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6/15/2007
06:46 PM
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Sex Offenders With MySpace Profiles Arrested

The two-week operation was conducted by the Attorney General's Cyber Crimes and Fugitive Units.

Seven previously convicted sex offenders who had opened MySpace accounts have been arrested, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on Thursday.

Six of the previously convicted sex offenders were arrested for violating parole or probation requirements that they not use the Internet. The seventh was a parole violator who had failed to register as sex offender following a 1996 conviction for the aggravated sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl.

The two-week operation was conducted by the Attorney General's Cyber Crimes and Fugitive Units, which jointly have arrested almost 600 sex offenders since the Cyber Crimes Unit was created in 2003.

There are about 550,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. Given current incarceration rates, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that one of every 15 persons (6.6%) in the United States will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.

Abbott issued a subpoena in May demanding information on registered sex offenders with MySpace member profiles. MySpace complied by identifying members with entries in the Sentinel Safe database, which contains information on registered sex offenders.

In December 2006, MySpace and Sentinel Tech Holding announced a joint effort to create the Sentinel Safe database as a way to identify and remove registered sex offenders from the MySpace community.

Just over a year ago in an effort to separate sex offenders from social networking sites, MySpace hired Hemanshu Nigam, formerly the director of consumer security outreach and child-safe computing at Microsoft, as chief security officer.

The MySpace Web site reportedly registers about 500,000 new profiles every day.

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