New York purges another 2,100 sex offender-held game accounts

By on December 20, 2012, 4:30 PM

New York State has teamed up with several major online game services to purge another 2,100 accounts held by registered sex offenders. Announced by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman earlier this year, the state's "Operation: Game Over" initiative aims to block known "sexual predators" from accessing online gaming networks, which they could use to target underage victims with integrated text and voice chat features.

In one example, Schneiderman pointed to an event that occurred last year, where a 19-year-old Monroe County sex offender befriended a 12-year-old boy on Xbox Live. After gaining his trust over a three-month period, the 19-year-old invited the boy to his house where police say sexual abuse took place. Schneiderman said this isn't an isolated situation either, as similar incidents purportedly occur across the country.

New York's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) requires convicted sex offenders to register all of their email addresses, screen names and other online identities with the state. That information is passed along to sites and services so they can show predators to the door, and Operation: Game Over is said to be the first initiative where e-STOP has been applied to online gaming platforms.

The latest crackdown follows the removal of 3,580 sex offender-created game accounts in April. That purging included users across services owned by Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard, EA, Disney, Warner Brothers and Sony, while this month's banishing involved accounts held with THQ, Gaia Online, NCSoft and Funcom. It also follows a 2009 effort that led to the deletion of more than 3,500 Facebook and MySpace accounts.

"The Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, and we must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims," Schneiderman said. "I applaud the online gaming companies that have purged registered sex offenders from their networks in time for the holiday season."




User Comments: 31

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1 person liked this | lipe123 said:

While this is kind of great it does beg the question, whats to stop them from just opening a new email account or 6 to the tune of "notapedo@gmail.com" and sign up to anything/everything with that?

You'd have to spy on their computers 24/7 to ensure that they don't just use two sets of accounts.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

This is piss on yourself retarded. A stupid idea from stupid old people who don't understand how things work. If you were a gamer and someone killed your xbox live or steam account how long would it take before you had another account? There's no way to enforce this, and it's stupid to try.

What about sex offenders who have kids who play games? Should you block their accounts?

Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness right? Unless you're a sex offender, then you can't play video games.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know restricting someones liberties, can drive them to do even worse things.

I can neither approve or disapprove of these measures. I only hope those that are being restricted, were rightfully judged and truly deserve the lifetime sentence placed upon them. I think someones gaming rights should not be restricted unless it goes before a judge first. Let a judge decide whether or not an individual is a danger to someone else.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

While this is kind of great it does beg the question, whats to stop them from just opening a new email account or 6 to the tune of "notapedo@gmail.com" and sign up to anything/everything with that?

You'd have to spy on their computers 24/7 to ensure that they don't just use two sets of accounts.

You haven't been on monitored probation/parole. The same things that stop people from going out drinking and then trying to get away with it stop people in these circumstances. Your life gets increasingly difficult if you break the rules until you go back to jail/get re-sentenced. I'm not suggesting there aren't people who try to beat the system in either case, but these restrictions to limit the activity of some people.

Guest said:

I blame the parents for allowing this to happen. When I was 13, my father knew exactly where I was at and who with. But at the same time I was already 5"10 160 and built like a truck. But again whats stopping these people from making new accounts? The sex offender list should work with ISP's and provide static IP addresses to those dwellings, and all chat logs should be monitored for illegal behavior. Or limit when they would be able to access the internet. Otherwise, useless time spent.

Guest said:

While this seems on the surface a sound idea it makes me wonder if the majority of these people are not just on their computer to play games. And if this outlet is taken away from them might they not turn to more sinister activities? There are always unintended consequences with actions like this.

Guest said:

This seriously sounds like "think of the children" thing. Honestly it seems its targeting ALL sex offenders on the registry even those not related at all to predatory offences. Not sure about it but I hear it is really easy to get on the registry in the states.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not sure about it but I hear it is really easy to get on the registry in the states.
It is!!

Any accusation will just about land you a conviction. The term "Innocent until proven guilty", means nothing this day and age.

Guest said:

In before they are powerless because kiddie fiddlers moved on to classic games that dont require a login, such as quake 3 or the doom source port Zandronum (which is full of kiddies btw).

Lurker101 said:

Great, so instead of being able to sit around, mindlessly playing video games and not hurting anybody, they'll have this option closed to them and have to go out raping people again?

Sir Alex Ice Sir Alex Ice said:

This action is plain unconstitutional and clearly violates several rights, such as the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, the right to be judged by a jury of your pears.

Assuming the sex offender will commit a crime and punishing them in advance is against many laws and articles in the Constitution. Should they be watched? Of course they should, they are criminals prone to repeat their crime, for God's sake! Being prone to do something does not mean they will follow through and do it.

