Rowe: State Demands Myspace Turn Over Information On Registered Sex Offenders

June 27, 2007

Yesterday, Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe filed an investigative demand with Fox Interactive Media, the parent company of the popular online social networking site In December 2006 Myspace hired Sentinel Tech Holdings to develop a tool to check the site for registered sex offenders. Sentinel Tech's SAFE tool uncovered thousands of registered sex offenders with profiles on the site.

"Protecting our children from predators online is as important as protecting them in our neighborhoods." Rowe stated. "Registered sex offenders in Maine may be violating conditions of release by having contact with children through social networking sites. We need to put a stop to this behavior."

The letter from Attorney General Rowe demands that all subscriber information pertaining to any Myspace user, identified through the Sentinel SAFE tool as a registered sex offender in Maine, be provided to the Attorney General. Such information includes the users: name, postal code, country, email address, the date the account was created, the IP address for the computer the account was created with and logs showing IP address and date stamps for account access. It also demand that the identification of registered sex offenders in Maine that have been deleted from Myspace.

"By providing information on registered sex offenders who are using the site, Myspace can help protect Maine children. Simply deleting the profiles of sex offenders does not go far enough." Rowe added. "Law enforcement needs this information to make sure that children are safe and sex offenders are not violating conditions of their release."

Nationwide there have been more than 7,000 registered sex offenders found to have Myspace profiles. This does not include offenders who are using fake identities to set up their account. "While the information Myspace provides will help to protect kids, it is no substitute for parents vigilantly monitoring who their children are talking to online." Rowe said.

Carlos Diaz, Assistant Attorney General, (207) 822-0259
David Loughran, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, (207) 626-8577