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Three ISPs Agree To Block Child Porn

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the camel's-head-and-neck dept.

Censorship 572

Goobergunch and other readers sent in word that Sprint, Time Warner, and Verizon have agreed to block websites and newsgroups containing child pornography. The deal, brokered by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, occurred after Cuomo's office threatened the ISPs with fraud charges. It's of some concern that the blacklist of sites and newsgroups is to be maintained by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an NGO with no legal requirement for transparency. Here are two further cautions, the first from Lauren Weinstein: "Of broader interest perhaps is how much time will pass before 'other entities' demand that ISPs (attempt to) block access to other materials that one group or another feels subscribers should not be permitted to see or hear." And from Techdirt: "[T]he state of Pennsylvania tried to do pretty much the same thing, back in 2002, but focused on actually passing a law ... And, of course, a federal court tossed out the law as unconstitutional. The goal is certainly noble. Getting rid of child porn would be great — but having ISPs block access to an assigned list isn't going to do a damn thing towards that goal."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732253)

Child porn is NOT the problem (4, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733163)

The problem is the production of child porn which of course involves abuse of children.

The demand comes from perverts who like to watch the abuse of children. So what happens if you simply block their access to child porn produced by other people?

They go off and produce their own. Which means more children abused.

Far better to use the ISPs to track those who produce or regularly seek out child porn and then prosecute them or treat their mental issues as is necessary. Several jurisdictions in Europe have broken up "Child porn rings", arresting as many as 50 people at once.

finally: There is a new category of child porn that has started to pop up lately. Child produced pornography. This means 3 or 4 children, all the same age who take turns operating a cameraphone and performing for it. Then they send out the video to other children via MMS, Bluetooth and Email. The 1st such "work" that came to public attention locally was on the cellphones or computers of thousands of children before the 1st adult saw it.

How do we deal with that? Who do we prosecute? I honestly don't know, suggestions from the Slashdot crowd would be welcome.

Block for all? (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732279)

What about providing *optional* proxies that does that filtering to their users?

Re:Block for all? (5, Insightful)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732363)

And then arresting everyone who chooses not to use the filter, on charges of seeking child pornography?

Re:Block for all? (4, Insightful)

spidrw (868429) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732459)

I think it's more about "How can we actively stop our sick bastard pedophile users from doing this?" rather than "Oh how can we keep Timmy from stumbling across some kiddie porn when all he wants is Go, Diego, Go?" The latter goal would just require an *optional* proxy as you put it, but it would be pointless towards the actual goal, which I belive is the first one.

It's not about porn. (1, Redundant)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732481)

Re:It's not about porn. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732659)

We can be sure M$, AOL, and Yahoo will do their part [] .

slippery slope (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732281)

While I can't stand the kiddie pr0n,this simply won't work. it has been tried in the past in other countries and it always ends up getting legit websites along with the bad ones.But that is my 02c,YMMV

Re:slippery slope (5, Interesting)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732523)

There is such a list in Sweden, and some of the big ISPs use it. There was quite an uproar when someone tried to put The Pirate Bay on it, claiming they had torrents of child porn, and it never got on the list. Almost everyone agrees that the list is useless, but it's still there. :-/

So it's not a question of whether or not someone will try to use such a list for their own goals, but how soon that will happen.

Re:slippery slope (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733065)

yea it will get legit sites killed and won't stop the sick bastards from gettin around it with a proxy or somethin

Child porn (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732339)

Right on the heals of a Boy scouts of America article.


Coming up next (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732873)

A story on how the Vatican uses the web site.

Are you sure? (5, Insightful)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732347)

"Yes, DOES contain child porn, so does"
"Do you have proof?"
"We don't need it, it's on the list, now move along, nothing to see here."

Re:Are you sure? (5, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732461)

"Yes, DOES contain child porn, so does"
"Do you have proof?"
"Why are you asking? You must be looking for child porn! STONE HIM!"
There, fixed it for you.

Re:Are you sure? (-1, Troll)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732601)

Nice hat tinfoil looks good on you.

Really is it such a wild idea that they may actually only block kidde porn?

Why is it okay to block spammers and take down phishing sites but if you want to block kiddie porn sites it is censorship?

Re:Are you sure? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732779)

No problemo. Use Google to search for child porn. Bye bye, Google.

