MySpace to block sex offenders

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NEW YORK - News Corp.'s MySpace said Tuesday it will offer in the next 30 days a technology to identify and block convicted sex offenders from the popular online social network.

The top online social network, which has a large following of teens attracted to its music and entertainment offerings, has also been used by adults seeking sex with underage Internet users.

The personal safety of its users while online and the protection of entertainment copyrights are viewed as two of the biggest threats to MySpace's ability to make money in the future, analysts say.

MySpace said it has struck a deal with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an expert in background verification, to build the new feature.

The new technology, called Sentinel Safe, will let MySpace search state and federal databases to seek out and delete MySpace profiles of registered sex offenders. It will be available in the next 30 days.

"We are committed to keeping sex offenders off MySpace," the site's chief security officer, Hemanshu Nigam, said in a statement.

Profiles of convicted sex offenders in the U.S. are added to a database available to authorities.

According to MySpace, there are 550,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. The company said the new service will be the first national database that brings together about 46 state sex offender registers.
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