Cuomo forces ISP’s to block USENET groups / censor websites

Andrew Cuomo New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced an agreement with Sprint, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, that will see them block subscriber access to newsgroups that distribute child pornography, and act to purge any images from them that are stored on their servers.

Read Cuomo’s statement.

Federal law already dictates that ISP’s should report child pornography
to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), but it
often takes customer complaints to trigger a report.

The agreement follows a sting operation in which investigator’s
complaints about content were routinely ignored by the ISP’s. It
includes provisions under which the ISPs will pay $1.125 million to the
Attorney General’s office (AG) and the NCMEC to fund further efforts.
The AG & NCMEC will maintain a blacklist of images and websites
with which the ISP’s will have to comply.

“No one is saying you’re supposed to be the policemen on the Internet,
but there has to be a paradigm where you cooperate with law
enforcement, or if you have notice of a potentially criminal act, we
deem you responsible to an extent,” Cuomo said. “This literally
threatens our children, and there can be no higher priority than
keeping our children safe.”

No list is available, as yet, of the USENET groups to be blocked.

[source|NY Times ]

About joly

isoc member since 1995

3 thoughts on “Cuomo forces ISP’s to block USENET groups / censor websites

  1. Declan McCullagh reports

    What this means in practice is that, thanks to the New York state attorney general, Verizon customers will lose out on innocent discussions. Verizon is retaining only eight newsgroup hierarchies, even though over 1,000 hierarchies exist.

    That means not carrying perfectly innocuous–and, in fact, very useful–newsgroups like symantec.customerservice.general, us.military, microsoft.public.excel, and fr.soc.economie.

    The alt.hierarchy is even more extensive. In the discussion thread attached to our earlier story, one of our readers said: “This is ridiculous. I actually met my wife on alt.personals, 14 years ago… I still use usenet – there are a lot good discussions and a person can get answers to questions on specific topics pretty quickly. It’s nice to have a decentralized place to hold discussions, one that is not beholden to a sysadmin to correctly run a forum, one that’s free of blinking gifs and flash ads.”

    The only Usenet newsgroups that Verizon will continue to offer customers are the comp.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, and talk.* hierarchies. Customers will continue to be able to connect to other non-Verizon Usenet servers; no blocking is taking place.

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