12 Apr

According to a recent report by Gamasutra, several major publishers including Microsoft, Sony, Activision-Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Apple, Warner Bros., and Disney, have teamed up and banned over 3,500 known sex offenders from their services. More details are included after the jump.

All of the 3,580 known sex offenders that have been banned from the services were located in New York, with Attorney General Eric Schneidman stated that the move was aimed to “block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims.”

However, the New York Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern that the act will do little to achieve its stated goal, but that the act does “trample on the right to free speech and expression.”

The information that was used to ban the accounts was submitted by the sex offenders themselves, who are required by law to register their email address and their screenname for online services in the state of New York. So far, this is the first time publishers have specifically banned sex offenders from their services.

What do you think? Is this an effective way of protecting children that use online services, or will this only serve to drive the issue underground?