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New York governor calls on  Pokemon Go  dev to block sex offenders

New York governor calls on Pokemon Go dev to block sex offenders

August 1, 2016 | By Alex Wawro




"The State has taken action to prohibit sex offenders from using this game, but we need your assistance to make certain that sex offenders will not continue to use Pokémon GO by technologically barring their use. Working together, we can ensure that this danger today does not escalate into a tragedy tomorrow."

- Excerpt of New York governor Andrew Cuomo's open letter to Niantic founder John Hanke.

Now that Niantic and The Pokemon Company's mobile augmented-reality game Pokemon Go has gone from overnight hit to bona fide pop culture phenomenon, the governor of New York has sent an open letter to Niantic founder John Hanke calling on the developer to prohibit sex offenders from using the game.

Such public callouts are a notable rarity, and they typically happen in New York thanks to the Electronic Security & Targeting of Online Predators (E-STOP) Act Cuomo helped pass in 2008 when he was serving as the state's Attorney General.

Under the terms of E-STOP, which Cuomo mentions in his letter to Hanke, convicted sex offenders are required to share the details of their online social media accounts with law enforcement and may face restrictions in how they're allowed to use the Internet.

Now, Cuomo has mandated that convicted sex offenders on parole under community supervision in New York are prohibited from "downloading, accessing, or otherwise engaging in Internet enabled gaming activities," including Pokemon Go.

Cuomo has also directed New York's Division of Criminal Justice Services to share up-to-date information on convicted sex offenders in the state with Niantic, as well as with Apple and Google.

Cuomo's office claims these measures are inspired by a recent report published by state senators Diana J. Savino and Jeffrey D. Klein warning about how Pokemon Go and similar games could be used in dangerous ways by convicted sex offenders.



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