back to article US states press MySpace to give up sex offender data

Attorneys general from eight states say they have information that thousands of sex offenders have profiles on MySpace. They are concerned that predators may be using the social networking site as a virtual meeting place with their underage victims and today they authored a letter calling on the company to disclose the exact …


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  1. Graham Marsden

    Yes, but...

    So there may be paedophiles operating on Myspace and it would help law enforcement agencies protect our children if Myspace turned over their data to them.

    Great, after all, who could argue against something to protect children?

    Except witchhunts like Operation Ore comes to mind. What happens if (when!) someone is falsely "identified" because they have the same name as a genuine offender or they're a victim if ID theft or simple human error?

    And then what follows? Will the Department of Homeland Security start demanding information "just in case there's any terror suspects using Myspace to plan attacks"? Or people just expressing "Un-American sympathies"?

    This sounds to me like another data mining/ fishing expedition by those who think the best way to "protect" our liberties is by knowing everything there is to know about us and ignoring that fundamental liberty called "Presumed innocent unless proven guilty"...

  2. Lee Staniforth

    Fundamental Liberty

    ... which is often misquoted as "Presumed innocent UNTIL proven guilty"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooooh - I'm scaaaaaaared

    I'm sure no sex offender will think of getting an anonymous email address, or registering only one of several that they may have, or, and I'd be flabbergasted if any would even think of this one, start trolling other sites.

  4. Ed Deckard

    Email registration?

    "(MySpace's) statement went on to call for the passage of federal legislation requiring sex offenders to register their email address."

    Presumably so they could block said sex offenders from registering.

    How in Cthulhu's name do they propose this should be enforced? I've probably had a few dozen email accounts and the only ones that could be traced back to me (I think) are the ones from work and my ISP. Maybe someone could do some magic with static IP addresses, but then I'd just have to get on someone's unsecured wireless or dialup to preserve my email's anonymity.

    Passing the buck or just clueless? I demand an in-depth investigation from El Reg!


  5. censored

    Am I missing something?

    Last time I looked, myspace had millions of users who weren't children.

    Why should offenders be banned from using a site that may or may not bring them into more contact with children than a trip to Sainsbury?

  6. Ciaran Tracey

    Re: email registration

    Don't be silly Ed, it's easy.

    You just pass a law that says any registered sex offender caught using an e-mail address they haven't registered gets sent straight to an off-shore concentration - sorry detention camp, to be tortured for an indefinate period.

    That'll sort em

  7. Michael

    Better yet...

    Unless it violates an offender's terms of parole, then frankly, s/he can talk to 14 year old as much as s/he wants. Here's a novel concept to protect your kids. Start being their parents.

    Tell me, what kind of kid is going to meet up with a 40 year old they met on the internet? A kid that WANTS to have sex with a 40 year old, or a kid whose parents didn't educate them that there are bad people out there.

    I know it's convenient to just blame the internet while in the same breath offering your children up to some other babysitter, but maybe, just maybe, the underlying problem is parents' unwillingness to be parents.

  8. Richard

    Parental consent

    Parental Consent! What a great idea! In order to keep out the kids who shouldn't be on the site until they're older anyway, we're going to make all the adults get their parent's consent. Just one thing though, if THEY can't tell who are the kids, how will they tell who are the parents?

    Wouldn't it just be better if we policed the ones who exhibit risky behavior? Michael made a great point, too. Parents should teach their kids its not Disney World out there. But then I guess they'd have to admit their perpetual parade of little white lies, and get down to some truth. And if the parents do that before the kids are 18, they might get arrested and put on the list.

    Damn, I think we're scrood. It is in the religion of ignorance, that tyranny reigns.

    What about the 18-16 relationships and the exposed-self while urinating in public type of convicts? Does consolidating a list of these people make us safer? Aren't the really bad offenders in prison for a while anyway? If we don't allow those who get on the list for lesser offenses or even bogus ones to clear off with good behavior, won't the list eventually include us all? That would suck, cuz no one could argue for liberty when the State has us all on an offender's list.

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