Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and the attorneys general for 49 other states announced an agreement with social networking site MySpace that should help protect kids from Internet predators.
Under the terms of the agreement, MySpace will work with attorneys general to lead an Internet Safety Technical Task Force, which will work to develop age and identity verification technology.
"We as parents and members of the law enforcement community have to adapt with the ever-changing technology," Edmondson said. "As technology becomes more prevalent, so does the opportunity for predators to utilize it as a tool to track and victimize our children. Today's agreement should lead to further protection for our kids."
MySpace also agreed to develop policies that will allow parents to submit their children's e-mail addresses to a list to prohibit the e-mail address from being used to set up a MySpace account. The company will also make the default setting "private" for the Internet profiles of 16 and 17-year-old users. The private setting will ensure that only users approved by the profile's owner will be able to view and post comments to that particular profile.
Additionally, MySpace has agreed to review and respond to inappropriate content and to commit the staff and resources necessary to do so. The company will also dedicate resources to educating children and parents about Internet safety.
Today's agreement comes after more than two years of discussions between MySpace and attorneys general from across the country.
"The collaboration between the states and MySpace should serve as a model for other social networking sites," Edmondson said. "The partnership between law enforcement and Internet social networking service providers could prove to be invaluable.
"We must not forget, however, that parents are truly on the front lines in the battle to protect children from Internet predators. I hope parents will talk to their kids about the dangers of the Internet and monitor Internet use within their own homes."