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MySpace Predator Caught By Code 374

Posted by kdawson
from the true-names dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Wired News editor and former hacker Kevin Poulsen wrote a 1,000-line Perl script that checked MySpace for registered sex offenders. Sifting through the results, he manually confirmed over 700 offenders, including a serial child molester in New York actively trying to hook up with underage boys on the site, and who has now been arrested as a result. MySpace told Congress last June that it didn't have this capability." Wired News says they will publish Poulsen's code under an open-source license later this week.
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MySpace Predator Caught By Code

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  • by Capella or Bust (521807) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:04PM (#16459875)
    PWND.
    • by megaditto (982598) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:02PM (#16460751)
      Einstein said: "there are two infinite things, the Universe, and the human stupidity. And I am not sure about the Universe..."

      What kind of a dumb criminal would willingly give their real name and address while indending to then break the law.

      What next? Robbing your local sperm bank's register after leaving a DNA "deposit"? Stealing a credit card to pay your utility bills?
      • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <<robert> <at> <chromablue.net>> on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:16PM (#16460919)
        The only thing that worries me about this is 'authenticity'. What's to stop a vigilante group creating Myspace accounts in the names of registered sex offenders, and then reporting said accounts to the police? Sure, it's traceable with a bit of effort - but you just know that there'll be slips made, especially when you connect the words "sex offender", "children", "myspace", "police", and "media" in the same sentence.
      • These people are on Myspace. 'Nuff said.
      • by Tiger4 (840741) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:31PM (#16461733)
        "Stealing a credit card to pay your utility bills?"

        Somebody around here did almost that. Stole a credit card, bought some home furnishings, and had it delivered. She was still trying to come up with a coherent explainantion as they took her away.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Artifakt (700173)
        Using a fictitious name or other information is essentially creating an alias. For a criminal already under probation, this would likely violate it, and might even result in an additional criminal charge. A nym isn't normally a criminal act, but for these guys, it is, under at least some state's laws, or even where this isn't the case, it will almost inevitably be an aggrevating circumstance if they do anything at all else. Plus a probation officer can impose some pretty extreme restrictions against normall
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JWSmythe (446288) *

        Actually, that happened to a friend I knew.

        A box of checks never arrived at their house. While waiting patiently for the 1-2 week delivery time, someone used the account information (name, routing and account numbers) to pay their home telephone bill. Brilliant, I must say.

        I was with them at the bank, when they reported it. Law enforcement got a giggle out of it too.

        Bad guys aren't always very smart. A lot of things they do are out of despera
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by The_Wilschon (782534)
      PWND.
      When I saw that, my first though was "Pretty Weapons of No Destruction?" ... It has really been a long day.
    • by briggsb (217215) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:31PM (#16461737)
      Just like this band [bbspot.com] was pwned by this teenage girl on MySpace.
      • by freeweed (309734) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:38PM (#16462881)
        Please, someone tell me that's an Onion story.

        Please.

        We can't seriously be getting this stupid as a species.

        *cries*
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ArsenneLupin (766289)
          Please, someone tell me that's an Onion story.

          It's an obvious jab at the RIAA:

          Online band predators are such a big concern that the RIAA has created a website warning bands about the problem. The site gives a few warning signals that bands should watch out for:

          • If you think the record executive is a "nice person" then you aren't dealing with a real executive. It's common knowledge that all record executives are assholes.
          • If the contract you're being offered seems "fair" then you're dealing with an onlin
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by gblues (90260)
          Dude, it's BBspot. They're like The Onion Lite.
  • by sdBlue (844590) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:05PM (#16459883)
    [sarcasm]While most of us here know how trivial searching for string a in string b is, I for one believe that Tom couldn't do it. Aside from all the horror that it is conceptually, the (lack of) stability of their site actually makes that statement believable![/sarcasm]
    • Whack myspace hard (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mollog (841386) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:30PM (#16460261)

      MySpace needs to be whacked, hard. Harder.

      The lazy, lying bastards should be shut down, made an example of. At the least, they're now liable because someone showed it could be done, and because they were too lazy to do it themselves, they now have a liability exposure for any child that was preyed upon through their web site.

      • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gmail.cBALDWINom minus author> on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:57PM (#16460659) Homepage
        Oh, bullshit. It may be a PR nightmare for them, but the truth is that they likely don't have a true liability in the situation, any more than ICQ/AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc. would have liability if their software was used by a pedophile to make contact with a child.

        In fact, the question could be posed whether they would have liability if they went hunting for "sexual predators" and made a public spectacle of someone who could be guilty of nothing more than propositioning a police officer posing as a street walker - in other words, someone who could be required by their state to be registered as a sex offender but has shown no predilection towards the exploitation of children or forcing sexual contact on someone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slughead (592713)
        The lazy, lying bastards should be shut down, made an example of. At the least, they're now liable because someone showed it could be done, and because they were too lazy to do it themselves, they now have a liability exposure for any child that was preyed upon through their web site.

        Yeah, OR parents could just protect their own damn kids so companies don't have to.

        If I had a kid who I felt was dumb enough to be lured in by one of these guys, myspace would be blocked on my router. If I didn't know how to do
    • by OmnipotentEntity (702752) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:27PM (#16461065) Homepage
      The main difference between this and if MySpace were doing it is: if MySpace put protections in place and just one sex offender was missed and wound up molesting some kid, MySpace would be culpable. But if protections are not in place, then it's not MySpaces responsibility. By taking responsibility it become their responsibility and not the responsibility of the kid or their parents...

      Sure it's trivial to find some child predators with a 1000 line perl script, but finding everyone of them would be nearly impossible.
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:00PM (#16461429) Journal

        Sad, but true. I can't tell you how many times I've heard similar things from legal folks over the years.

        That said, if it can be shown that a trivial amount of effort could have prevented someone from being injured, that falls into the category of gross negligence, for which liability cannot be waived. In much the same way, if you serve alcohol at a party and someone has a wreck because they drove home while severely intoxicated, that person and/or his/her victims can sue you for not taking responsibility. The reasons for this are twofold: A. you should reasonably have known that people at your party would get drunk (since you served the alcohol) and B. the effort needed to prevent people from driving home while severely intoxicated is relatively low.

        In short, not taking responsibility doesn't get them off the hook. It makes it a little harder for the parents of some abused kid to sue them, but only a little.

        IANALBIPOOSD

    • by Sj0 (472011) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:52PM (#16461953) Homepage Journal
      The single biggest problem, in my opinion, is that you can't be sure. Just because a person has registered with a certain name doesn't mean they are that ONE person. I've got the same name as a black minor league hockey player. But I'm not.

      This is why it's not as simple as searching for string a in string b. You'll end up with half a million names, and not only do you have to monitor those half a million users to see what they're up to, you have to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Dougy is the infamous sex offender, and not an 11 year old trying to pick up 16 year olds.
  • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:07PM (#16459917)
    This article isn't credible. It must be a hoax. I mean, c'mon, you really expect me to believe someone wrote a 1,000 line perl script. And that it did what it was supposed to?
  • Is this legal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imaginaryelf (862886)
    I know what he did was a good thing, but what if I wrote a script to go through MySpace looking for other "stuff?" Isn't this a breach of privacy and wouldn't this person or MySpace be vulnerable to lawsuits?
    • Re:Is this legal? (Score:5, Informative)

      by omeomi (675045) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:13PM (#16460019) Homepage
      Isn't this a breach of privacy and wouldn't this person or MySpace be vulnerable to lawsuits?

      Anything you put on a public web site is--by definition--not private. It would be a breach of privacy if MySpace used private, personal information, but if the script just culled information from public pages, there's no breach of privacy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fithmo (854772)
        Also, as for the people caught (since they're likely the only people who might complain), I believe that you give up some of your privacy rights when you register as a sex offender.
    • There is no breach of privacy by writing code that can observe publicly available material.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *

      if I wrote a script to go through MySpace looking for other "stuff?" Isn't this a breach of privacy

      Kind of depends. I mean, you intend to make information public when you publicly post it on MySpace, right? So why would you be upset when people start looking for that information? Search engines used to be able to find personal webpages when those were all the craze.

      The truth is, if you are concerned about privacy, don't make your personal matters public. Share only what you're willing to tell people, and hi

    • by pete6677 (681676)
      If you put something on your myspace page, it is publicly accessible. Therefore by definition, you have no right to privacy concerning this item. What is the actual issue here?
    • Re:Is this legal? (Score:5, Informative)

      by KiltedKnight (171132) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:33PM (#16460305) Homepage Journal
      If you are only sifting through public information, then there is nothing illegal about this.

