New York is banning all registered sex offenders from playing the mobile game Pokémon Go.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a band on sex offenders from playing the augmented reality mobile game as a condition of their parole Sunday, according to the New York Daily News.
Downloading or playing Pokémon Go or any similar game will be a violation of a sex offender’s parole and could send them back to prison under the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s order.
“Protecting New York’s children is priority number one and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don’t become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims,” Cuomo told the New York Daily News. “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.”
Cuomo also told the Department of Corrections to provide Niantic, the creator of the immensely popular game, with a list of the sex offender registry.
In a letter to Niantic, Cuomo asked for assistance to block predators from accessing the game.
“The State has taken action to prohibit sex offenders from using this game, but we need your assistance to make certain that sex offenders will not continue to use Pokémon Go by technologically barring their use,” Cuomo wrote in the letter. “Working together, we can ensure that this danger today does not escalate into a tragedy tomorrow.” (RELATED: House Democrats Want To Protect You From Pokemon Go)
In the Pokémon Go game, players search to capture monsters in a virtual world by moving around in the real world. Users can attract more of the monsters to their location by making in-app purchases, and law enforcement officials fear sex offenders are doing just that.
Several members of the New York legislature sent staffers to sex offenders’ homes last week to see investigate whether predators were already using the app to attract children to the area. While there was no evidence to suggest that predators had used the app to lure kids into their neighborhood, lawmakers are still concerned the game will lead children into dangerous situations.
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