The purpose of society is to punish and rehabilitate, not to punish and punish some more.

David Andrews David Andrews said:

Operation: Game Over..... Lol

Anyway, if these sex offenders are considered to be such a risk to the vulnerable, then cut off their Internet, surely. Hasn't anyone heard of VPNs, anonymous email accounts, etc.?

fimbles fimbles said:

What a stupid idea...

Put sex offenders pictures up on national tv scrolling under popular programs. Major city billboards would also be a great move. newspapers ect.

Knowing who these people and publicly naming and shaming them would be a great deterrent in my opinion.

MilwaukeeMike said:

(Sir Alex Ice... sex offenders to commit multiple crimes and the preumption comes from the guilt of their first crime).

You guys.... Read this carefully and remember it. Lawmakers don't care if the laws actually work. They care if they LOOK good. Come election time they can get up on their soapbox and talk about how they are protecting our children. That's what this is about... it's win-win for them. Who's going to stand up and defend sex-offenders (not that anyone should), but it does make them free to pass laws against them that don't work, instead of putting some work into it and passing a law that does work. This one is cheap, that's why it's chosen.

Sadly, the same thing is going to happen with gun control. They're going to pass some law that says clips can only hold X number of bullets and think it's going to stop mass shootings. No... he'll just carry another clip, or use another gun, or make a pipe bomb. Notice there's no talk about improving metal health care... cause thats' expensive, difficult and doesn't sell as well in November.

But our leaders can make commercials about protecting our children, and those of us that believe them can sleep better.

PinothyJ said:

While this is kind of great it does beg the question, whats to stop them from just opening a new email account or 6 to the tune of "notapedo@gmail.com" and sign up to anything/everything with that?

You'd have to spy on their computers 24/7 to ensure that they don't just use two sets of accounts.

That is raising a question and not begging it. To 'beg the question' is to argue a point where the conclusion in included in the premise and is a logical fallacy.

And I am sure they have thought of this and I have not idea how they would combat it but it is short-sighted to slam them for trying...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Knowing who these people and publicly naming and shaming them would be a great deterrent in my opinion.
That could also give them a push in going postal. Before such public humiliation, you would most certainly want them detained and give them an option for redemption in the end.

Guest said:

MilwaukeeMike - I have a agree with you. Especially with the Newtown disaster. Politicians will rant and rave and work on gun control laws. Everyone ignores mental heath and support for familes in these situations. Everyone forgets, the mom owned the guns legally. So we do a knee jerk reaction and job well done. If we really want to work on preventing these things, we should work on the humans. Healthcare as it is now is sickcare, true healthcare would offer preventative services, for the body and the mind. That will not eliminate these things but I think it would help much more than just reducing the amount of ammo a legally purchased gun holds.

Ok, I'll step down from the soapbox...

fimbles fimbles said:

That could also give them a push in going postal. Before such public humiliation, you would most certainly want them detained and give them an option for redemption in the end.

Good point.

Sadly the only really safe way to avoid retribution or reoffending would be to kill them all.

Not sure on how legal that is though....

A running man style gameshow would be awesome!

Tygerstrike said:

I see all these posts on how its illegal and unconstitutional. Guess what. Im betting you never had to deal with being molested. Or have a family member that was. I applaud this action. The molesters going online to cultivate more victims being cut off is a blessing as far as Im concernd. Take away EVERY opportunity that these perverts have to attack a child again. Its neither illegal nor unconstitutional given that EVERY person on parole or probation gives up thier personal rights for the gift of Freedom from jail. I think even stronger measures should be put into place. Maybe a ankle monitor that delivers a very nasty shock if they get withing 100ft of a school. Definatly some form of software that monitors what sites they visit. I know you as a individual may think this is harsh, but Ive had to deal witha molester harming my family. As far as Im concernd if they touch a child in that way they should just be taken behind the court house and shot. No trial, no due process.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I see all these posts on how its illegal and unconstitutional. Guess what. I'm betting you never had to deal with being molested. Or have a family member that was. I applaud this action. The molesters going online to cultivate more victims being cut off is a blessing as far as I'm concerned. Take away EVERY opportunity that these perverts have to attack a child again.
I would agree if attacking children was what landed them the title of "Sex Offender". Lets not forget that some were children themselves when they received the title. People do grow up and some learn their lesson on the first offense. I'm not gonna sit here and condemn someone for a one time incident, when I know not whether they have reformed. And its not right for the gaming industry to pass this judgment either.

