriate content and making certain profiles private.

The attorneys general commended MySpace for taking these important safety steps.

The fact that many sex offenders have used MySpace underscores how dangerous social networking sites can be for children, the attorneys general said. In 2006 alone, the media reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or to attempt to prey on children.

The states remain concerned about other sex offenders who may be on the site using an alias and misrepresenting their age.

Since May of 2006, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal have been leading a group of attorneys general from 52 states and territories, including New York, who are pushing social networking sites to do a better job protecting children from threats such as sexual predators and inappropriate content.