RealTime IT News

MySpace Deletes More Sex Offenders

MySpace has deleted another 29,000 sex offender member profiles from its network, Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam confirmed today.

The announcement follows MySpace's July 11 decision to hand over information on the very latest sex offenders that have joined the service to New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. The social network did so in response to a June 29 subpoena for the information.

David Wald, a spokesman for the New Jersey Attorney General's office, told internetnews.com he could not confirm whether today's announcement was the result of Milgram's June subpoena.

"We did have information that they were continuing to find new profiles on their network," Wald told internetnews.com. He said it's unclear whether the announcement will result in yet another subpoena.

Nigam said in a statement that the social network, under a partnership with online verification firm Sentinel Tech, used technology they developed to remove the registered sex offenders.

The technology collects background information on hundreds of thousands of convicted sex offenders in individual state and federal databases. The Sentinel database is frequently updated with identifiable details of convicted sex offenders, including name, age and physical attributes, and it compares user profiles in real-time with records of offenders.

But while technology helps MySpace adhere to its zero-tolerance policy for sex offenders, sources close to the issue told internetnews.com that this won't be solved until states pass laws forcing predators to register their e-mail addresses the same way they have to register street addresses.

On June 29, Milgram served the Fox Interactive Media (FIM) company a subpoena for information on any accounts held by sex offenders that have been identified and deleted since the last time the state requested such information in May.

Milgram issued the subpoena a month after attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania wrote a letter to FIM requesting details on what it has done to alert other MySpace users who have communicated with these offenders.

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

FIM complied with the letter a week later.