Re:Are you sure? (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733013)

That argument is called a slippery slope. It is a logical fallacy.
If you had bother to read the story you would have found that the ISPs are purging some news groups that actually did have kiddieporn on them. Several usnet groups are very questionable at best.
They are also blocking known sites that violate US laws of child pornography. At no point did they mention closing search engines. I would be willing to bet that Google already has a black list of sites that it doesn't cache just so they don't have to worry about having very illegal data sitting on their servers.

Re:Are you sure? (2, Informative)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733231)

Fine, then you can look at the concrete example where in Sweden some group was trying to get The Pirate Bay on some child porn filter list through false means. Are you really going to try to claim that groups would never try such similar tactics for other sites that they don't like?

Yes, that's a wild idea. (3, Insightful)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732903)

AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo have already blocked email based on political content [] . We can be sure that ISPs will abuse "porn lists" too.

The right thing to do about kiddie porn is to catch the people who make it.

The right thing to do to censors is to show them out of office.

Re:Yes, that's a wild idea. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733159)

Truthout? please I was spammed by them myself. Trust me I never signed up for there emails and I sent them many emails before I finally just wrote a filter to delete them.

Re:Yes, that's a wild idea. (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733215)

I don't understand why you keep trotting [] this out. TruthOut were blocked for very specific [] reasons.

twitter/Erris/Mactrope/gnutoo/inTheLoo/willeyhill/westbake/Odder/ibane? Click on my home page link to do a SockCheck(TM)

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732967)

Why is it okay to block spammers and take down phishing sites but if you want to block kiddie porn sites it is censorship?
When did ISPs start blacklisting IPs for spammers and phishers?

Re:Are you sure? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733081)

quite a long time ago. see SpamCop [] for a current version. I'm sure historical data is available in the forums.

Re:Are you sure? (3, Interesting)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732973)

Many Finnish ISPs voluntarily enforce a blacklist maintained by the police. The list is full of legitimate sites that supposedly contain "child porn." While browsing for garden variety porn I got blocked so many times I had to start using OpenDNS (yes, it's really tough to circumvent the blacklist).

This will probably go down exactly like the GP thinks it will. Just in like here.

Re:Are you sure? (4, Insightful)

jacem (665870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733049)

Blocking either spam or phishing sites could be considered censorship by the way. You can talk about protected speech but as soon as you classify some speech as protected and other as not you start down a slippery slope.
As far as ISP doing the blocking, it's a matter of practicality as much as we try we haven't really put a dent in phishing sites or spam. Someone who wants kiddi p()rn is going to find it. the danger is that other speech may get knocked out as collateral damage, intentionally or not.


Re:Are you sure? (1)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733059)

Really is it such a wild idea that they may actually only block kidde porn?
Yes. Have you been living under a rock to not hear the countless stories of legitimate sites being blocked by filtering software? Oh and that's not even getting to the ones where a group has blocked out websites that were critical of them.

Re:Are you sure? (2, Interesting)

MilesAttacca (1016569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733127)

I know it's breaking rules 1 and 2, but I wouldn't be surprised if 4chan was on the list. While it's a forum for everything from anime screenshots to computer troubleshooting, it does get flooded with child porn every once in awhile. No matter how responsive the moderators are in removing it (and they usually are), I can see a lot of groups choosing to focus on the fact that child porn *can* be posted to it in the first place.

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733199)

Blocking spam and phishing is voluntary. This isn't.

Not that I read TFA, but... (1)

koh (124962) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732397)

How will they do it? How can they detect kiddie porn? Because if they can do that at the packet level with 100% accuracy and 0% false positive, I wouldn't mind having this in my router at the hardware level.

So, how?

Easy.. (2, Funny) (1021409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732589)

They hire a pedophile!!

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (2, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732645)

Hashes, according to the article I read which may or may not be the same as the linked one.

The AG got the companies because they had in their TOS a clause that specificly prohibited child pornography. Therefore when the sting operation's user complained about it and the ISP's did their standard "nothing" it became fraud.

The ISP's will use a hash database provided by the Center of pictures they've collected, blocking anything tha matches the hash.

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732945)

So if I were a pedo, I do a traditional symmetric encrypt on the file and post the password a few days later when I'm long gone from the public access point... Or if I'm selling the stuff, I don't even have to do anything different. My site logo overlaid on the image alters the hash. Great plan. Totally bulletproof.

