MySpace seeks Judge's input on sex offenders purge
How to hand over the details
MySpace this week asked a Pennsylvania state court for advice on how it could hand over information about registered sex offenders without breaking US data protection and privacy laws.
The firm is responding to calls from state attorneys general who last month demanded that the social networking site provide any information it holds to the authorities.
The lawyers said the site should reveal how many sex offenders it has found on its website, and hand over contact details and logs of personal communications.
Specifically, they want information on subscribers who appear in Sentinel Safe, a database containing names, physical descriptions, and other identifiable characteristics of sex offenders in the United States that MySpace has worked to compile with Sentinel Tech. The aim of the database was to make it easy for the social networking site to remove known offenders.
"Sex offenders have no business being on this site," North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement at the time. "We believe MySpace has a responsibility to get them off the site."
But MySpace refused, arguing that if it were to reveal this kind of information it would be in breach of federal and state privacy laws, as well as its own privacy policies.
Two weeks later, after sustained pressure from the legal bigwigs, MySpace did a u-turn and said it would deal with the requests on a state by state basis.
The firm says merely being positively identified on the Sentinel Safe database is not enough of a reason for it to hand over a subscriber's information. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, authorities must provide search warrants.
According to reports, executive vice president and general counsel Michael Angus issued a statement on Monday this week saying he was "pleased with how this process is working". The firm notes that it wants to hand over the data, but wants to do so in a way that will not compromise any future prosecution. ®
I still don't get...
How someone decides that another person has no buisness using a given website. The internet is a rather free place, and if you don't own said website, you really shouldn't be able to have too much control over who uses it. If its really a problem, start adding a "no using social networking sites" bit in the sentance that those convicted get. Even then it shouldn't be the responsibility of the site to prevent certain people from using it.
It just really irritates me when people try to push taste and morals on the internet. It has none, and there just isn't a good way to regulate it. People should give up on improving the internet, they just need to keep 2 facts in mind when using it to be safe:
1) The internet is hostile by nature.
2) Assume everyone on the internet is a 60 year old man until proven otherwise.
If anyone wants to regulate the internet, make people get internet licenses, and let me design the tests. Nothing like the American DMV, who will let any 16 year old with half a brain drive (If you can barely pass a driving test while giving it your full attention, what happens when you decide to talk on the phone whilst driving down the highway at 90MPH?)
what about the fibbers?
I've not actually used myspace so I'm not sure how rigourous the sign up procedure is (probably have to submit to a cavity search before long) but whats to stop a sex offender simply lying about their details to avoid being kicked off?
if the database is using partial matches to recognise a sex offender, then it's going to flag hundreds, if not thousands, of false positives.
Database could be wrong
I recently found the name of a neighbor on Texas' sex offender website. The zip code was right, but the picture and address were different. I've never used My Space before. So the question is, would Don be caught up in this witch hunt?