It has recently been reported that Attorneys General from about a dozen US States, including Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania have demanded that News Corporation's social networking site MySpace voluntarily deliver a list of all sex offenders who …
Protection and due process
Why can the AGs not just write up a subpoena, it is not a hard task for them to do. All MySpace are doing is protecting themselves from legal action should data be given. You cannot expect any company to put themselves in a position where they are open to being sued by any group or individual who's data they give to law enforcement agencies.
I am sure MySpace would be more that happy to help authorities, all they are asking for is a piece of paper that will protect them. They are not deliberately defending offenders nor are they complicit in the actions of sex offenders. All of the headache would go away if the AG office would follow due process and provide MySpace (and any other company/service provider in a similar situation) with a valid subpoena then no-one can cry foul play.
Too many people view a subpoena as a document delivered to force an action, in a lot of situations like this it should be viewed a document with two purposes:
1) To protect any party from whom information is requested to facilitate in the tracking of and possible prosecution of anyone commiting criminal activity.
2) To ensure that any defense attourney cannot have any evidence gathered discounted by claiming it was gained illegally. Thus, giving an added possibility of a criminal escaping justice.
This really irks me when polititions "demand" things like this for their ratings.
Seriously, forcing them to turn over the data PUBLICLY? Why don't you TELL the pedophiles to fake their name and information next time?
Think about it, LET the pedophiles think they have nothing to worry about; instead of wiping out their legitimate accounts, why not put them on a seperate "fake" network? or record ALL their messages sent and received?
Now we will have a much larger problem on our hands.... anonymous pedophiles; they were stupid the first time, so lets make sure they get it right?
...stupidity rides on.
What do they have to hide though?
If it is such a small task they must clearly be hideing somthing. There must be somthing they dont want us to know. When somebody asks for somthing so simple and yet so vital to the public good and upholding the law why not just sort it out and hand it over?
What are the AG trying to do not bothering with a subpoena? Its not like they wouldent get one, unless they shouldent be having the infomation.
Reason? Who needs reason?
The worst part isn't that they demanded data without authority, or that they criticised MySpace for not caving in. It is that there doesn't seem to be any valid reason for wanting it in the first place. Details of people who can no longer use the site? Who is that going to help? Will it help the police catch people who no longer have the chance to do anything wrong? Will it help parents protect their children from people who they can't talk to anymore anyway?
If they had given some kind of vaild reason for WHY they wanted the data I might have more sympathy. But this just smacks of someone deciding it sounded like a good idea and then throwing a tantrum when they didn't get their way, without ever actually thinking about what they were asking or why they were asking it.
As a friend pointed out to me recently...
"I see that you are still hung up on that 'presumption of innocence' thing. Fuggedaboudit. You'll be much happier once you just accept that it is no longer a valid legal principle in this country."
About time we had governing bodies to govern the governing bodies maybe?
It's quite clear that the AG (once again) isn't exactly sure about what it wants people to do, is it really any suprise that myspace maybe freaked and froze up a bit?
Surely it would be a better solution for the AG to give Myspace the list of offenders, and then Myspace can check all new registrations against this list. If anything suspicous is noticed, the account is put into a state of limbo until an administrator checks it out?
MySpace: deja vu
8-10 years ago America Online had the same issues MySpace has today.
As long as MySpace doesn't do any meaningful form of user verification they will continue to have problems.
The main difference I see is that because of the massive amount of money AOL spent advertising in the mainstream media (MSM), they got kid gloves treatment regarding the serious social problems there such as pedophile chat rooms, phishing, malware spreading etc.
The MSM seldom bites the hand which feeds it.
On the other hand MySpace is owned by a media conglomerate widely hated by their peers; therefore the MSM will leap at any opportunity to make MySpace look bad in the eyes of the public.
The 4th Amendment...
...is such a pre-911 thing.
"Quaint" and antiquated, just like the Geneva Conventions. And for that matter, all the rest of the Constitution, too.
Sorely needed exposure
Bravo. Excellent bit of focus reporting. This should have been prominent in the New York Times, The Times of London, and the Paris Tribune. If more Americans (and citizens elsewhere) were made aware, in clear and precise terms, of what kind of dangers we are facing as our individual rights erode, fewer people would be so eager to waste time voting for the next American Idol and instead spend more time and thought in voting for the next American President.