DOJ: News Release

McGrath: MySpace to Provide Information About Sex Offenders

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath today filed an investigative demand with the popular social-networking online service MySpace, asking for names and other information about convicted sex offenders the company has identified on its website.

“Protecting children from predators, both on the Internet and in our communities, is a priority,” McGrath said. “I appreciate the cooperation of MySpace, and we have to realize that more needs to be done to stop Internet predators and educate our children about potential dangers online.”

Earlier this month attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania asked MySpace to turn over information about registered sex offenders using the site. The letter was written on behalf of a working group of attorneys general from more than 50 states and territories, including Montana.

After initially citing federal privacy laws and refusing to provide the information, MySpace agreed to release the information.

The investigative demand sent Friday requires Fox Interactive Media – the parent company of MySpace – to produce information on MySpace users identified as “registered sex offender(s) in the state of Montana,” including name, e-mail address, date the account was created and date-stamp information on when the account may have been accessed.

McGrath said the Department of Justice will use the information about registered sex offenders to look for potential parole violations by offenders who may be barred from using a computer or contacting minors

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