Hood: 162 Miss. pervs on MySpace

Attorney General Jim Hood said Wednesday his office is reviewing 162 identifiable records of registered Mississippi sex offenders provided by the popular Web site MySpace.

"We cannot reveal details of this list because those details are part of an ongoing criminal investigation," Hood said in a statement. "You can, however, be assured that we are reviewing these records closely and will take appropriate action to protect our children from being approached by predators online."

In May, Hood and attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania asked MySpace to provide the names and states of all registered sex offenders with profiles on its social networking site.

"MySpace has assured us that the sex offenders they reported to us have been removed from the site," said Hood. "We are working with MySpace to improve and expand the effectiveness of protections for children under 18 on their site."

MySpace, owned by media conglomerate News Corp., obtained the data from Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. The companies partnered in December to build a database with information on sex offenders in the United States, and MySpace general counsel Mike Angus said MySpace has already used the database to remove about 7,000 profiles out of a total of about 180 million.

The companies "developed 'Sentinel Safe' from scratch because there was no means to weed (sexual predators) out and get them off of our site," Angus said.