Last week, a coalition of U.S. law enforcement authorities criticized the News Corp.-owned (NYSE:NWSA – news) service for not divulging information from profiles of convicted sex offenders lurking on MySpace.
MySpace said it had identified, blocked and deleted “a few thousand” such profiles, but had declined to hand over the information, citing a disclosure law barring it from giving away the information without a court order. By last Wednesday, MySpace and the attorneys general group reached an agreement.
But on Monday, MySpace officials said their intent was always to share the information with prosecutors. “We had this information safeguarded and ready to hand over,” said Mike Angus, executive vice president and general counsel for Fox Interactive Media, which owns MySpace. “But we wanted to make sure that each state got the information through a legal process that allowed them to use it to prosecute and lock up these sexual predators. The last thing we wanted was for one of these predators to get off on a technicality.”
Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, also sounded a cautious note of conciliation. “Our focus is not on whether MySpace rebuffed or rejected our demands, it is on how complete and accurate the information is now,” he said. “We’re satisfied that MySpace intends to cooperate.”