Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
MySpace Speaks About Kentucky’s New Law Requiring Email Registration of Sex Offenders
(Frankfort, KY) - A press conference was held today in the Capitol Rotunda to highlight Kentucky’s new law requiring the state’s 6,245 registered sex offenders to register their “electronic mail addresses and any instant messaging, chat, or other Internet communication name identities” with the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry (Senate Bill 65 sponsored by Senator Ray Jones II, of Pikeville.) The new law allows online companies, including social networking sites, to cross-check its members against the KSP Sex Offender Registry.
“Keeping our children safe online has been a priority of my office,” said Attorney General Greg Stumbo whose office has been hosting Internet safety events across the state. “As we learned during the child sexual predator sting coordinated by the KBI last October, too many predators are ready and waiting to victimize Kentucky’s innocent children. Now that Kentucky’s registered sex offenders must submit their email addresses to the State Police, MySpace and other social networking sites can begin working to purge their networks of these potential threats to our youth.”
"Sex offenders often pose as minors on the Internet or in chat rooms in hopes of luring children into dangerous situations. This bill will make sex offenders think twice before logging on to the web with the intent to prey on children," said Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville. "With the passage of Senate Bill 65, law enforcement officers will have better tools to track sex offenders who are using the Internet, and it will allow parents a way to make sure that their children are not communicating on the Internet with a known sex offender."
Chief Security Officer for MySpace, Hemanshu Nigam of California, spoke of the importance of partnering with states in enforcing restrictions for sex offenders. “To protect all of our communities, we must require convicted sex offenders to register their online addresses in the same way that they are currently required to register their physical addresses,” said Hemanshu Nigam, Chief Security Officer for MySpace. “Kentucky is taking an important proactive step in making the Internet safer for all.”
MySpace is a popular online social networking service, allowing users to share messages, interests and photos with a growing body of friends. Users can send emails, post videos, listen to music, and write blogs. Currently, it has more than 162 million registered users. There are approximately 100 other social networking sites on the Internet.
Two recent youth surveys found:
58% admit to using the Internet unsafely, inappropriately, or illegally.
19% have met face to face with someone they first met online.
10% have met an online acquaintance of a different age face to face.
1 in 7 children admit to receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation online.
Only 5% report unwanted sexual solicitation to a parent or law enforcement.
Source: i-SAFE & National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2006
“Senate Bill 65 will give law enforcement additional tools they need to help parents protect their children from harm,” said General Norman E. Arflack, Justice & Public Safety Cabinet Secretary. “For a parent, there is no price too high to protect our children from predators.”
“As administrators of the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry, the Kentucky State Police will implement these new requirements as soon as possible,” said KSP Col. Shelby Lawson. “We appreciate the Legislature’s support of this enhancement to the Sex Offender Registry.”