      If you are sifting through private information, then one of the following is true:

      • If you are a Law Enforcement Official, anything you discover cannot be used to obtain a warrant, nor can this evidence be used against someone without it being lawfully reacquired once a warrant has been issued
      • If you are a private citizen, unless you violated some sort of Terms of Use or other agreement to obtain the information, it is not illegal for you to use it
      Yes. It is perfectly legal for a private citizen, acting on his or her own volition, to perform searches. The illegality occurs when laws are broken to obtain the information (breach of contract, breaking and entering, etc).
  • by nizo (81281) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:14PM (#16460021) Homepage Journal
    ...he manually confirmed over 700 offenders, including a serial child molester in New York actively trying to hook up with underage boys on the site, and who has now been arrested as a result. MySpace told Congress last June that it didn't have this capability.


    Thus spake the article:

    ...Lubrano was so easy to find. "He registered on MySpace using his real name? What a nitwit."


    No amount of rummaging through any database is going to detect someone who registers under a false name, so no MySpace will NEVER really have the ability to find all the sex offenders, unless they can somehow verify that people are who they say they are when they sign up. Though they do now have the ability to catch the really stupid ones it seems.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:34PM (#16460327) Homepage Journal
      Though they do now have the ability to catch the really stupid ones it seems.

      That's all we ever catch. The stupid ones. Well, that and the really unlucky ones. The ones that are smart enough to kidnap some kid from some non-surveillance location, abuse them, and release them far away from either the pickup point or the place where they abused them are seldom caught - and the ones that are so successful at their emotional abuse that the victim (regardless of age) never even reports the abuse. I'm not sure if that's intelligence or just skill at manipulating people.

      Ever watch 60 Minutes? They had a special on a sting they did and guys just kept showing up at the house all day. Some of them even saw a cop, or some other guy, and waited for a while, then came back. I mean, what kind of idiot do you have to be?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nizo (81281) *
        Yeah I couldn't believe the 60 minutes segments; some people really are dumb.

        However, what bugs me about the article is it saying things like:

        ...it's all up to MySpace. We can't count on parental supervision...

        I call BS: as a parent it is your responsibility to know where your kid is, and to teach them how to avoid child predators. If your kids spends time online every night, wouldn't it be a good idea to talk to him/her and find out what they are doing online, and who they are talking to?? Yet another art

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Yet another article claiming, "don't worry parents, it isn't your job to keep your kids safe online!" isn't helping the problem at all.

          I agree with you wholeheartedly, but I think that the majority of american parents (can't speak for other nations) want the government to raise their kids. Personally I do buy into that whole "it takes a village to raise a child" thing, I think that the lack of social health in our society that leads us into more and more insular relationships is being self-perpetuated,

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cr0sh (43134)
            To me, this is proof of two things. One of them is that so-called "gun control" does not work. This is sort of a truism in the pro-gun camp but this is the real proof in the proverbial pudding. The other is that the government knows precisely what the second amendment is for - protection from the government - and is working specifically to dismantle it. If you can carry your guns into a courthouse, that puts pressure on the judge to work in the best interests of the community and we can't have that, can we?
    • by sootman (158191) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:40PM (#16460405) Homepage Journal
      > Though they do now have the ability to catch the really stupid ones it seems.

      We had a sliding screen door that didn't work too well. My wife left it half-open one day. I asked her how many flies she thought that would keep out:
      a) all of them
      b) half of them
      c) none of them
      d) just the dumb ones
  • by Xemu (50595) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:20PM (#16460115) Homepage
    With tens of thousands of teens visiting a site daily there is a significant risk is that a couple of sex predators are on the prawl.

    So the question is... does Slashdot check all users if they are registered sex offenders or does this Paulsen guy have to run his script here too?

  • by Otter (3800) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:23PM (#16460169) Journal
    Best part:

    That position drew a skeptical line of questioning from Congressman Greg Walden, R-Oregon

    "If you're checking for the amount of skin in an image and that sort of thing, and however your logarithms work, you'd think you ought to check, you know, 'John Doe', who happens to be a sex offender, and weed them out," Walden said at the time.

