The ‘‘Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006’’ was designed to help address the issue of the more than 100,000 sex offenders currently who fail to register and are ‘missing,’ with locations unknown to the public and law enforcement.
Short of changing the laws to restrict sexual predators’ access to social networking sites, what is to prevent them from soliciting children?
MySpace maintains requiring sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses with a central database could prevent sexual predators from joining their site. How logical is it to think a sexual predator that won’t provide a current address ,will provide a valid e-mail address?
One recent idea is to use software to identify sexual predators using social networking sites? At least by cross referencing the sex offender registries, law enforcement could assure the information being posted is valid.
MySpace and others have defended their positions these past few months on the difficulties to implement solutions. It could be because of potential legal issues, or it could impact their business models if they restrict access. Failure to address the issue or pretending to care, but not that much, doesn’t seem to be the solution either.
“…An editor at Wired magazine’s website said he wrote a piece of code that can help to identify sexual predators on MySpace, the popular social network operated by Fox Interactive Media, a division of media conglomerate News Corp.
Kevin Poulsen, a senior editor at the Conde Nast-owned technology magazine, reported Monday on WiredNews.com that he wrote a 1,000-line, automated script that matched the names and zip codes of MySpace members with the names and zip codes of 744 sex offenders registered with the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Registry…”
Visit some forums and there seems to be heated debates about whether the idea is new or original. Wired magazine is scheduled to release the open source code soon. Detractors can modify it or enhance it should they desire.
It initially would require some human intervention to analyze “false positives” but it would seem a far better solution then waiting for an act of congress.