MySpace: AGs must follow federal law

John O'Brien May 16, 2007, 5:00pm


The social networking site says the attorneys general who requested information about its members did not follow the proper legal processes.

In a pair of statements Tuesday, the company said it would cooperate with attorneys general as long as they follow federal law and subpoena the names of the individuals (convicted sex offenders with MySpace profiles) about whom they are seeking information.

That wasn't good enough for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, one of eight attorneys general who requested in a letter the names and addresses of the possibly thousands of sex offenders on MySpace.

"I do believe it is disingenuous and disappointing because much of the information that we have sought, specifically the numbers of convicted sex offenders on the site require no subpoena or any other compulsory process," Blumenthal said in a report by the New York Times. "We have a valid and viable need to know about convicted sexual offenders who may pose a threat to children."

MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam told The Associated Press that the site has been using software to identify and remove sex offenders for nearly two weeks, and MySpace has "removed every registered sex offender that we identified out of our more than 175 million profiles,"

Also in the report, Christian Genetski, an attorney who has represented MySpace, said the company must provide information after a subpoena, court order or search warrant because of federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act

"My understanding is (the attorneys general) want the private personal information, and that's clearly the information the ECPA protects," Genetski said in the report.

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