New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday banned paroled sex offenders from playing the popular Pokemon Go phone application in order to protect children.
“Protecting New York’s children is priority No. 1 and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don’t become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These actions will provide safeguards for the players of these augmented-reality games and help take one more tool away from those seeking to do harm to our children.”
The new condition of parole will block about 3,000 sex offenders from “downloading, accessing or otherwise engaging in any Internet-enabled gaming activities, including Pokemon Go,” Cuomo said in a letter to Niantic Inc., the developer of Pokemon Go, as he requested the company’s help in blocking sexual predators from the game.
New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services will provide Niantic with an updated copy of the Sex Offender Registry. Cuomo’s ban comes after Democratic New York Sens. Jeff Klein and Diane Savino released a report in which they said the game could be used to target children.
“A recent report by Senators Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane Savino clearly demonstrates that more must be done to protect our children from ending up at locations that pose a danger to themselves. In addition, a feature of the game — where, for a small fee, a ‘lure’ can be purchased to intentionally encourage traffic to a particular location — also appears to have the potential to be abused by predators,” Cuomo told Niantic.
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