Policing the Internet (updated)

Is this really the way we want to get it done? Relying on News Corp. and some databases? States Fault MySpace on Predator Issues

Some of the country’s top law enforcement officials are charging that the online social network MySpace has discovered thousands of known sex offenders using its service, but has failed to act on the information.

[…] In the letter, the officials asked MySpace to provide them with the number and names of sex offenders on MySpace, their addresses and a list of steps that the company has taken to alert law enforcement officials and other MySpace users.

“We remain concerned about the design of your site, the failure to require parental permission, and the lack of safeguards necessary to protect our children,” the attorneys general wrote.

[…] Last December, MySpace announced that it would work to remove sexual predators from the site by working with Sentinel Tech Holdings, a database company based in Miami. MySpace said that it planned to run its membership rolls against Sentinel’s Sentry database of known sex offenders.

MySpace said that it has spent the last five months testing the automated service.

In his statement, Mr. Nigam also reiterated MySpace’s support for state and federal laws that would require convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant messenger accounts with authorities. He said such a step would aid the company in keeping sex offenders off the service, which has 65 million monthly visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.

Related: eBay condemned for allowing “rampant” ivory tradepdf

Later: MySpace’s responds, essentially saying “we are not the police — show us a subpoena before we violate our users’ privacy” — MySpace Gives Details of Its Plan to Reveal Known Sex Offenders