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US ISPs Announce Anti-Child-Porn Agreement

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the little-timmy's-law-against-all-things-that-are-bad dept.

The Internet 613

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that ISPs have gathered together with 45 attorney generals and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to form an agreement to crush child pornography. What does that mean? Probably the same as it meant for RoadRunner, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon customers — the end of the newsgroups." Here's the back-patting press-release from the various parties who signed on (the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Association of Attorneys General), though the actual text of the agreement does not seem to have been made public.

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attorney generals? (5, Informative)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235395)

methinks you meant attorneys general. what is the point of /. having editors if they don't edit?
you must be new here
first post

Re:attorney generals? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235403)

They could be generals with law degrees.

Re:attorney generals? (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235431)

Or just non-specific attorneys.

attornies vs an attorney-general. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235715)

Use the hyphen...not the dash.

Re:attorney generals? (0, Troll)

the_banjomatic (1061614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235443)

methinks you meant attorneys general. what is the point of /. having editors if they don't edit?

Perhaps because National Association of Attorneys General is the correct phrase http://www.naag.org/ [naag.org]

Re:attorney generals? (1)

the_banjomatic (1061614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235461)

My bad... the summary was already fixed when I originally read it

Re:attorney generals? (5, Funny)

brianf711 (873109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235897)

I disagree. I think they need to increase their efforts to stop the online distribution of child pornography. There are many sites that have been claimed by some to contain at least some child pornography - rapidshare, myspace, facebook, photobucket, etc; and these should be blocked as well. But even that isn't doing enough if they were to look at the larger ways of distribution. Email, FTP and HTTP have all been used in to distribute child pornography, and if the ISPs were committed to blocking child pornography, they would block those as well. That would only leave a few other things that would need to be blocked to stop child pornography - instant messaging, telnet and a few others. You say they are taking away legitimate purposes of newsgroups, but they are still leaving so many ways of getting child pornography -- so clearly you are a glass is half full and not half empty type of person, and in cases like this, that makes it seem like you are in favor of an internet part full of child pornography.

Re:attorney generals? (1)

brianf711 (873109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235917)

To parent post: This was supposed to be a sarcastic agreement with a different post, but the new editing system confused me when I fixed a typo and it ended up pinned to the first post instead. Sorry about that.

Re:attorney generals? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235901)

editors != proofreaders

Common carrier (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235405)

And those that fail are now liable for carrying illegal data. Also if you download MP3s. Even from Amazon after paying.

Re:Common carrier (5, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235423)

Why are people hanging onto this myth? ISPs do not, and have never had, common carrier status.

Re:Common carrier (4, Funny)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235625)

Why are people hanging onto this myth? ISPs do not, and have never had, common carrier status.

humm...I'm gonna write it as sugestion to the mythbusters...
Do ISPS have common carrier status?
I hope there's explosions envolved .... =)

Re:Common carrier (4, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235879)

USENET services have been protected by common carrier status since they started; if you start censoring newsgroups, you become responsible for their content. this has been the way it is forever, and is commonly understood and supported in case law.

Re:Common carrier (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235907)

Why are people hanging onto this myth? ISPs do not, and have never had, common carrier status.

Source, please.

Re:Common carrier (3, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235943)

I spent about 30 seconds and I couldn't find a source, but rest assured they aren't.

The confusion comes from the fact that AT&T the phone company is a common carrier but AT&T the ISP isn't.

Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235419)

Why do I have the feeling that all this will do is block many websites and services that have nothing to do with child pornography, inconveniencing thousands of innocent web users, while the paedophiles find new ways to trade child porn and are barely inconvenienced? I'm all for fighting child porn, but blocking individual websites or newsgroups is clearly not working, and blocking vast chunks of websites and newsgroups is going to result in blocking mostly legitimate content. Would it be too much to ask for these organisations to actually focus their resources on catching the paedophiles for once? I'm not even sure which is worse in society - a paedophile with child porn, or a paedophile who can't get hold of child porn but wants to see naked children...

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235479)

Pretending to do something is much easier than actually doing something.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (4, Insightful)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235525)

Also, if they solve the problem, they won't have a reason to exist anymore.

They need something to justify their existence (and pay check).

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1, Flamebait)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235617)

I hate to say it, but usenet has outlived it's usefulness anyway. Any idiot can create a newsgroup, Any idiot can post anonymously and any idiot can freely distribute kiddie porn as a result. Let's face it, usenet is an outdated system that is primarily abused. Anything accomplished on usenet can be done elsewhere faster, cheaper and better. Sure, the pedo crowd can still find ways to trade, but usenet makes it too easy to hook up. Killing usenet won't kill kiddie porn, but it makes it more difficult. Does anyone really give a crap if usenet disappears? Seriously?

