N.Y. AG secures removal of sex offenders from online gaming platforms

By Bryan Cohen | Dec 19, 2012

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday that more than 2,100 additional accounts of registered sex offenders were recently removed from online gaming platforms.

"Operation: Game Over" is an initiative led by Schneiderman's office to protect children from predators on online gaming networks. Five gaming companies, including THQ Inc., Funcom, NCSOFT Corporation and Gaia Online agreed to participate in the program.

Earlier this year, Schneiderman's office secured the removal of 3,500 accounts of registered sex offenders as part of an agreement with other major gaming companies, including Blizzard Entertainment, Apple and Warner Brothers.

"The internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators," Schneiderman said. "That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims. I applaud the online gaming companies that have purged registered sex offenders from their networks in time for the holiday season. Together, we are making the online community a safer place for the children of New York."

Operation: Game Over applies the state's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act to online gaming platforms. The law requires that convicted sex offenders register all screen names, email addresses and other internet identifiers with the state. Many online video game platforms let users send internet messages to other players anonymously.

Operation: Game Over seeks to prevent incidents of sexual predators using text and voice chat functions in online gaming services to lure underage victims across the United States.

The state of New York has more than 34,000 registered sex offenders.

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