New York Wants To Stop Registered Sex Offenders From Playing Pokemon GO

In perhaps the most practical ban against the game, the state of New York is looking for ways to stop certain people from playing Pokemon GO. Sex offenders, to be precise.

The BBC reported this morning that the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has written to Niantic. The idea is to ban those with sexual convictions from being able to access the free-to-play augmented reality game. The proposal: if you’re a registered sex offender, you won’t be permitted to play the game once you leave jail.

“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,” Governor Cuomo said in a release.

The concern is that predators might be able to inadvertently attract victims through the use of lures, although the Governor’s office didn’t distinguish between dropping a lure on a Pokestop and luring people to specific locations.

“Sex offenders who download the game legally could pinpoint hot spots where children congregate, like Pokestops or gyms, and meet them in person,” Senator Diane Savino said.

A directive has also been issued that will “impose a new condition of parole for sex offenders under community supervision that that will prohibit them from downloading, accessing, or otherwise engaging in any Internet enabled gaming activities, including Pokemon GO”.

If an offender is caught playing Pokemon GO, the new directive means it could be used as grounds to return them to jail. Niantic has also been asked to provide any details of Pokemon GO players that are on the state’s sex offender register, with the Governor’s office having already supplied information from their end.


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