- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — MySpace, the popular online hangout that has drawn complaints about sexual predators and other dangers to teens, said yesterday that it will develop technologies to help block convicted sex offenders.

MySpace is partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to build a database containing names, physical descriptions and other identifiable details on sex offenders in the United States. The News Corp. site, however, stopped short of adopting Sentinel’s technology for verifying the ages and identities of its users.

The database, to be called Sentinel Safe, “will allow us to aggregate all publicly available sex-offender databases into a real-time searchable form, making it easy to cross-reference and remove known registered sex offenders from the MySpace community,” said Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace’s chief security officer.

Parents, school administrators and law-enforcement authorities have become increasingly worried that teens are finding trouble at social-networking sites, which provide tools for messaging, sharing photos and creating personal pages known as profiles.

The aim of such sites is for users to expand their circles of friends — and critics say those circles sometimes include predators, including those previously convicted of sexual crimes.

John Cardillo, the security company’s chief executive, said the database will give MySpace and other sites a tool to help keep out sex offenders.

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