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8 States Seek Sex Offender Data From MySpace.com

Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Top law enforcement officers from eight states asked MySpace.com on Monday to turn over the names of registered sex offenders who use the social networking Web site.

In a letter, the attorneys general asked MySpace to provide information on how many registered sex offenders are using the site, and where they live. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper signed the letter, along with attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Cooper's office said that in 2006, media outlets ``reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or attempt to prey on children.''

In December, MySpace announced it was partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to build a database with information on sex offenders in the United States.

``It is our understanding that the data from Sentinel reveals that thousands of known sex offenders have been confirmed as MySpace members,'' the letter said.

In an interview, Cooper said the information was provided by ``absolutely credible'' sources, whom he declined to identify.

The attorneys general also asked that MySpace describe the steps it has taken to warn users about sex offenders and remove their profiles. They asked the Web site to respond to their requests by May 29.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called the site a ``virtual playground'' for predators.

``That combination of sex offenders and children is a recipe for tragedy,'' Blumenthal said.

MySpace's policy prevents children under 14 from setting up profiles, but it relies on users to specify their ages.

The site is owned by media conglomerate News Corp.

Attorneys for MySpace said they had not seen the letter and could not immediately comment.
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