New York Governor issues ban on sex offenders playing Pokemon Go

That's not all as Governor Cuomo is also banning sex offenders from engaging in any Internet-enabled gaming activities.


It’s going to be much harder for New York sex offenders to play any sort of game with online capabilities as Governor Andrew Cuomo has just issued a ban on these kinds of games, especially Pokemon Go.

Governor Cuomo has announced those on the sex offender registry are now banned from downloading, accessing, “or otherwise engaging” in any games that have internet-enabled connections, including the likes of Pokemon Go. To make it harder to sex offenders to engage in any activity in Pokemon Go, Governor Cuomo sent a letter to Niantic to help make it harder for registrants to sign up to the game.

Governor Cuomo’s decision was based on a report released last week from two New York state senators: Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino. The pair visited the locations of 100 registered sex offenders in New York City, and found approximately 57 Pokemon and 59 Pokestops and Gyms within a half city block of these locations. Klein and Savino were concerned about Pokemon Go’s lure mechanic, which not only draws Pokemon, but other players as well who are looking to easily increase their inventory of Pokemon. As a result, the two have written bills that would ban sex offenders from playing Pokemon Go and will also require Niantic to remove all Pokemon Go-related content near the homes of registered sex offenders.

While we understand the need to protect the population from registered sex offenders, Cuomo’s blanket of restricting access to any internet-enabled gaming activities seems a bit on the extreme side. The majority of games currently published have some kind of multiplayer component to them, and the likes of the Battlefield series and the most recent Star Wars Battlefront only feature online components.

If Governor Cuomo wants to restrict access to games like Pokemon Go, which engages in activities that bring a large number of people together at one time, then he should specifically target that kind of game in his bill. But to throw a blanket over the entirety of internet-based games means sex offenders who wish to unwind with a multiplayer game of Halo could get them in some serious trouble.

[Via Governor Andrew Cuomo]

Senior Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 1, 2016 1:30 PM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, New York Governor issues ban on sex offenders playing Pokemon Go

    • reply
      August 1, 2016 1:32 PM

      There's no way that's legal, is it?

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        August 1, 2016 2:06 PM

        Just as legal as banning a felon from electronic communications.

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          August 1, 2016 2:09 PM

          which I don't seem to find a guideline from a quick google, so maybe that's only a thing on tv?

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      August 1, 2016 2:44 PM


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        August 1, 2016 3:25 PM

        It's ok. You can just play Ingress instead.

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          August 1, 2016 3:30 PM

          Wait, I just read the linked article, and it says this "will prohibit them from downloading, accessing, or otherwise engaging in any Internet enabled gaming activities"

          That's...A lot more than Pokemon Go.

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            August 1, 2016 5:18 PM

            Yeah but Pokemon Go gets dem clicks ya heard

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            August 1, 2016 5:23 PM

            So an 18 year old who had a 17 year old girlfriend with malicious parents who wanted to attack them through the courts will not be able to play any online games?
            I think this is a reason to overhaul the sex offenders registry and courts. Too many people are attacked through the courts for doing what is normal and most people do not care yet the problem could be eased with minor amendments dealing with these sorts of circumstances.

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              August 1, 2016 5:49 PM

              I would hope most prosecutors would not go after a case like that.

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                August 2, 2016 6:51 AM

                Unfortunately they do all too often.

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                  August 2, 2016 6:55 AM

                  Oregon has a 3 year "close in age" exception, so that helps.

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      August 1, 2016 2:46 PM

      What the fuck?

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      August 1, 2016 2:54 PM

      Good thing, I fully support this. I'm glad that I, along with all of the other 30 year olds, can rest easy knowing we'll be safe playing the game without being harassed to get into some dude's van.

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      August 1, 2016 3:31 PM

      Cuomo is about as dim as they come.

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      August 1, 2016 4:31 PM

      That won't stop everyone!

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      August 1, 2016 5:13 PM

      Pack away your candy vans. It's Super Cuomo to the rescue.

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      August 1, 2016 5:16 PM

      If they create a law for this it will either be too specific or broad to do what they intend so it is irrelevant.
      I guess you get all sorts of people in a big city and sometimes the terminally stupid will cluster together and become the government.

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      August 1, 2016 5:25 PM

      Why do we continue sex offenders' punishment after their release? If they haven't been rehabilitated, then should they be free in the first place?

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        August 1, 2016 5:40 PM

        The flaw in your statement is that you assume prison is for rehabilitation.

        However, I'm guessing they can't really imprison someone for life when they haven't taken a life, yet they are basically the most reviled humans in society, so a compromise must be made. They are set free, but subject to scrutiny for the rest of their lives.

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          August 1, 2016 5:45 PM

          However, I'm guessing they can't really imprison someone for life when they haven't taken a life

          I'm not sure that's true.

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            August 1, 2016 5:50 PM

            Yeah, three strikes laws say otherwise.

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            August 1, 2016 6:18 PM

            I'm not talking about actual sentencing regulations or standards. Just in general of a feeling that locking someone up for life because they molested someone is not really a rational punishment. I.E. the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

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              August 2, 2016 3:28 AM

              It does though, if you cannot reasonably prevent them from taking that action again. Prison should be about rehabilitation and public safety, not punishment.

