New York officials started sending letters Wednesday to more than 25,000 registered sex offenders, telling them to disclose all their Internet user names as part of an effort to keep them from trolling social networking Web sites to meet children. “The playground of today is not just on the street corner,” state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. “The playground of today is cyberspace.” Those screen names will be made available to networking sites. Cuomo, who pushed the measure, said two popular sites, MySpace and Facebook, have agreed to use the information to remove those users.
A new law signed Wednesday by Gov. David Paterson also generally prohibits various offenders on parole, probation or conditional discharge from using the Internet to contact anyone under 18 or visiting pornographic Web sites. That includes some of the 6,660 higher risk, or Level 3 offenders, others whose offenses were against children and those who used the Internet to facilitate their crimes.