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New York’s Governor Wants Registered Sex Offenders Banned from Playing Pokémon GO

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has approached the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to request that they block registered sex offenders from playing the popular mobile app Pokémon GO. He also wants Niantic Inc., the developer behind the game, to find ways to prohibit such individuals from using the game.

Presumably, the reasoning behind his requests is that, due to the game’s use of GPS data to bring players to certain locations, sex offenders may utilize this feature to find or lure potential victims. For example, the game features ‘lures’—for a small fee, Pokémon will spawn more frequently around a certain location, drawing in more players to that area. This could be used to bring players to the residences of sex offenders, muggers, or other unsavory individuals. Indeed, players have been involved in incidents such as a group being caught in a gunfight while out hunting for Magikarp.

New York state senator Jeff Klein also said on Friday that he would be introducing legislation to prevent such offenses. In a statement, Klein said that the game “provided sex offenders with a virtual road map to our children.” The first part of the legislation would prevent moderate to high-risk sex offenders from playing the game, while the second would require games using GPS data like Pokémon GO to remove any in-game activity locations within 100 feet of the offender’s home.

Source: USA Today, New York Times

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A New York Assemblyman is Considering Legislation to Regulate Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is quickly becoming a global phenomenon, with the game now available in more countries by the day. The success of this game has led to some safety concerns for those playing it, and one legislator in New York is taking notice. New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, a Democrat from Brooklyn, is concerned that Pokémon GO and those playing it could pose a safety risk to themselves and others. He is also concerned about criminals being able to use the game to lure potential victims in or take advantage of distracted players, something that has already happened in several cities.

Ortiz is also worried about players interacting with the game while walking in the street or while driving a car, which is a concern that has been shared by several road safety agencies across the US. Ortiz has stated that his first step will be to contact Niantic and see if they can address these concerns without legal involvement; if their resolution is not to his liking, he will then introduce legislation in the state of New York. Ortiz has a history of introducing bills of this nature, having previously introduced a bill banning the use of salt in restaurants, as well as other bills taxing alcohol, sugary drinks, and admission to strip clubs.

What do you guys think? Are these safety concerns high enough to warrant legal action, or is Assemblyman Ortiz simply trying to ride the success of Pokémon GO? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Politico

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