MySpace will turn over names of sex offenders

RALEIGH, North Carolina(AP) -- MySpace.com will provide a number of state attorneys general with data on registered sex offenders who use the popular social networking Web site, the company said Monday.

Attorneys general from eight states demanded last week that the company provide data on how many registered sex offenders are using the site and where they live. MySpace initially refused, citing federal privacy laws.

MySpace obtained the data from Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., which the company partnered with in December to build a database with information on sex offenders.

"We developed 'Sentinel Safe' from scratch because there was no means to weed them out and get them off of our site," said Mike Angus, MySpace's executive vice president and general counsel.

Angus said the company, owned by media conglomerate News Corp. had always planned to share information on sex offenders it identified and has already removed about 7,000 profiles out of a total of about 180 million.

"This is no different than an offline community," he said. "We're trying to keep it safe."

Angus said the company had also made arrangements to allow law enforcement to use the Sentinel software directly.

MySpace is owned by media conglomerate News Corp.

Attorneys general in North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania asked for the Sentinel data last week.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office said in a statement the information could potentially be used to look for parole violations or help in investigations. spacer

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