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NY Clamps Down on Web Use for Sex Offenders

NY Clamps Down on Web Use for Sex Offenders

Following lightly in the steps of New Jersey, which banned Internet access for sex offenders almost completely in December, New York state is considering legislation that would block certain sex offenders from using social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The bill, backed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, was proposed on Tuesday.

According to The New York Times, the law would only ban the highest level of sex offenders, and those who had used the Internet to commit their crimes, from using social networking sites. MySpace and Facebook, though, say they would make a point of barring all levels of registered sex offenders anyway.

The law would also require sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant messenger screen names with the state, just as they do with home addresses. New York would then share this database with MySpace and Facebook, both of which have agreed to use it as a blacklist and delete accounts in violation of the law.

“I see it as a Megan’s Law for the age of the Internet,” Cuomo said. So far, the bill has seen support from both Democrats and Republicans, along with MySpace and Facebook.