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (4, Insightful)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732961)

Oh, so in other words, all this does is create a huge market for constantly original child porn instead of all the same old 70's nudist images floating around? The's brilliant!

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (4, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732717)

According to TFA, they have about 11,000 images that they generate hashes for. Then they scan the web for images with the same hash.

So the easiest way around this is to create a program that automatically changes the value of a random single pixel in a graphic. Problem solved, crisis averted.

What I want to know is will the list of sites being blocked be publicly available for review? I bet not...

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732787)

Most image hashing programs are robust enough to handle random noise in a picture. The issue will be how 'close' a picture will have to be to be caught and how many false positives will result in the necessarily fuzzy logic.

Re:Not that I read TFA, but... (1)

koh (124962) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733141)

That's what I thought. That doesn't prevent anything. Also, who controls the hash list? What prevents them from adding the hash of anything they want later? How does that scale?

Killing the Internet. (4, Informative)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732415)

Let's see:

If all of these things come about, the internet will be like cable TV and there will be no free press.

Re:Killing the Internet. (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732497)

Plans to charge per site access, as if they were cable channels.

Nice try, and let them try.

Re:Killing the Internet. (4, Insightful)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733143)

You already see it's start with metered internet. Once they have that, they can offer you "free" sites. Everyone loves free, aren't they nice? Then they hike the price of visiting other sites to something stupid like $5/GB so that it's cheaper to buy physical media and presto - no more internet. They are already blaming "pirates", kiddie porn and terrorists. That's essentially a smear for their competition and anyone who disagrees with them.

If they get their way, things will really get ugly. All rights fall after free press does.

Re:Killing the Internet. (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733145)

They will, and it will work, because the average consumer hasn't a goddamned clue as to how the internet works. They'll just think of it as a wonderful time saving mechanism for getting their e-mail.

Killing the Sockpuppets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733135)

Wow, what a coincidence! Someone else just posted [] the exact same link you did!

Oh wait [] .

Re:Killing the Sockpuppets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733259)

I am not Richard Stallman [] , but the comparison is flattering.

BAH! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732419)

How about they just cooperate with authorities and turn over ip information when they find that the offenders live in areas that prohibit the dissemination of this type of material. Passive black listing doesn't work nearly as well as arrests.

Mixed feelings (4, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732429)

While on the one hand I see no reason whatsoever for child porn-related sites to even exist let alone have anyone visit them, censorship by ISPs is a very obvious slippery slope. Unfair and damaging compromises without number have already been made "for the sake of the children"; it's as obvious a ploy as "..or the terrorists win", and I for one feel my intelligence is insulted whenever those cards are played. In the final analysis, I think this will be found to be a bad idea. Providers of bandwidth should not be allowed to decide what content will traverse their network any more than they should be allowed to interfere with P2P traffic. Determining the appropriateness should be the domain of hosting services, and the legality should be determined by the courts and by law enforcement; ISPs are neither -- which is as it should be.

What's going to be the first false positive? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732435)

Time for a new poll, perhaps? What's going to be the first false positive?

Re:What's going to be the first false positive? (3, Funny)

danzona (779560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733099)

At last Cowboy Neal will win a poll!

Re:What's going to be the first false positive? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733213)

Depends on the ISP. For instance, I suspect for the likes of Comcast and Verizon, their first false-positives will include any direct competitor accidentally. Something like...

"oops! Netflix got on there!? And you say you can't reach Vonage-dot-com either!? Oh, we're terribly sorry! We don't know how that happened! we'll clear it from the blacklists immediately... It may take awhile for it to clear completely, so how about checking out our pay-per-view offerings as a workaround?" [...two weeks pass...] "oops! Now how did that get back in there!? Oh you can bet that we'll investigate this one!"

...but of course it'll be done as subtly as is required to fend off lawsuits and FTC investigations.


Let's go ahead and get this out of the way (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732455)

ISPs are not common carriers. Thank you for your time.

Re:Let's go ahead and get this out of the way (5, Funny)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732807)

But the phone companies are forced to keep a list of numbers that are illegal to call (crack dealers and such) so people can't call them right?? Oh wait.....

