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Senate Panel Forwards MySpace Bill Despite Industry Concerns

Posted May 15, 2007

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— A Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would require children in North Carolina to get their parents' permission before they create a profile on social networking sites.

The bill has the support of state Attorney General Roy Cooper and of Web companies, including the parent company of MySpace.

Web security consultants warned, however, that the bill would make the Internet more dangerous by creating wolves in sheep's clothing on the sites.

Jeff Schmidt, a security expert based in Ohio, said there is no way to verify the age of a minor online. He said that means predators would be able to create fake profiles as minors and then grant themselves parental permission.

The state Attorney General's Office said it is not trying to verify the age of minors, but wants assurances that a minor cannot use a social-networking Web site without the company's seeking parental consent.

Supporters say it is important to enact some form of protection now and then try to perfect it.

Cooper applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee's decision, calling the law "another important step in our fight against child predators who are using the Internet and social networking sites to try to hurt our children."

Along with attorney generals from seven other states, Cooper is asking MySpace to turn over names of registered sex offenders by May 29 and detail what it has done to protect users and delete sex offender profiles.

In December, MySpace announced it was partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to build a database with information on sex offenders in the United States. Software to identify and remove sex offenders from the site was launched in early May, the company said Monday.

22 Comments

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  • lollly52 May 15, 2007

    Talk about the wrong solution for the wrong problem. Giving your SSN out to get into MYSpace?????? Awful idea.

  • aoakley336 May 15, 2007

    I think its ridiculous that such a big deal is being made about myspace. Quit blaming myspace & tell your kids not to be morons by talking to grown men that they don't even know. Its really that simple. I just hate it when people find someone else to blame because they can't effectively raise their own children.

  • just saying May 15, 2007

    Its starts in the home folks... I do not have younger children but if I did they would not have a My Space ID no way... Read between the lines. The State is requiring My Space, and like sites, to turn over the IDs of the Bad Guys, great execpt, the bad guys don't use a real ID!!! Next they will require the sites to turn over all names and then they have your name. Just another database for them to cross reference. Kids put the everything about them selves out there and some day it going to come back and bite them, and I am not talking about bad guys I'm talking about future employment or even Big Brother.

  • erggggg May 15, 2007

    i think errbody should just calm down and realize the internet is the information highway. and when im on the highway, i should be able to drive wherever i want, regardless of who i am. its my personal duty to be a defensive driver.

  • dsdaughtry May 15, 2007

    I strongly agree with caseylynne_83! Just another attempt at big brother regulating the internet.

  • cmickey2008 May 15, 2007

    seriously i agree with you these people can not be rehabilitated, so we hang them. there is no use for them to take up space, after a few is hanged the point will get across that we are not going to take there type anymore that the kids in this world are first. myspace is a good place to keep in touch with family and friends who are in another place. but they have no way of knowing who is a predator or not thay dont ask that. last night i went and played cop on myspace i printed out the sex register for my zip code and matched 12 in a matter of min if i can do that why can't the law, instead of asking myspace to do there job. i know how it feels to be raped and the man that did it rape 4 after he got outfrom the first time. he killed 3 to keep from going back. one of the little girls lived to tell the tell. trust me it ws not my parents fault. it was the predators fault.

  • methinks May 15, 2007

    Sorry folks, but Federal law regarding identity theft will not allow you to use your SSN. Have you notice that when you go places like Social Services and ESC that they request you write it down because it can't be said too loud? I agree, no one is getting my SS# or my kid's #. The numbers they quoted do not justify this bill. Only close to 100 cases nationwide. Do you know how many people have a myspace account? Probably a few million. And if the girls lie about their age and then get some guy to try and pick them up, who is the real criminal? Are men suppose to start requesting ID's from girls who tell them they are older than they really are? The title "sex offender" gets tossed around way more than it should. That title should be for child predators, not 15 year old curious boys who takes pictures or looks at pictures or young men in their early 20s dating some girl who said she was 18, but really 14 or 15.

  • CantNoOneHoldMeDown May 15, 2007

    You know I never thought of social security numbers. I think that is a great idea. I am a big proponent in keeping myspace around, but I agree that changes must be made. And I think this is the change that must be made. Someone needs to email Roy Cooper and tell him how to do this because I don't think the man has the mental capcity to figure that out.

  • TeachermanZ May 15, 2007

    A majority of my students have a MySpace account, but many of them are below the age limit. I have even seen one student, who I know is 14, post her age as 16. I want the children protected, but I don't think this will work without something LIKE ss numbers. I hate using SS numbers, but there has to be something that can be done.

  • piperchuck May 15, 2007

    hmmmmmmm, I don't have a myspace page, and there's no way I'd build one if they required my SS number for authentication.

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