    (In fairness to the Congressman, it's certainly possible that he said "algorithms" and it was mistranscribed...)

  • As an ex-MySpace drone, I only joined becuase I wanted to see how far I could customize the HTML for my own account. I did very well, then looked at all the friends list and figured... "Who the hell are these people?"

    No doubt, all sorts of personalities exist on MySpace. I can deal and respect many of the objectionable ones, but I think a couple of crimes are universal. Child (a real child not 'underage' teenager, a *child*) molestation, and ratting on another person. Even those incarcerated tend to tar
    • Re:Good Job Kevin (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inviolet (797804) <slashdot AT ideasmatter DOT org> on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:49PM (#16460549) Journal
      I can deal and respect many of the objectionable ones, but I think a couple of crimes are universal. Child (a real child not 'underage' teenager, a *child*) molestation . . .

      Now why is that, exactly?

      We know that child molestation has occurred for untold eons. Humans are therefore resilient, resistant to such things, for the sake of survival. And at the risk of getting flamed, I want to point out the evidence that most victims of such mistreatment do in fact go on to lead normal lives. Natural selection sternly requires it.

      So. Why is child molestation such an obviously hideous evil?

      Is it just because we in the West are presently obsessed with sex?

      I swear I am not trolling. I myself am actually a victim, from age 8, but I seem to be fine (although my level of slashdotting may be a sign of a deep malfunction). Ever since I realized that I survived unscathed, I have been wondering for a long time why this subject gets an automatic "OMG teh molestation!!!11!" response, when it is actually such a commonplacde in human history.

      It almost -- ALMOST -- smells like we are protesting too much.

      • Re:Good Job Kevin (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:57PM (#16460655)
        It's because people want to outlet their aggressive tendencies someplace, and we've all collectively aggreed that "child molesters" (and now, to some degree "terrorists") are a target that no one will object to our over-reactive hatred for. Other acceptable groups include "cop killers". Let's get all righteous and bloodthirsty over these groups of people, now that it isn't socially acceptable to hate a group based on their skin color.

        See how far we've come?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DiamondGeezer (872237)
        Ever since I realized that I survived unscathed, I have been wondering for a long time why this subject gets an automatic "OMG teh molestation!!!11!" response, when it is actually such a commonplacde in human history.

        It is a fear response.

        On the other hand, if there is a way to find out repeat sexual predators who are looking for new prey then shouldn't we use that method?

        I'm going to make a general comment - I find MySpace unbearably creepy and exhibitionistic. I wonder if its purpose was to provide titill
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maestro4k (707634)
          I'm going to make a general comment - I find MySpace unbearably creepy and exhibitionistic. I wonder if its purpose was to provide titillation and unhealthy fascination in young people because it appears to be doing an excellent job at that.

          I think you'll find that it's mostly the young people providing the "titillation and unhealthy fascination" to each other.

      • Re:Good Job Kevin (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gmail.cBALDWINom minus author> on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:19PM (#16460961) Homepage
        Yes, children are resilient, but another instinct that is supposedly hardwired into us is protection of our offspring. This (perhaps more than the "I want government to raise our kids" thing) is a big factor in heightened reactions to crimes against children. Add in the more rational sympathy for living beings that can't protect themselves like adults can, and you can end up with people overreacting to, and often overestimating the frequency of, these crimes.

        My personal feeling on this specific issue is that I don't think MySpace has any true responsibility to monitor this, any more than other social networking programs/websites (like the many IM programs). The only real recourse society has in this case (barring violation of MySpace's rights) would be to legislate them into things like requiring credit cards for access (thus supposedly proving adult status), boycotting the service or going "vigilante," rooting out the pedophiles Dateline style.
      • Re:Good Job Kevin (Score:5, Interesting)

        by adrianmonk (890071) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:57PM (#16463891)
        We know that child molestation has occurred for untold eons. Humans are therefore resilient, resistant to such things, for the sake of survival. And at the risk of getting flamed, I want to point out the evidence that most victims of such mistreatment do in fact go on to lead normal lives. Natural selection sternly requires it.

        Actually, not exactly, natural selection just requires that the problem doesn't get so bad that it has a significant impact on the ability of the species as a whole to survive. It's perfectly compatible with natural selection if, say, 2% of the population, despite being totally innocent, meets some horrible unfair death, as long as the other 98% gets along fine. If that's enough to keep the species going, then it's all that natural selection requires.

