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Sex Offenders To Be Barred From Myspace

'Sentinel Tech Holding Corp.' and MySpace will create a searchable, nationwide database of the U.S.'s 550,000 identified sex offenders by consulting government records. The database will facilitate the search for offenders, whose profiles will subsequently be deleted.

MySpace is host to more than 130 million personal pages, a large number of them from teenagers and containing sensitive personal information. Users of the site put up online profiles, keep in contact with one another and send messages through MySpace.

In June 2006, MySpace implemented new safety procedures to enhance security, including curbs on adults' e-mail access to users below 14 years of age. The new 'Sentinel Safe' database would contain information on registered sex felons, including their names, age and physical description concerning weight, height, eye colour, hair colour and identification marks like tattoos and scars. This proposed national database is unique in the sense that can be searched at once. The database would try to match the keyed-in details with information given on personal pages on MySpace.

MySpace stated that a dedicated staff working 24 hours daily would try to identify convicted sex felons who are logged in as users of MySpace. The staff would expel from the online community those users with matching profiles.

Myspace stipulates that all users give correct personal information. However, there is no verification of someone's identity such as by using a credit card or driver's license. The site allows for the removal of those profiles where people falsely represent themselves or which have been put up by those under the age of 14.

In a statement reported by Reuters, the chief security officer for the website, Hemanshu Nigam, emphasizes the intention of MySpace to keep sex offenders away. The company says that the US has more than half a million registered sex offenders. The new database will bring together data on sex offenders from 46 states. A record of e-mail addresses would block sex offenders' access to MySpace and other social networking websites.

Related article: SEC Imposes Trading Ban on 35 Companies

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