More than 3,500 registered New York sex offenders were kicked off of MySpace and Facebook and other social networking sites.
The purge was part of the first database sweep since New York's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act "e-STOP" took effect last year. e-STOP is the is the first program of its kind.
According to New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office, letters were sent to the social networking companies to purge sex offenders from their sites. Bebo, Classmates.com, Flickr and Tagged were among the other networking sites notified to adopt protections against sexual predators online.
To get the NY sex offenders off of MySpace, the company used e-STOP to complement technology it already had in place to purge sex offenders from its site.
E-STOP requires convicted sex offenders to register all their e-mail addresses, screen names and other Internet identifiers with the state. New York makes the data available to social-network sites and certain other online services, which match the names with the users and make the purges, or use it to screen users.
There are 29,000 registered New York sex offenders, 7,417 of whom are level 3 offenders -- meaning they have a high risk of repeat offenses and are a threat to public safety.
The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that other states have moved to ban sex offenders from social-networking sites. A similar Illinois law takes effect Jan. 1, and a ban in North Carolina went into effect Dec. 1, 2008.
Here are the basics of the New York e-STOP law:
- Requires convicted sex offenders register all of their Internet accounts
- Authorizes the Division of Criminal Justice Services to release state sex offender Internet identifiers to social networking sites
- Requires, as a condition of probation or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender's access to the Internet where the offender's victim was a minor, the Internet was used to commit the offense, or the offender was a level 3 (highest level) offender
- Attorney General Cumo Announces Unprecedented Deal with the Nation's Largest Internet Service Providers to Block Major Sources of Child Pornography (Office of the Attorney General)
- State Senate Approves 'E-Stop' Sex Offender Bill (New York Times)
- Sex Offenses (provided by Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation)
- Sex Offender Registry (provided by Richard Lougee)