Re:Let's go ahead and get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732853)

Under what legal framework do they operate that they can police the content without being responsible for it (ie, failing to block illegal activity)? I'm not trying to troll or anything, I'm not American so I don't understand how this makes sense in your legal system (with so many lawsuits saying that the provider is responsible for the product even where impractical - eg, McDonalds Hot Coffee etc)..

Re:Let's go ahead and get this out of the way (1)

jacem (665870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733171)

Depends on whether or not your ISP is a telco or a cable company. This maybe out dated but dialup and DSL run over telephone lines and are title IV of the FCC cable is not.


Won't Work! (3, Insightful)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732467)

I have to agree with what has already been said- it won't work. Legit sites will get caught in the net and the lawsuits will ensue.

Anyone who has had to deal with Internet filtering systems like Websense knows they are problematic at-best. I can't imagine using an ISP that runs something like that.

It seems to me that if they know enough about the kiddie pr0n sites to block them- they should have enough information to provide authorities to get them shut down.

Rules 1 and 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732469)

Well enjoy the various -chan sites for the few remaining days they'll still be accessible from those ISPs.

Re:Rules 1 and 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733035)

So you're saying that there may be an upside to this? :)

Very mixed emotions (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732493)

What if they make a mistake? Is this the first step of many? Will other pressure groups make them block access to material that is legal in the source or destination jurisdiction but not in the other? Of course any ISPs that block material on their own who dared to claim common-carrier status can kiss that claim goodbye.

I would much prefer them not to block it themselves but rather cooperate with law enforcement. If the cops want it shut down, they can get a warrant to shut it down. On the other hand, the cops may want to keep it up for an hour or two so they can see the logs in real-time and knock on the customers' doors as they are up- or down-loading it.

As for newsgroups, if the KP-suppliers can't post in alt.kiddie-porn-group-de-jour, they may start invading alt.fractals.mandelbrot or some other group that has no tolerance for such material. That would be quite disruptive.

Besides, unless they are just plain stupid, people won't upload or host illegal material without encryption, with the passwords traded through other channels. Good luck to the ISPs telling encrypted kiddie porn from encrypted photographs of CowboyNeal's mother.

Re:Very mixed emotions (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733005)

As someone who remembers the "good 'ol days" prior to the garbage dump that the alt.* heirarchy became to escape the moderated heirarchies, I don't really feel that a culling of alt. and renewal to using the old moderated structure would be that horrible.

And you would be surprised how stupid people are. Or maybe not. But just because someone managed to barf themselves onto the newsgroups doesn't immediately mean they have a clue IT-wise. Encryption is still very much the realm of the thinking man and even they make mistakes.

Politicians (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732517)

When it comes to tech some people are born stupid and some work at it, politicians are a blend of both. The longer they are in office the dumber they get.

Won't Work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732525)

There are a shitload of proxies out there, even HTTP Proxies (ie:
While we provide the ability to blacklist websites where I work, users will still find a way around these to get to the sites they want - just look at all the school kids who use HTTP proxies to get through to sites such as MySpace.

I am wondering what fraud charges the Attorney General threatened these ISP's with, that they'd be willing to lose their common carrier status by messing with their users traffic.

sure - as soon as they can define it... (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732529)

or even identify it. [] RS

Worse than useless. (4, Insightful)

JMZero (449047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732537)

I use newsgroups quite a bit. Once (or whatever) is shut down, that material is just going to be posted somewhere else - and probably end up being seen by more people. If they ban keywords, they'll move onto new euphemisms. No automatic filter will do this job - and the results of the attempt will be worse in every way than if no filter was used.

All it is is scoring political points, and providing the illusion of action while really making the situation worse.

Re:Worse than useless. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732881)

Sounds familiar...

Centralized hub, gets destroyed.
Decentralized hub, gets destroyed.
Even more decentralized...toss in misspellings...

Oh hell, did I just give the **AAs ammunition that copyright infringers are also pedophiles?

Re:Worse than useless. (4, Insightful)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732957)

Maybe this is just step one. Step two being, "They're too clever, our only choice is to shut all of USENET down." After all, it's just the seedy "back-alley" of the internet according to TFA.

And petophiles everywhere (1)

unspokenchaos (1295553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732541)

GET ERROR 500 when clicking on their bookmarked pages...

