TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Texas Sex Police Arrest Seven MySpace Members

Texas Sex Police Arrest Seven MySpace Members

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 14 Jun 2007 22:41:57 -0500

Texas police arrested seven convicted sex offenders after MySpace
handed over identity details about the former members of the Internet
social network, the Texas attorney general's office said on Thursday.

The seven, whose profiles on MySpace had already been removed under an
internal program to weed out sex offenders prowling the News
Corp.-owned site, were arrested for breaking parole or probation

The arrests, which occurred over a two-week period, come after
authorities in several states asked MySpace to hand over information
on convicted sex offenders.

The seven offenders had been convicted of sexually assaulting girls as
young as 4 years old. Most victims were between 13 and 21 years old.

Six of the men were arrested because they had MySpace profiles even
though their parole conditions banned them from using the
Internet. One was arrested because he had failed to register as a sex
offender with local authorities.

MySpace began working with authorities in May after tense negotiations
over the legality of divulging its users' information.

"Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey on our children," Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement. "These convicted sex
predators established online identities on a Web site that is popular
with teenagers and children."

Most states require convicted sex offenders to register their contact
information with local authorities after being released from prison.
Lawmakers are now pushing for the registration of valid e-mail
addresses as part of the requirement.

MySpace commissioned background verification firm Sentinel Safe Tech
Holdings Corp. to create a national database of sex offenders last
year, after reports that some of its teenage users were abducted by
sex predators.

"We partnered with Sentinel Tech to build this technology to remove
registered sex offenders from our site and to ensure that law
enforcement could arrest those who were violating their probation or
parole," MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam said in a

Before the national database was created, information on convicted sex
offenders was available only locally.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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