MySpace, an online social network popular with teenagers, said in two statements yesterday that it was prepared to work with state attorneys general who have requested the identities of MySpace members who are known sex offenders.
But the company said its cooperation hinges on whether the state officials follow the law and subpoena the names, a step that a leader of the state attorneys general said was not necessary.
In its first statement, MySpace said it was “doing everything short of breaking the law to ensure that the information about these predators gets to the proper authorities.”
MySpace, a division of the News Corporation, said it would release information about its members as long as it was able to comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. That law “prohibits us from disclosing the information they’re seeking without a subpoena,” the second statement said.
MySpace’s statement was interpreted as a rebuff by Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut and the co-chairman of a working group of 50 attorneys general.
“I do believe it is disingenuous and disappointing because much of the information that we have sought, specifically the numbers of convicted sex offenders on the site require no subpoena or any other compulsory process,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “We have a valid and viable need to know about convicted sexual offenders who may pose a threat to children.”