It’s the smartphone game electrifying the world but New York took
steps Monday to ban sex offenders from using the app to potentially prey
on child victims.

The game, developed by US-based software
company Niantic, a spinoff of Google, has been downloaded more than 75
million times across the United States and has gone viral across the
world.

But Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York’s department of
corrections to ban nearly 3,000 registered offenders on parole from
downloading, accessing or taking part in Pokemon Go as well as other
Internet-enabled games.

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“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 said in a statement.

The governor wrote Monday to software developer Niantic Inc. asking them to bar sexual predators from playing Pokemon.

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“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 Pokemon Go by technologically barring their use,” he
said in the letter.

A report from two New York state senators
showed that children playing Pokemon have been unwittingly lured into
proximity of sex offenders.

(Also see: Pokemon Go iOS: How to Download Pokemon Go for iPhone, iPad)

Their investigation caught 57 Pokemon
characters directly outside 100 homes of registered sex offenders on
probation or parole whose crimes involved child abuse or possession of
child pornography in the city of New York.

There are nearly 3,000 sex offenders currently on parole in New York, the fourth most populous state in the United States.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Since
2008, New York sex offenders have been required to register all email
accounts and Internet identities with the state criminal justice
services.

The list is given to more than two dozen social
networking companies on a weekly basis in order to purge offenders from
their membership.



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