The state of New York, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and other companies have joined forces to ban sex offenders from online gaming networks.
New York law requires convicted sex offenders to hand over all email addresses and internet screennames to the state, which makes that information available to websites and companies. The companies can then insta-ban objectionable people from their services. 3,580 people have been banned in what they're calling "Operation: Game Over."
As you might expect, the idea is to protect the children on online gaming services from predators. The initiate was sparked by a 2011 case where Richard Kretovic (gamertag Formic Hivemind) was arrested for sexually abusing a boy he met through Xbox Live.
At a press conference today, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, "We have to be vigilant in this area because online gaming is not just a digital playground, it has the potential to be a 21st century crime scene"
"I applaud all the companies participating in this first-of-its-kind initiative for taking online safety seriously and purging their networks of sex offenders," Schneiderman said, "Together we are making the online community safer for our children.”
"By leveraging the online identity information all registered sex offenders are required to provide, we are able to help reduce potentially harmful situations,” said Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. “We’re supportive of Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to make the Internet, including online gaming environments like Xbox LIVE, safer for everyone.”