At the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has imposed a new condition applicable to supervised sex offenders’ parole that will prohibit them from playing any internet-related games, including Pokemon Go.
After a recent report from New York state Sens. Jeffrey D. Klein and Diane Savino showed that children playing Pokemon Go have been led to locations close to, or even at, sex offenders’ residences, Gov. Cuomo on Monday directed officials to restrict such offenders from playing Pokemon Go and similar games, the governor’s office reported.
"Protecting New York’s children is priority No. 1 and, as technology evolves, we must ensure these advances don't become new avenues for dangerous predators to prey on new victims," Gov. Cuomo stated.
Cuomo also sent a letter to Pokemon Go developer Niantic Inc. requesting their help in keeping sexual predators from playing the game, the governor’s office stated. He directed the Department of Criminal Justice Services to cooperate with Niantic in providing the most up-to-date information from the sex offender registry, saying that developers of mobile games like Pokemon Go should receive the same information that is regularly shared with companies like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.
"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 stated.
The new DOCCS directive will prohibit nearly 3,000 Levels 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders currently on parole from downloading, accessing or engaging in any Internet-enabled gaming activities, the governor’s office stated. The DCJS will also be providing guidance to county probation offices adopting this policy.