ATTORNEY GENERAL TO OBTAIN THE IDENTITIES OF SEX OFFENDERS ON MYSPACE
Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a subpoena on Friday to obtain the names and other identifying information of convicted sex offenders with profiles on the social networking website MySpace. The Attorney General will share the information with the Illinois Department of Corrections and probation departments across Illinois to determine whether offenders’ use of MySpace violates parole or probation conditions.
“We cannot sit idly while convicted sex offenders stalk children with confidence that their identities are hidden online,” said Madigan.
In response to requests by attorneys general around the country, MySpace contracted with Sentinel Tech Holdings to cross reference its membership database with the names of registered sex offenders. MySpace has informed the attorneys general that they had identified and deleted thousands of registered sex offenders from its website, but has preserved the offenders’ identifying information which Madigan has subpoenaed.
“This is an important step toward partnering with websites to protect children online,” said Madigan. “But parents must know that sex offenders can use an alias or misrepresent their age. We must continue to educate children on safe Internet use, and find new ways to keep predators from accessing our children.”
In 2006, the media reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or to attempt to prey on children. MySpace has agreed that it will continue to search its site for registered sex offenders and will disclose to attorneys general the names, dates of birth and email and Internet protocol (IP) addresses of any sex offenders identified on its site. Attorney General Madigan will continue to work with attorneys general around the country to ensure that MySpace is diligent in these efforts.Attorney General Madigan is working with a group of attorneys general from 52 states and territories to encourage social networking sites to better protect children from sexual predators and inappropriate content online.