Social networking site MySpace's systematic purge of sex offenders from its membership has identified more than 29,000 people on states' registries using their real names on the network, the Attorneys General for Connecticut and North Carolina stated this week.
The states' top prosecutors highlighted the data amongst calls for significantly stronger legislation to prevent people on the state's sex offender registry from using social networking sites and enhance penalties for predators that use the Internet to solicit minors. The Attorney General for North Carolina, Roy Cooper, used the data to garner support for a bill (PDF) in that state's Senate that aims to accomplish those goals, while Connecticut's Attorney General took MySpace to task for not implementing better age verification techniques.
"These numbers dispel any doubt that age verification and other reforms are overdue and undeniable," AG Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. "Steadfast opposition by MySpace to age verification and parental permission for minors has no shred of credibility."
MySpace teamed with background-check firm Sentinel Tech Holdings in December to create a system that would help the firm identify registered sex offenders using the MySpace service. In May, the company had identified an initial 7,000 offenders on the social network using their own names, after a group representing the majority of Attorneys General in the United States demanded the data.
The social-networking company has also called for legislation that would require that registered sexual offenders give up any online identities to authorities. MySpace did not respond to requests for comment.
Posted by: Robert Lemos