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Sony, MS block New York sex offenders from playing online

3,580 online accounts purged as part of "Operation: Game Over"

Sony and Microsoft have blocked 3,580 Xbox Live and PSN accounts of registered New York sex offenders in a first-of-its-kind bid designed to protect children from predators in online games.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the "Operation: Game Over" initiative involved the participation of Microsoft, Apple, Sony, EA and Blizzard, among others.

"We must ensure online video game systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators," he said. "That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims."

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However, the New York Civil Liberties Union questioned the impact Operation: Game Over would have, telling Gamasutra: "While the intent here is admirable, schemes like this one do very little to keep children safe and trample on the right to free speech and expression," communications director Jennifer Carnig told the site.

"And the problem this initiative is trying to solve is almost non-existent. Children are almost always abused by people they know - a friend or family member - not by people they interact with while playing video games online."

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