GWB explains the conservative agenda (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732545)

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -George "Dubai" Bush

By the "we", he of course means conservatives.

extortion is illegal (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732549)

Isn't that called extortion? "We will bring you up on charges if you do not 'voluntarily' do as we say." Especially when what they say is clearly illegal (per PA ruling).

Me Chinese (1)

TheMidnight (1055796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732569)

This is starting to sound like China's Great Firewall (or the "Golden Shield" as they like to call it). I could see joke sites getting caught in this since it's a non-governmental entity keeping the list--not that joke sites should contain child porn, but a joke site (such as Encyclopedia Dramatica) that makes fun of pedos, child abuse, or the organization itself--could be targets for blocking. I am always against arbitrary censorship. Any pedo that wants porn is going to find it underground anyway--newsgroups, VHS and DVD swapping, email, P2P, and anything anonymous. A block list is only going to stop a person who is thinking "Gee, I wonder what child porn looks like."

This is stupid. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732571)

So does this mean I won't be able to read 4chan anymore?

False positives, misleading true positives (5, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732577)

What happens when Mom sends via email or an online album pictures of Baby's first bath to Grandma, and Grandma's ISP's software classifies the email or album as child porn? Does Grandma get a visit from the FBI/CIA/DEA/NSA/IRS/TSA/DHS in the form of a raid looking for more child porn? News gets out that Grandma was investigated for child porn and her reputation is demolished, even if some people know that it was a case of mistaken intent/identity.

Child porn is a terrible thing, but it's virtually impossible to classify something as child porn unless someone has manually classified an known image and corresponding hash as child porn.

There's also the issue of determining ages of the children in the picture if they're not obviously too young. Who took the pictures? Was it taken by a 15-year-old girl's 17-year-old boyfriend, or did she herself take it for him? This is legal in some states/countries, but a felony in others.

I don't want to get into an argument about these specific cases, but the possible cases are simply too wide and a single government authority cannot effectively press its morals onto its people. Romeo and Juliet will deviate from the norm.

The Chris Hansen approach works much better because it shows provable evidence of intent/motive and catches them in the act, perhaps even literally with their pants down.

Re:False positives, misleading true positives (4, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732655)

Yea, that would be great and all, but Chris Hansen is doing it to make money. That seems a bit sick too.

Re:False positives, misleading true positives (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732809)

Getting paid to deceive child predators and see them arrested doesn't seem sick at all to me.

It proves that the stupid criminals are the ones who get caught.

Chris Hanson's major problem (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733147)

1) He's not a trained law-enforcement officer.
2) The presence of the camera for other than evidence purposes compromises the investigation.

A much better approach would be to leave the stings to the cops, then, after the trials are over, use the evidence presented to the court to make a TV show.

Plus, it's cheaper.

Blocking vs. not subscribing (2, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732603)

People are confusing the Web with Usenet. To prevent people from reading child porn on Usenet is easy - you simply don't allow external news servers (which the big boys probably are already blocking), and then you make the choice to NOT subscribe your internal news servers to the porn channels.

People confuse where responsibility lies.

Re:Blocking vs. not subscribing (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732831)

That's assuming that the "porn channels" are easily identified as such. Sure, many might have obvious names, but can you be sure that all of them do? And then there's the issue of proxy servers and Usenet web gateways...

Block the Catholic Church (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732607)

They actually have sex with children.

Libel? Common carrier? (2, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732637)

If some innocent website is blacklisted in this system, can they claim libel or slander by the black-lister?

Also, if ISPs become censors, don't they lose their Common Carrier status under the DMCA, and put themselves on the hook for any bad stuff that comes over their wires?

More of a non-event than you'd think (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732673)

The companies have agreed to shut down access to newsgroups that traffic in pornographic images of children on one of the oldest outposts of the Internet, known as Usenet.
Do you really suppose that Verizon, Sprint and Time-Warner are carrying the full list of alt.binaries.*?? Yah, I thought not.

Re:More of a non-event than you'd think (1)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732917)

spot on. I have Qwest DSL and they don't even offer Usenet services. I now buy Usenet bandwidth separately. It works out better that way anyway...more groups and higher per MB limits than what an ISP offers.

Common Carrier Safe Harbor (2, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732727)

So they're consenting by request rather than by law to remove material (however loathsome)specified by a third party? How can they possibly preserve their status as Common Carriers [] under this regime? Without that shield in place they'll be held liable for every possibly objectionable (copyright, libel, obscenity) piece of data they move. How can they possibly agree to this?