        I think there's a common misconception that evolution is a force which is so powerful that it eliminates all imperfection. That's not necessarily the case. It only eliminates perfections that threaten the ability of the species to do the minimum necessary to survive. All other imperfections are relatively unimportant, at least as far as evolution is concerned.

        Having said that, I've heard it said that of the people who experience some form of severe trauma or abuse, there is a certain percentage who become pretty much permanently (or at least over the long term) messed up in the head and have trouble coping with life in a wide variety of ways. But then there is also a large percentage of people who come from a messed up background who grow up to be perfectly healthy adults. In fact, these people tend to take their messed up background and find some way to make it into something positive. They may even be more successful than the average person. Years ago, I knew someone who came from a background where he and his siblings had all been abused. He wasn't able to deal with it very well and his life was, I hate to say, a serious mess. (I hope he's managed to iron some things out by now.) His sister, on the other hand, had earned a graduate degree in social work (I think) and had written at least one book on the subject of child abuse. She had done well for herself and was making a real difference in the world, and I think she was emotionally healthy as well.

        Basically, it seems like when something really terrible happens to someone, either they are never able to overcome it or they are able to overcome it, and they grow from it in ways that others never would even have the ability to grow. I'm thankful that a good percentage of the people are able to totally recover and be a stronger person as a result. But the reason child molestation and similar things are so bad is that a certain number of people will fall into the first category and never get past it. I don't know why some people are able to get past it and some aren't, but it seems to be the case, and that's why I think we should continue to treat it as a very serious issue.

  • by Rix (54095) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:27PM (#16460211)
    I suspect the answer will illustrate why a white hat wouldn't be doing this sort of thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Maestro4k (707634)

      I wonder how many false positives he got? I suspect the answer will illustrate why a white hat wouldn't be doing this sort of thing.

      He took those into consideration, from TFA:

      The code swept in a vast number of false or unverifiable matches. Working part time for several months, I sifted the data and manually compared photographs, ages and other data, until enhanced privacy features MySpace launched in June began frustrating the analysis.

      Excluding a handful of obvious fakes, I confirmed 744 sex offe

  • by nizo (81281) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:27PM (#16460215) Homepage Journal

    It's all up to MySpace. We can't count on parental supervision...


    And then there is Jacob, one of the kids this 39 year old had "friended":



    I do think its kinda weird for that age to flirt with me and stuff," he writes. "Like, kinda desperate and kinda leading me to think that something's wrong. But I didn't really do anything. I love being complimented. So, I thought it was nice of him to say that he thought I was cute or whatever."

    MySpace is a big part of Jacob's life, and his greatest fear is that this story, or the ongoing police investigation, will get him banned from the internet, or he'll lose his MySpace profile. I urge him to be more careful about adding friends -- he has 3,800 of them -- and to make his profile private. He says he will, but so far his MySpace page remains wide open.

    So Jacob's parents can't be bothered to, you know, go see wtf this kid is doing on MySpace? The earlier comment snippet makes it seem like the parents of this kid are totally off the hook here, but guess what? Wether your kid is hanging out at the local corner or someplace online, you really need to know where they are and what they are doing. And then there is the whole issue about not talking to stangers in the first place; apparently his parents have completely missed the boat in that area. Scary.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      It's worth mentioning that kids don't always know about their kid's homosexual orientation.

      If a kid's parents don't know (s)he's gay, you really think they're going to know about his Myspace page?
  • by adaptive_tech (1014369) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:27PM (#16460219)
    I'm quite glad for this guy; but law enforcement's malaise still cheeses my off a bit. Indeed, writing a Perl script to spider MySpace is not rocket science -- I whipped one up six months ago as part of a graduate school project. Immediately sensing the possibilities of catching people like this, I contacted several people in the CIA and FBI through my school. After several painfully blunt explanations, none of them could grasp how the script could be used in their agencies. Governments and major corporations wonder why China can get into "secure" sites and "kids" write viruses like "ILoveYou" or "Blaster". It's because they're so monolithically slow, stupid, and blind that they can neither see nor react to their environments. Maybe law enforcement will "wise up" and start offering prize money / sponsoring competitions, just like the recent Bio-Tech news here on Slashdot.
  • by hurfy (735314)
    3 pages of articles

    Only to get to a misdomeanor charge of attempting to endanger

    What a let-down

    With a MAX of 90 days in jail, gee, the world is safe now ;)

    They had hundreds of hits on the names and that's the best they got?

