Facebook forced to unmask sex offenders
New Jersey State Attorney General Anne Milgram has subpoenaed Facebook to discover whether convicted sex offenders in the state have profiles on the popular social networking site.
Milgram issued the subpoena to Facebook, along with letters to 11 other social networking sites, asking them to compare member accounts against a list of sex offenders.
Facebook has until 12 October to respond to the subpoena, which asks for all information concerning any user identified as a convicted sex offender.
The Attorney General’s office says the subpoena is similar to one issued earlier this year to MySpace, which went on to identify 268 registered sex offenders with MySpace accounts in New Jersey.
The move comes a week after New York State’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed Facebook, accusing the site of not keeping young users safe from sexual predators and not responding to user complaints.
A joint 50-state investigation is looking into Facebook, MySpace and other social networks over concerns they may fall short in protecting young users.
The investigation would probably find sympathy in the UK as rumours continue to fly that convicted child murderer Ian Huntley has his own Facebook profile, set up by a friend.
The unlikely rumour has caused a storm of protest and seen Facebook users establish a “Get the child murderer Ian Huntley off Facebook” group.