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Interesting)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235689)

"I hate to say it, but the web has outlived it's usefulness anyway. Any idiot can create a website, Any idiot can post anonymously and any idiot can freely distribute kiddie porn as a result. Let's face it, the web is an outdated system that is primarily abused. Anything accomplished on the web can be done elsewhere faster, cheaper and better. Sure, the pedo crowd can still find ways to trade, but the web makes it too easy to hook up. Killing the web won't kill kiddie porn, but it makes it more difficult. Does anyone really give a crap if the web disappears? Seriously?"

Just replace "usenet", "the web", with just about any networking technology and your statement still has the same meaning. Where does it end?

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235607)

Unfortunately, both actions drain resources equally. I probably wouldn't mind people pretending to take action if they didn't go about expending the same amount of resources as they would have by actually doing something useful. If you're going to put on a show, at least have the sense to be efficient and budget accordingly.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235511)

What's worse is redefining "child porn" to mean "naked children". Here's the definition [cornell.edu] , read it.

"any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where -

        (A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
        (B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
        (C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
        (D) such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct . . ."

- 18 U.S.C. 2256

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235851)

not quite sure where child porn is defined as naked children in your quote? Each list item ends with "engaging in sexually explicit conduct"

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235853)

Yeah, anyone ever seen the first scene in BAIT [pictureuploaderstop.info] ? You now have child porn in your browser cache lol

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235935)

this is for you [4chan.nu]

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

Kiuas (1084567) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235873)

What's worse is redefining "child porn" to mean "naked children".

No what is even worse is the fact that they don't even have to be children and it can still be considered child porn:

(B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;

If I understand correctly it is enough if the person in the film happens to look too young and whilist I agree that intentionally trying to make a film look like child porn is a bit weird it still shouldn't be a crime if every person in the film is an adult.

Besides in my oppinion it's still preferable for somebody to watch "fake" child porn than the real stuff and having this fake stuff available legally could even cut down the number of those who want to watch real child porn.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1)

KozmoKramer (1117173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24236009)

I don't know how to define kiddie porn, but I know it when I see it, but I have never seen it, so......

Compare to Drug Houses (5, Informative)

explodingspleen (1267860) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235569)

I've watched a few episodes of cops where, after raiding a crack den or whatever, the cops then pose as the dealers and do a sting on everyone who buys the product. It seems like it should be similar here--raid the servers, and identify the clientÃle.

But the REALLY important thing, and I do mean the REALLY important thing, is to trackdown and rescue the exploited children. I'm okay with punishing people for participating in the distribution process; however, the reason we view it as so despicable is because of the value we place on the children involved, and our primary efforts should certainly be directed toward finding the source of child porn vs. find the recipients.

Re:Compare to Drug Houses (1)

dark whole (1220600) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235713)

I agree. if only the "Think of the Children" people would actually think of the children(and not their appearance), and stop it at the source.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235657)

"Pedophile" does not mean "child molestor." Here, let me rephrase your statement:

I'm not even sure which is worse in society - a heterosexual with porn, or a heterosexual who can't get hold of porn but wants to see naked women...

Do you see the flaw now?

As a pedophile, I am sick and fucking tired of being stuck in a corner among the sickest imaginable because of urges I can't control. I didn't fucking ask to like little girls; I just do. It's just one of my idiosyncrasies. I don't kidnap, rape, or molest children, nor do I ever plan to, and I have an entirely constructive relationship with the children I do come in contact with. Surprise! The vast majority of pedophiles are rational human beings, just like you. The man in the white van who offers you candy is a psychotic; the exception, not the rule.

Please, cooperate with me here. The only way to get this demonizing bullshit to stop is by changing the general mindset of pedophile = sick child raping motherfucker.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (-1, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235803)

So instead of raping little children, you want to view movies of other people raping little children? Or do you support this attempted eradication?

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235953)

The eradication methods being used are an enormous waste of resources to make it seem like they're doing something when they aren't. I do, however, support the ban. An average child (at least in my preferred age range) isn't mentally capable of understanding what they're getting into and therefore can't consent; I see it in the same category as stripping someone in their sleep and publishing naked pictures of them. This is, of course, assuming we're talking about ACTUAL child porn instead of the "child porn" fifteen-year-olds taking pictures of themselves get accused of.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235955)

Troll much? A pedophile is one who is sexually attracted to children. Where does it say "views movies of other people raping little children"? I'm a heterosexual man and I like to view naked women. Does that mean I want to watch one get raped?

You are what you do, not what you think about. Please chill out with the prejudice.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235805)

Wow, I really commend for having the balls to come out and say that. A bunch of my irc buddies are pedophiles/lolicons, and they would love to see this post.

