If you are convicted of a crime - any crime, and given probation or parole, the Judge has some latitude in restricting what you can do after release - including limiting your use of computers of computer networks, requiring that you report your computer use, or even permitting the local probation officer to examine the contents of your computer or computer use (assuming you're on your OWN computer and adhere to the terms of your probation.) These restrictions however, generally disappear after a convict has fully completed their sentence, including any probationary term.
Use of and Membership in the MySpace Services is void where prohibited. By using the MySpace Services, you represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate; (b) you will maintain the accuracy of such information; (c) you are 14 years of age or older; and (d) your use of the MySpace Services does not violate any applicable law or regulation. Your profile may be deleted and your Membership may be terminated without warning, if we believe that you are under 14 years of age.
Nothing here about convictions, probation, or sex offenses. But remember, you don't have a RIGHT to use MySpace. It's a private website. As a general rule they don'tit doesn't have to let you on, although it might have liability if the precluded "membership" based upon some prohibited classification - e.g., race or national origin, but that is not entirely clear.
Indeed, in creating state "registered sex offender" laws, many states mandated that they not be used for certain discriminatory purposes. Indeed, the Connecticut sex offender registry explicitly states that "any person who uses information in this registry to injure, harass or commit a criminal act against any person included in the registry or any other person is subject to criminal prosecution".
So MySpace might be within its rights to kick off sex offenders if it wants to, although they are under no legal obligation to do so, or for that matter, to police their site for improper activity. It reportedly has already removed about 7,000 profiles of registered sex offenders.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2702, limits the legal authority of "a person or entity providing an electronic communication service to the public" to disclose either the contents of electronic communications (email or IM) or subscriber information, noting:
A provider of remote computing service or electronic communication service to the public shall not knowingly divulge a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber to or customer of such service to any governmental entity.
Of course, the statute contains certain relevant exceptions, including when the cops are armed with a subpoena, search warrant or administrative subpoena or when:
The provider reasonably believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person justifies disclosure of the information.
The statute also allows the service provider to turn over records to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children when there is a crime involving the distribution of child pornography. But nothing about providing information about registered sex offenders just cause the cops were curious.
Now let's be clear on something. MySpace always intended to shut down the registered sex offenders. MySpace always intended to share the relevant information with law enforcement. The question was whether it would do it without a warrant.
Next page: Unhappy Prosecutors
Sorely needed exposure
Bravo. Excellent bit of focus reporting. This should have been prominent in the New York Times, The Times of London, and the Paris Tribune. If more Americans (and citizens elsewhere) were made aware, in clear and precise terms, of what kind of dangers we are facing as our individual rights erode, fewer people would be so eager to waste time voting for the next American Idol and instead spend more time and thought in voting for the next American President.
The 4th Amendment...
...is such a pre-911 thing.
"Quaint" and antiquated, just like the Geneva Conventions. And for that matter, all the rest of the Constitution, too.
MySpace: deja vu
8-10 years ago America Online had the same issues MySpace has today.
As long as MySpace doesn't do any meaningful form of user verification they will continue to have problems.
The main difference I see is that because of the massive amount of money AOL spent advertising in the mainstream media (MSM), they got kid gloves treatment regarding the serious social problems there such as pedophile chat rooms, phishing, malware spreading etc.
The MSM seldom bites the hand which feeds it.
On the other hand MySpace is owned by a media conglomerate widely hated by their peers; therefore the MSM will leap at any opportunity to make MySpace look bad in the eyes of the public.