State Officials Ask MySpace To Release Sex Offender Names


Sexual predators could be using the popular to lure children into dangerous face-to-face meetings, say attorneys general from eight states who want to crack down on the Web site, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. MySpace said that it had worked with an online security company to discover hundreds of registered sex offenders with MySpace profiles and had taken steps to block their access to the site. That’s not enough, said attorneys general from Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Connecticut, who called on MySpace yesterday to reveal the names of those predators. “Perhaps thousands more sexual predators – not registered or using fictitious names – are lurking on your Web site,” the attorneys general said. “We remain concerned about the design of your site, the failure to require parental permission, and the lack of safeguards necessary to protect our children.”

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann said that by keeping the names private, MySpace is making it more difficult for him and local police officials to monitor sexual predators. “I am in charge of consumer protection in this state, and this is a consumer-protection issue,” he said. “MySpace is making it harder.” The American Civil Liberties Union said that unless Dann is working on a specific criminal case, asking MySpace to expose predators who may be properly using the Web site is unwarranted. Said an ACLU official: “what we’re sliding into is looking at people as guilty because of prior convictions. And that is a very dangerous trend.”


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