Texas is reeling in its first convicted sex offenders for posting profiles on MySpace, after the popular social networking site handed over data requested by the attorney general, reports Computer World
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that Texas police arrested six convicted sex offenders in a crackdown after MySpace turned over the names in response to a subpoena.
The convicted sex offenders were in violation of parole or probation requirements that prohibited them from using the Internet, the Texas attorney general's office said. A seventh sex offender with a MySpace profile was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender.
Abbott underscored the scope of the problem by recounting the arrest of Patrick Joseph Blevins, a habitual sex offender who has served eight years in prison because of a 1996 conviction of indecency with a child.
"Mr. Blevins' arrest highlights the gravity and the urgency of the situation we are dealing with," Abbott said. "These predators ... will stop at nothing to find their next victims." MySpace, he added, is a magnet for sex offenders, which they can use as a "buffet of children where they can target their next victims."
The sting operation of the Cyber Crimes Unit has been very successful. Ninety-three people in Texas have been arrested and charged with arranging to meet a person they believed to be a minor but were actually members of the unit, said Abbott.