And, yes, you're right. while there is some intersection between pedophiles and child molesters, it is nowhere near a majority. If you want to see how ridiculous this seems, replace 'pedophile' with 'straight male' and child with 'woman'. You end up with "straight male = sick woman raping motherfucker". Sure, some straight males ARE sick woman raping motherfuckers, but that doesn't mean they all are. It's normal for someone to have strange urges and desires; there's nothing inherently wrong with liking little girls. It's not until you destructively act on those desires that it becomes a problem.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235821)

That's why "child porn" is defined as "minors engaged in sexually explicit activity". If that's what you're into then you're enjoying the fruits of sick child raping motherfuckers, even if you are not one yourself. If you are paying for child porn then you are financing the sick child raping motherfuckers.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235861)

You and about 12% of the male population in North America according to the only study I've ever read. I don't sympathize personally, but we've already spent the better part of human history demonizing men who like other men and women who like other women. Those obviously couldn't be consensual either. Even consensual anal intercourse between a man and a woman is or has recently been illegal in many states.

How is that relevant? Knee-jerk reactions to issues based on a gut feeling are not always the best way to determine legal outcomes of peoples' thoughts or feelings.

Good studies have shown time and again that there is no definite link between the viewing of underage pornography and the abuse of children by that viewer, but because they get turned on by something we lump them in as molestors.

Here's one that really gets me -- technically a pedophile is only someone who gets aroused by pre-pubescent children, but viewing of 17 yr olds who are supermodels (yes, many professional adult looking models are under 18) engaged in sexually explicit conduct qualifies as viewing child pornography.

So next time you all say 'think of the children' remember these laws are about you when you were 17 checking out that picture of your naked 17 yr old girlfriend. Yes, that's child pornography too.

PS look up Genarlow Wilson.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235745)

Egg collectors in the UK (an illegal activity in this country) used to correspond to each other through the snail-mail system, referring to each other as No.2, No.7 etc.. Music fans would exchange bootleg tapes of concerts. Anyone trading digital files will probably end up exchanging memory cards/sticks under the guise of an mom'n'pop shop.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (5, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235765)

To me, it sounds like the ISPs have agreed to turn off web sites that NCMEC complains about. They will "use NCMEC's list of active websites identified as containing child pornography, to ensure that no such site is hosted on servers owned or controlled by those companies." This is to "enforce their terms of service, all of which forbid the hosting of such illegal materials on their servers." In other words, sites are going to be turned off based on NCMEC's say so. Thus they look good for turning off sites that are illegal (think of the children!), and NCMEC gets the power they want.

From TFA:

Specifically, the cable companies have agreed to use NCMEC's list of active websites identified as containing child pornography, to ensure that no such site is hosted on servers owned or controlled by those companies. The companies will also report these instances to NCMEC's CyberTipline and where appropriate revise their policies around other potential sources of child pornography, such as, for example, newsgroups.

The agreement with NCMEC will provide cable broadband service providers with an invaluable source of information to help them enforce their terms of service, all of which forbid the hosting of such illegal materials on their servers. The information provided by NCMEC to cable service providers will also help them identify instances of child pornography, facilitating their reporting of such material to NCMEC as required by federal law. This in turn enables NCMEC to refer these cases to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution.

Oh, and the newsgroups bit seems like sensationalism to me.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235783)

They just aren't banning enough things. They also should ban:

-drapes, because they are used to prevent others from looking in windows and seeing the child being abused
          -also, rooms without windows must be banned, including washroom stalls and confessionals
-camera's [both digital and analog, video and still] as they are used to capture the images
-vehicles of all kinds and sizes, as they are typically used to transport the children. This has the side benefit of also helping to prevent child abductions as well as thousands of deaths/injuries due to collisions.
-postal service for anything sealed, as it might contain pictures of child porn. Alternately, just open all letters/parcels and search them.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (1)

ticktickboom (1054594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235993)

but maybe they are focusing their resources. by not letting isps offer it either, they all have to get usenet access, most will use a credit card.
the enemy you know is better than the enemy you dont know.

i could be totally wrong. they might not have a feeble attempt at a clue.

Re:Here's betting it doesn't work (2, Insightful)

Robocoastie (777066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24236013)

Because that's all control measures ever accomplish. The sad thing is what this is actually a step toward: it's a measure against pornography in general. People already miscategorize "pedophilia" as it is and the anti-porn people know they do that and encourage the misuse of the term so that they can advantage their puritan agendas.

Usenet is dead. (4, Funny)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235427)

Well that's that. Usenet is dead. I am glad that child predators won't have any [giganews.com] other [usenet.com] way [usenet.net] to access the cesspool of child pornography that is Usenet.

Re:Usenet is dead. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235469)

I've been reading usenet for 15 years, I've never seen any child porn. Do I just not frequent the right groups?

There's your problem.... (3, Funny)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235493)

I've been reading usenet for 15 years, I've never seen any child porn. Do I just not frequent the right groups?