    I am all for catching the bad guys, but you have to KEEP them to do any good ya know.
  • You're just going to have a huge drain on resources from people doing redundant searches (to put it simply, the search feature is going to get a captcha). It would be better to have mySpace cross check user data with sex offender data and then take the time to verify and then pass the information quietly off to officials who can double check before knocking on any doors.

    It would also be trivial to implement reports on age discrepencies. If someone is messaging a number of people that are significantly you
  • Names (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ezzewezza (84083) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:37PM (#16460365)
    So how many false positives and false negatives does this produce? i.e., how many non-offenders does it misidentify as being offenders and how many offenders does it misidentify as non-offenders? Furthermore, of the offenders properly identified, how many of them are actually committing, planning to commit, thinking about committing, wanting to commit, or some other way being involved with the committing of a sexual offender related crime on myspace?

    While the tool may produce results, are the results good enough and non-damaging enough to be useful? (I'd consider any given non-offender being identified as an offender and subsequently harrassed as such rather extensively damaging.)
  • by SQLz (564901) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:39PM (#16460397) Homepage Journal
    MySpace told Congress last June that it didn't have this capability.

    Should read: Jim Foley breathed a sigh of relief when MySpace told Congress last June that it didn't have this capability.

  • by faux pseudonym (1014377) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:50PM (#16460557) Homepage
    Hey folks.

    Picking and choosing when it is/is not OK to cooperate with authorities in a criminal investigation might be very convenient for Kevin Lee Poulsen, but it should give his sources -- past, present, and future -- significant pause.

    Wired News -- and Kevin -- have shown that writing a splashy story means more to them right now than the danger of blurring the lines between reporter and cop. This isn't about protecting kids, or about what MySpace should or should not do. It's about eroding the role of the journalist as a fair and impartial witness, in a time when too many people are already barking up that tree.

    A hacker should know better.

    -- Adrian Lamo
  • Think MySpace is incompetent with the "We can't do this" statement? Try one better. You really, really don't want to actually do the below; it's probably illegal. I am not responsible for how anyone abuses the below conjecture.

    MySpace seems to let users put JavaScript on their pages. MySpace also seems to check your authentication token on their pages. So, javascript to use xmlhttpobject and go to their profile pages and submit a password change, invisibly? One better, steal the MySpace login for

  • I suspect that once this is released under that open-source license, a lively round of Perl Golf will follow.

    "I can write that script in 70 characters or less, George!"
  • Good work. -jcr
  • That he manually confirmed 700 of the results.
    That doesn't say how many false positives he sifted through to get to those.
    Should Myspace be required to have people who manually confirm all users aren't sex offenders?
  • big deal (Score:3, Funny)

    by codemoose (1002724) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:37PM (#16461201) Homepage
    1000 lines, bah. I could have done it with .NET in 10,000 lines.
  • eh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:53PM (#16461361) Homepage Journal
    I once used an image from an offender website as a message board avatar.

    Really, really scary looking guy, convicted of several counts of incest.

    But, HE didn't have an account, his image was used without his knowledge or permission.
  • by pedrop357 (681672) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:48PM (#16461923)
    Setting aside issues of what is a "sex offender" vs what I think the public perception of one is, are all "sex offenders" not allowed to use MySpace?

    This is a little like cross referencing a list of library card holders and comparing it to the list of "sex offenders" and waxing hysterical that there are "sex offenders" in the library. Do the same with Blockbuster cards, or the phone book. Geee gads, there are "sex offenders" in the city...

    Yes, there are young people on MySpace, but not all MySpace users are young. Some people are well into their 30s and 40s and use it to connect with other 30 and 40 year olds.

    The mere presence of "sex offenders" should not be cause for concern anymore then if they were in a library, Wal-Mart, mall, grocery store, etc. This is reinforced with the fact that many "sex offenders" really aren't-people who were 18 and their partner was 15, public urinators, that guy that grabbed that girl to yell at her for jaywalking or whatever, etc.

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