Re:Common Carrier Safe Harbor (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23732987)

Say it with me now - ISPs are not currently common carriers, have never been common carriers, and do not want to be common carriers.

Insightful my ass.

Re:Common Carrier Safe Harbor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733161)

Technically, their usenet servers are not part of their service as a common carrier. They are provided as an extra. If you don't like the restrictions on their server, you can use a free or pay 3rd party server.

Hey its about the kids - Stupid! (2)

booleanoperator (1067746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732747)

I love privacy, and i believe what BF said, "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."(wikipedia) But come on, anyone arguing that blocking child porn is a slippery slope is like saying we shouldnt have a court system because some people may be found innocent. Wouldnt it make more sense to say, well, such a system would need to be heavily regulated to preserve liberty. Wouldnt such an answer work in this case? The parties working together on this are not criminals, they are public corperations, NY Gov, or NGOs who's sole purpose is to help children; all of them answerable to the people (or a group of people). Wouldnt it be more productive and responsible to steer them in the right direction than to gripe about how they will surely screw it up without giving them a chance.

Court systems (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733205)

If the NGOs made complains to the police and judges issued "block this site" orders in near-real-time, I don't think you would see the huge backlash.

Take out the judges, and it's a recipe for burning the constitution.

And the *chanboys win in 5...4..3...2... (4, Interesting)

Mark Cicero (734120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732755)

Seriously, what happens if a group of people (generally young men found living electronically on one of those lovely chan boards) decide to stage a cp raid? Is the attacked site blocked forever or only as long as the cp stays on the servers? Who decides if it is intentional or accidental? Who even gets to decide what constitutes cp? Is there a job where someone has to sort through all the porn on the internet to see what is legal? Are they accepting resumes? Not that I'm applying.

thinkofthechildren explicity in last paragraph (3, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732775)

The last paragraph of the NYT story reads:

"This literally threatens our children, and there can be no higher priority than keeping our children safe."
Summarized in one word: thinkofthechildren.

Summarized in a phrase: Accept the mantra, just don't think.

Seriously, I can think of lots of priorities higher than keeping our children safe. Keeping our children safe means never letting them outside, never letting them take risks, never exposing them to the dangerous rays of ultraviolet light, never letting them go swimming, never letting them surf the net.

The proper thing to do is to take reasonable measurements to keep everyone, including vulnerable populations such as kids and the elderly, relatively safe without incurring high costs in terms of money, civil liberties, etc. Words like "no higher priority" indicate the speaker is either intentionally lying, or worse, not thinking straight.

Cuomo seems to love kiddie porn... (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732793)

One considerable tool that has been assembled as part of the investigation is a library of more than 11,000 pornographic images. Because the same images are often distributed around the Web or from newsgroup to newsgroup, once investigators catalog an image, they can use a digital identifier called a âoehash valueâ to scan for it anywhere else â" using it as a homing beacon of sorts to find other pornographic sites.
There's a weird irony to fighting kiddie porn by hoarding a large database of it. What's to stop the poster from tagging the image with a random watermark every time so the image fails to match?

I don't get the fight to stop child porn distribution. Doesn't that just make it harder to find the people who engage in this stuff? I guess the implied logic is that this stuff influences people to commit similar acts. Have we really accepted this argument? Violent movies and video games next? This is all so messy. Really don't like seeing USENET get this press either...

Re:Cuomo seems to love kiddie porn... (1)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733133)

Yes. This is the beginning of the end for Usenet.

How long now before the RIAA starts looking for "hash values" of the latest .mp3s?

It's good at least that the radar is going off for /.ers. This isn't about protecting children. It's about control, control, control--same as always. Get your foot in the door with "think of the children"--next thing you know we are cutting out pirates, then the fetish porn, pretty soon we are cutting out people who speak against out against big business, the pharmaceuticals or the government. Mission accomplished.

It's sad really that the general populace is so easily swayed by anything that fights "child porn" as if it's the biggest scourge humanity has faced or something--as if it trumps all other values of the world.

What I want to know is... (4, Insightful)

llamalad (12917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732797)

If they can create a list of sites that contain this vile shit, wouldn't it make sense to, oh, I don't know, maybe shut them down, prosecute the scumbags that are running the sites, and then use their client records to find and prosecute the people who were paying for it?

