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MySpace Strikes Deal With 45 States to Block Sex Predators

MySpace.com has agreed with more than 45 states to add extensive measures to combat sexual predators.

An official familiar with the multistate agreement said MySpace, the huge online social networking Web site, has agreed to include several online protections and participate in a working group to develop age-verification and other technologies.

The official said MySpace will also accept independent monitoring and changes to the structure of its site.

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The agreement is scheduled to be announced today in Manhattan by attorneys general from New Jersey, North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement hadn't yet been announced.

The attorneys general have been seeking greater controls for online networking sites to prevent sexual predators from using those sites to contact children.

There was no immediate comment from MySpace, a unit of News Corp.

Investigators have increasingly examined MySpace, Facebook.com and similar social networking sites that allow people to post information and images on the Web and invite contacts from others.

Last year, New York investigators said they set up Facebook profiles as 12- to 14-year olds and were quickly contacted by other users looking for sex.

A multistate investigation of the sites — announced last year — was aimed at putting together measures to protect minors and remove pornographic material, but lawsuits were possible, officials said.

"We have to find the best way to make sure parents have the tools ... to protect their children when they're on social networking sites," North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in September.

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