Attorneys General Seek Information on Sex Offenders Using MySpace

Eight Attorneys General say that thousands of convicted sex offenders use the site.

by / May 15, 2007

The Attorneys General of eight states -- Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- wrote to MySpace Monday saying they have received information that thousands of convicted sex offenders have profiles on the site and asking for their names and other information.

They noted that MySpace announced in December 2006 that it had hired Sentinel Tech Holdings to check the site for registered sex offenders. Conn. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said information received by his office indicates the search disclosed thousands of offenders with MySpace profiles.

The letter asks MySpace to provide the offenders' names and where they live, as well as the total number of convicted sex criminals identified. It also asks whether sex offender profiles have been removed; if so, how many, and what steps MySpace has taken to alert law enforcement and users who communicated with the offenders.

"MySpace is a treasure trove of potential victims for child predators," said N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Sex offenders have no business being on this site, and we believe MySpace has a responsibility to get them off the site."

"I tell parents every day that MySpace is a dangerous place for teenagers," Idaho Attorney General Wasden said. "MySpace is very popular with teens and no place for registered sex offenders to be trolling for their next victim."

Pa. Attorney General Tom Corbett said that Attorneys General nationwide have been pushing MySpace to do a better job protecting children from dangers on its site, ranging from inappropriate content to online sexual predators. In 2006 alone, the media reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or attempt to prey on children.

"This mounting graphic evidence shows the need for age verification, parental permission and a higher minimum threshold at 16, as we have repeatedly requested. MySpace is more than a place for friends to meet. It's a playground for predators seeking to prey children," Blumenthal said.

The letter asks MySpace to provide the information by Tuesday, May 29.

Full version of letter (PDF-48KB)

Gina M. Scott Writer