              I want a man that will molest children off the street until he is not in any reasonable danger of doing so again. If, as the current climate suggests, he's free to leave prison, but still in danger of molesting kids at any time (so we must keep them away), then I just don't think he should be out of prison in the first place.

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                August 2, 2016 3:55 AM

                But are those policies based on actual recidivism rates? Everything I've read suggests that's not the case.

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                  August 2, 2016 4:35 AM

                  Oh, I'm sure it isn't. I'm agreeing with the mindset that our current laws regarding sex offenders after prison are fucking awful.

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        August 2, 2016 12:25 AM

        Because people need votes bro, and they make stupid laws to make people have the illusion of safety. If people want to harm another person, they will find a way.

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        August 2, 2016 6:47 AM

        Rehabilitating a pedophile is like sending a gay person to Christ camp to be straightened. There have been NY Times articles about how it's pretty much the same idea as being gay, in that it's just how your brain chemistry works and that (not including specific instances of psychological trauma) you're born with it.

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          August 2, 2016 7:08 AM

          Sex offender != pedophile.

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            August 2, 2016 7:14 AM

            I agree, but you're not going to rehabilitate someone who peed on a tree or flashed their boobs in Mardi Gras because it could have been solved with a verbal warning and went too far.

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      August 1, 2016 5:39 PM

      Someone on my public G+ linked this timely report from Human Rights Watch on the damage of draconian sex offender laws, in particular those targeting youth offenders (e.g. me).

      It's tremendously long, but there's a ton of good info in it.

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        August 1, 2016 5:46 PM

        (And by "timely" I guess I mean it's applicable now, I didn't realize it came out in 2013.)

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      August 1, 2016 7:39 PM

      All weekend at a wedding it was nothing but parents going on an on about potential child molesters using Pokemon Go as "Free Candy". I guess it's the new hotness in moral panic:

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      August 1, 2016 7:51 PM

      Governor Cuomo has announced those on the sex offender registry are now banned from downloading, accessing, “or otherwise engaging” in any games that have internet-enabled connections, including the likes of Pokemon Go.

      hahahahahahahahaha good fucking luck with that

      • reply
        August 1, 2016 7:53 PM

        Unless now if you're a sex offender all your Internet activity is monitored. Which seems not even remotely legal.

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          August 1, 2016 8:01 PM

          Some states are pretty zealous/thorough when it comes to monitoring. Like home searches for probation violations. I'd imagine the courts would expand that to phones instead of just looking under the bed for guns and weed for someone convicted of a sex crime.

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            August 1, 2016 8:02 PM

            That's seriously fucked.

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              August 1, 2016 8:05 PM

              The way we treat sex offenders is ridiculously fucked in general. It doesn't seem likely to ever even out to something reasonable either since the minute you start suggesting that maybe we shouldn't turn it up to 11 on them at all times, someone comes in and accuses you of being pro-molestation or something equally insane.

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              August 1, 2016 8:18 PM

              Depending on the state felons aren't really people.

              Now imagine being the relative of someone who just got out? You gave them a home and now your home has to be searched. Pretty fucked.

              Thankfully most Parole Officers understand that it's messed up and they generally just run circuits at area bars and keep tabs on people who are going to be obvious (ie. violent) problems.

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      August 1, 2016 7:56 PM

      So no one in NYC has access to this game right now?

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      August 2, 2016 1:10 AM

      If you think current sex offender laws have major problems and you want to see laws based around protecting both the public and the rights of individuals, please consider donating to and/or . Without organizations and individuals actively working to change the current system, nothing will happen.

      I donated to both. Would love for others to join me.

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        August 2, 2016 4:28 AM

        This is an insightful post:

        I would wager 70% of Americans if not many more would say that it is not worth our time to have him on a violent sex offender list. He seems like he made a mistake sure. If it was my wife or daughter I would be very unhappy with the man but putting him on this list for life seems like it's crazy to me.

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        August 2, 2016 4:53 AM

        Are you on a list or something? Or do you know someone on a list that shouldn't be? Weird platform to take.

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          August 2, 2016 5:06 AM

          And this kind of attitude is why these laws are so hard to change. No one wants to go to bat for people we've collectively decided are just monsters to live in fear of.

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            August 2, 2016 5:11 AM

            Sex offenders tend to think they did nothing wrong. It's a mental issue. It's a fair question to ask.

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              August 2, 2016 5:19 AM

              That's total bullshit.

              I'm not a sex offender or have a close friend who is one and I think the laws are outrageous. It's important to protect people and not fuck over humans for the rest of their lives.

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          August 2, 2016 5:08 AM

          Anyone raising kids should be concerned about this, because you get on lists for doing stupid shit and kids do stupid shit all the time. I'm terrified of sending my little boy out into a system with brutal consequences for minor infractions and absolutely no mercy.

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            August 2, 2016 5:54 AM

            *you CAN get on lists for doing silly shit

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              August 2, 2016 6:05 AM

              yeah I knew what you meant. I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of it, but it's hard to take the list seriously when there are dudes on there that were urinating behind a tree or a gal that flashed her boobs during Mardi Gras. If you're going to drop the hammer on people you need to keep serious offenders on it and not just lump everybody with indecent exposure or public lewdness in there too.

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          August 2, 2016 5:59 AM

          This is an uninformed post.

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          August 2, 2016 7:20 AM

          Eh, at some point things can be taken too far.

          * I'm not on a list.