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Gov. Andrew Cuomo: No Pokemon Go for NY sex offenders

Officials are concerned sexual predators will gain access to minors by buying a "lure" in the game that intentionally increases traffic to a particular location.


Officials say playing Pokemon Go can expose children to sex offenders.

Pokemon Go

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a directive Monday making the playing of online games like Pokemon Go a parole violation for sex offenders.

The directive applies to the state's nearly 3,000 level 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders currently on parole. The Department of Criminal Justice Services will be providing guidance to county probation offices recommending the adoption of this policy.

Cuomo's move follows the release of a report by state Sens. Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino that detailed the dangers of Pokemon Go in exposing New York's children to sex offenders. This is because the game has a feature that allows players to buy a "lure" to intentionally increase traffic to a particular location, which could be abused by predators.

"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. "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 also sent a letter to Pokemon Go developer Niantic requesting its assistance in prohibiting dangerous sexual predators from playing the megahit game. He also ordered the division of Criminal Justice Services to provide up-to-date information of the sex offender registry to Niantic and other software developers.