Sun May 26, 2013 12:18 AM
A network of Arizona-based Internet companies is mining data from sex-offender sites maintained by law-enforcement agencies and using it to demand money and harass those who complain or refuse to pay
"State and national registries are set up to provide information on where the most serious sex offenders are living and warn that the information cannot be used to threaten, harass or intimidate offenders.
But sex offenders and others profiled by the Arizona companies accuse their operators, in a civil lawsuit and elsewhere, of running an extortion racket by demanding up to $499 for removing names, criminal histories, photographs, addresses, phone numbers and other personal data from their non-government sites.
They accuse operators of posting inaccurate or old information and using the threat of exposure as a sex offender as leverage.
Operators of SORArchives.com, Offendex.com and Onlinedetective.com did not take down individual profiles after payments were made and launched online harassment campaigns against those who balked at financial demands or filed complaints, an eight-month Call 12 for Action investigation found.
Call 12 found the websites list individuals as sex offenders who no longer are required to register and whose names have been removed from state databases. Among the hundreds of thousands of names that appear, the websites include names and addresses of people who never have been arrested or convicted of a sex crime."
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