Re:What I want to know is... (1)

bryce4president (1247134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733071)

This is exactly what I was thinking. They can go after the ISPs and hosts to hand over customer data for copyright infringement. I would think this is standard operating procedure for the people investigating this stuff. There don't need to be any more laws. There are enough of those on the books to handle the warrants needed. If an agency sees a sight with this crap on it, that is all the reasonable suspicion they need to get a warrant for the person paying to host this stuff or to have the ISP hand over their information. Use these sights to track down the offenders and prosecute and have a key burning party.

what a brave act (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732815)

wow, it takes real guts to block this. after all, i can't count how many times i was searching for restaurants and all i could find on google was child porn. i know there are a lot of groups out there who are against the blocking of child porn (those damn nazi-commie free speach bastards), and I think it takes real guts standing up to them and saying "no! no more child porn on"
...seriously though, this is kind of stupid.
1.) you can't really block it. i'm betting this stuff usally gets passed from one individual to another, not through sites dedicated to spreading it.
2.) it infringes on on the privacy of the consumer
3.) its just a publicity stunt that really doesn't serve anyone.

How the hell do you build this list? (5, Funny)

y86 (111726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732851)

Great Idea in theory, "lets block all this bad stuff", OK now please define the rules...

Government: It has to block child porn.
Me: OK, how do we define child porn?
Government: An adult and a child in sexual acts.
Me: Right, how do we flag that to block it?
Government: *frusterated* You block it!
Me: We need to define a process or this won't work.
Government: We'll make a list then.
Me: So your going to scour the internets for child Porn and add it to this list. Nothing automatic?
Government: Yes
Me: So what venues will you block, HTTP, SSH, FTP, Torrent, MQ, Skype?
Government: All of those things.
Me: You can't decrypt HTTPS or SSH traffic, how do you know it's child porn?
Government: Because we know those servers have porn since some guy flagged it.
Me: You've heard of dynamic IP's right?
Me: Um.... do it.

Re:How the hell do you build this list? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733009)

Poor bunny...

Re:How the hell do you build this list? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733169)

i got some nude pics of the bunny, interested?

Government already got most of you scared shitless (1)

HetMes (1074585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23732919)

Impressive how a lot of posters opposing this measure start off saying they abolish child porn. Heaven forfend people should think you're into it! Let's face it people, child porn is a kink, just like any other. We deem putting it in practice illegal, fine. But the demand, which is probably constant, will create its own supply. And if they can't get it on the web, they'll search for it in real life. If anything, this measure will increase child abuse.

Re:Government already got most of you scared shitl (1)

bryce4president (1247134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733241)

Nice argument except it is a false one. You think that the people looking at this crap aren't partaking in it in real life? Have you seen Dateline lately? And these are just the guys that like 12 - 15 year olds. I think that you are right in that there will be no "end" to the fight. But your argument that we should stop fighting because it will cause *more* harm is crap. The more of these people that we get off the streets the better, the harder we make it for them to get this stuff the better.

DPI Ahead!! (2, Insightful)

zenmaster666 (1285342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733043)

Doesn't this imply deep packet inspection will be legitimized. I see a pattern here first the British Telecom now ISP's in the US.

By all means bring down the sites with child porn, but this should be a excuse to control "all" traffic.

This problem has to be nipped in the bud, if not there will be no end to what the ISP's will dictate.

How can you something that isn't defined? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733091)

What exactly is kiddie porn? Is there even a clear answer to this question? If not, how can you filter it? Or do the ISPs have some quantum filter that concurrently filters across all of time based on the sum of the definitions of child porn?

I guess I am just asking, is there a legal definition of child porn?

Also from TFA: (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733103)

"This literally threatens our children, and there can be no higher priority than keeping our children safe."
First I thought he had just misused "literally" as so many do. Then I realized he meant it like "No I mean really, it threatens children literally and not in that bullshit meaningless 'think of the children' way we use so much in politics that it has become meaningless and basically figurative."

Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23733139)

Good to see folks are on thier toes this fine election year.

Those who don't learn from others' mistakes... (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 6 years ago | (#23733167)

They tried this in Finland. It was an utter failure for multiple reasons. The Register article states many of them.

Well, technically, they're still trying it in Finland. It's still failing.
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