New York has cracked down on registered sex offenders’ use of social networks, shutting down 2,782 Facebook accounts and 1,796 MySpace accounts.
New York governor Mario Cuomo said that the termination of the 3,500 accounts was just the start of a massive effort to enforce compliance with a 2008 New York State law that requires convicted offenders to register their email addresses and online usernames with the state.
The state of New York has more than 30,000 registered sex offenders, of which 8,106 have registered their online info.
The initiative is the first database sweep since the state's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) went into effect.
Cuomo said that 43% of New York state's 8,100 registered sex offenders had profiles on one or more of the sites, adding that information about the accounts is now being shared with law enforcement authorities.
The e-STOP system only works if criminals volunteer their social networking identities, as they are required to do within 10 days of creating a new account under penalty of new felony charges.
New York State supplied the account names to Facebook and MySpace over the past two months as part of the first stage of the e-STOP sweep.
The next step is to check whether any of the offenders violated the terms of their early release from prison by setting up a profile on the sites.