Kids like social networking sites, most notably MySpace and Facebook. So it is not surpising that law enforcement is scrutinizing how the sites protect children. Recent subpoenas issued to Facebook by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram are illustrative.

Both subpoenas sought information about Facebook’s Internet safety and security policies. The New York subpoena, issued last month, also sought information concerning Facebook’s complaint resolution procedures. In its subpoena cover letter to Facebook, Attorney General Cuomo noted Facebook’s public representations concerning how it responds to reports of pornographic material and inappropriate contact with minors.  It also described its undercover investigation of Facebook. According to the letter, the investigation revealed pornographic and other inappropriate content readily available on the site. In addition, after investigators set up profiles as young teenage users, they received inappropriate sexual advances. The investigators filed complaints about these issues through Facebooks’ complaint procedures. The letter notes various instances of non-responsiveness or delayed response to such complaints. The New Jersey subpoena issued earlier this month, described here, sought information from Facebook concerning convicted New Jersey sex offenders that Facebook has identified as site users.  Facebook previously informed the New Jersey Attorney General it had removed sex offenders with profiles matching individuals listed on the New Jersey sex offender registry. Attorney General Milgram also sent letters to eleven other social networking sites requesting they compare their registrants against the state’s sex offender list.