Feeds

MySpace reveals child predator blocks

US states applaud safeguards

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

MySpace is mending its frayed relations with the top law enforcers of 50 US jurisdictions by beefing up measures to protect underage users from pedophiles.

Officials of the social networking site have already implemented mechanisms that delete profiles of registered sex offenders, make the profiles of 14- and 15-year-old users private and prevent them from being contacted by unknown adult users. MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Fox Interactive Media, also reviews every image, video and Group offered on the site and the content, presumably for content that might not be appropriate for minors.

The measures were announced in a joint press-release issued by MySpace and attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia. The group hug, which praised MySpace for its efforts to protect children, is a far cry from comments that many of the same officials made in May, when they said the site needed to do more to protect children.

In May, for instance, North Carolina AG Roy Cooper trawled through news accounts from 2006 to find more than 100 criminal incidents of adults using MySpace "to prey or attempt to prey on children." That same month, MySpace faced blistering criticism after refusing to to turn over the data on users who are registered sex offenders because, it argued, law enforcement officials hadn't followed the required legal process. The AG offices eventually updated their requests and MySpace turned over the information.

MySpace is by no means the only Web 2.0 property to come to blows with law enforcers over the safety of its underage users. In September, New York AG Andrew Cuomo issued a subpoena to Facebook after investigators posing as young teenagers received sexual advances from adult users and were exposed to pornographic and obscene content. Facebook officials frequently failed to respond when alerted to complaints about the incidents, Cuomo's office said at the time.

Since then, Facebook has agreed to take action against such complaints within 72 hours and allow an independent third party to examine its procedures for vetting complaints.

But Monday's announcement provided a veiled suggestion that Facebook may need to do still more to appease law enforcers: "The attorneys general called on other social networking sites and internet providers with community features to adopt the principles and bring their sites up to par with MySpace in terms of safety," the release stated.

Other measures that MySpace has put in place include a 24-hour hotline for law enforcement officials. The site has also agreed to deploy additional safeguards, including software that does a better job of enforcing the site's minimum age policy of 14. It has also agreed to "explore" the use of technologies that "can help make users more safe and secure including age verification." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.