Tygerstrike said:

@Cliff

I can in one aspect agree that those offenders who were children when they commited thier act, MAY, grow out of it. However there are WAY too many articles and papers specificly in the psychology field that argue otherwise. More often then not the child offenders just grow up to be adult offenders. As for the the gaming industry getting involved, how is it not thier right to pass judgment on ppl who use thier product to molest children? I would think that they should be the first group to act or speak out on the subject. Doing so shows that they understand that children use thier product and they really dont want the lawsuit from angry parents if that parents child gets molested because they played a video game. Its a harsh reality when you note that these ppl who have sexually molested children lose thier rights. But it is what it is. They have harmed children in a way a child should never be harmed. The lose of personal freedoms is a very small price to pay for them.

Guest said:

Wow. This is some bullshit. I'm not a sex offender in any way or in any way sympathetic to them, but this degree of control is NOT OKAY. Who's to stop these companies from labeling whomever they want as a "sex offender"? Or from expanding their inventory to different types of criminals? This system also assumes that no one is wrongly accused of being a sex offender. Please tell me that other people see how dangerous this is/can be.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As for the the gaming industry getting involved, how is it not their right to pass judgment on ppl who use their product to molest children?
Thats just it, they don't so they are targeting everyone labeled as a sex offender. And that is not fair to those who don't intend on repeating the same offense. Honestly you should be happy these people are at home playing video games instead of prowling the streets. I have a better idea, why don't we all go home and teach our kids about the dangers involved in meeting new people and quit trying to control things from the wrong end.

One thing you should know about a predator, they usually find their prey. Limiting their access will not stop them.

The lose of personal freedoms is a very small price to pay for them.
Is it? Lets start with taking your freedom, because you never know who will act out when they do.

Tygerstrike said:

@Cliff

It is very obvious to me that you have never had to deal with molestation. So im going to say this. Until its happends to you or someone you love, you prolly wont understand the damage that these predators do.

As for taking my freedoms, how exactly does that pan out? I have never molested a child nor commited a crime where my personal freedoms would be in danger. When someone goes on parole or probation, they lose a lot of thier personal freedoms. Its the price that a convict has to pay to be let out of prison and back into the general population.

Your argument is for a very very very minor section of sex offenders. The list of offenders may, and I preface may, have a few ppl on it wrongly convicted. But that still doesnt negate the fact that the rest of the list is prolly filled with ppl who have done awful awful things. Yes it is unfair to those who have the title of sex offender IF they havent commited a crime. But the rest of them deserve ANY controls that is put on them.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It is very obvious to me that you have never had to deal with molestation.
Thats where you would be wrong. As a kid I was coerced into sucking one. During the time I was angry but decided to move on and try to forget it happened. It's been so long since, I hardly remember any of the details. The Bible teaches to forgive our neighbors and thats what I did. I honestly don't know what came of this person and I really don't care. One thing is for certain, I wouldn't want them restricted to never playing on-line games because of something that happened over 30 years ago.

Now that I have publicly announced something I never talk about, I would ask that you forget you heard this out of respect for myself.

Tygerstrike said:

@Cliff

Im sorry you had to deal with that as a child. I had to as well. So did my little sister. However she was killed by her molester. So where as your argument for those falsly acussed is admirable. My argument is against those sex offenders who have harmed children.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Im sorry you had to deal with that as a child. I had to as well.
I'm sorry you had to deal with it as well. I must say I feel somewhat relieved, to finally speak to another that dealt with the same issue.

So did my little sister. However she was killed by her molester.

First off, my condolences for your loss, I've not experienced a loss that close, regardless of circumstance.

I have a different punishment in mind for people that commit that offense. If I was to say what was on my mind, it would most certainly stir up controversy.

Tygerstrike said:

Like I said, if all they (the offenders) lose is some personal freedoms, then they need to consider themselves lucky. Those of us that have had that level of darkness fall upon them, would tell you there is no punishment strong enough. There is no amount of prison time that can ever make up for what they have done. Personally I feel they should have to go through some "Hellraiser" scenes. Specifically the ones with fish hooks and chains. So they lose thier ability to play some specific games, minor in comparison.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Personally I feel they should have to go through some "Hellraiser" scenes.
Thats real close to what I had in mind, in fact close enough that I will settle with that description.

So they lose thier ability to play some specific games, minor in comparison.
I fear that would only fuel a fire not put it out.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

....[ ].... As far as Im concernd if they touch a child in that way they should just be taken behind the court house and shot. No trial, no due process.
Oh, I'm on board with that big guy! Kill them all a let God sort them out! Now all you need to do is pray that no one ever falsely accuses YOU......

jonjonjon said:

This is dumb. its not going to accomplish anything. maybe the kids parents shouldn't have let him on xbox live or have a mic.

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