Well, there's your problem.

Re:Usenet is dead. (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235653)

I've been reading usenet for 15 years, I've never seen any child porn. Do I just not frequent the right groups?

Check out the alt.binaries.pictures.erotica hierarchy sometime -- there are some groups with very suspicious-looking names.

(alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.child? Gee, I wonder what that could contain?)

Re:Usenet is dead. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235733)

Check out the alt.binaries.pictures.erotica hierarchy sometime -- there are some groups with very suspicious-looking names.

(alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.child? Gee, I wonder what that could contain?)

Erotic pictures of Julia Child [wikipedia.org] perhaps?

You gotta love the ad placement on that page (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235567)

Gotta love that ad for Giganews [codemonkeyramblings.com] that is being put up on that article by Google AdSense.

Re:Usenet is dead. (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235775)

Of the two usenet providers you linked to, both only have monthly plans. For the vast majority of usenet users, who never use binary groups at all, it's a much better deal to pay by the gigabyte. Astraweb, for instance, sold me 25 Gb for $10, and I expect that to last until I'm dead.

Why don't they just stop the newsgroups... (2, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235435)

... that have child porn?

Re:Why don't they just stop the newsgroups... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235491)

Erm... you haven't actually ever used usenet, have you? If you had, you would know that there is a fringe group of asshats who completely ignore the guidelines for what is appropriate to post in a given newsfroup.

Re:Why don't they just stop the newsgroups... (0, Redundant)

jcbarlow (166225) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235509)

... that have child porn?

Because that's not the real goal, perhaps? Not unlike P2P blocking, etc...

Big media is still trying to put the genie back in her bottle.

Re:Why don't they just stop the newsgroups... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235939)

"... that have child porn?"

Craziness!

Why, with that kind of sane, targetted approach you'd have an effort that might minimally disrupt the vast majority of other customers that want nothing to do with child pornography, and, worse, a child pornographer might set up shop right next door (create another alt group, for example). That simply won't send the right kind of message.

No, better to carpet bomb everything remotely connected, just to be sure. Child porn somewhere in alt.... nuke it all. It's not like there are any other newsgroup discussions that might be worth preserving in there.

Likewise, the same principle should apply to any other medium: comprehensive and thorough elimination. If any website is found to have been a source of child pornography, the entire domain will be shut off. No, wait, that's not really good enough. The entire top-level domain. No, the submarine cables will be cut and the satellites shot down that serve the relevant country.

This is only the beginning of what could be done to fight child pornography. If a photo store receives and processes film prints of child pornography, it will be burned down ... and any mall that the store is contained within. If someone draws some child pornography, art and paper supply stores will be burned down next. If people start making their own paper or drawing on rocks, we'll burn down the trees and crush the rocks into gravel. If people start drawing lewd stuff in the sand on the beach, or mowing the grass or clipping hedges into a lewd or suggestive shape, we'll burn it.

We won't stop until the scourge of child pornography is wiped out. Burn it! Burn it all!! We must preserve our precious bodily fluids!

Ahem. Got ahead of myself. Thus, getting ISPs and other people to cooperate when trying to solve the child pornography problem isn't really asking for much, is it? I mean, not compared to what could be done, right? "Alt" isn't important. Just say nothing. You wouldn't want people to think you *want* child porn to thrive, do you?

YAUSDFN (4, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235437)

Can we call this the "Yet Another Useless Stupid Deal For Nothing"

I hate child pornograpy as much as anyone SHOULD, but I know whats a PR stunt that wont solve a thing and will only reduce internet's freedom to share information in exchange for absolutly nothing at all whatsoever.

How can we convey to the public that the internet's value depends directly on ISP's not being able to discriminate traffic by content?

How can we put out there the idea that the internet has all this potential for individual freedom and that any kind of attempt to enforce any kind of legal stuff in it will only hinder the potential it has FOR THE COMMON JOE?

Fucking legislators, fucking ISPs and fucking, unreasonable and plain stupid bible-hugging assholes.

Re:YAUSDFN (4, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235489)

Maybe the first stage would be to convince the Common Joe that his privacy actually matters to him? People don't seem to CARE about privacy or liberty any more, and I worry that nobody will notice their freedoms being stolen until its too late, as has happened so many times before in history...

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235529)

How can we convey to the public that the internet's value depends directly on ISP's not being able to discriminate traffic by content?

Use protocols that ISPs can't examine the contents of?

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

jak10900 (1144239) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235661)

Use protocols that ISPs can't examine the contents of?

And that does what to convey to the general public that we should prevent ISP's from handling traffic discriminately? We'd be better off spending our time trying to educate folks on the values of net neutrality, rather than why they (the vast majority who are not tech savvy in the least) should install some form of encryption, etc.

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235777)

The sad truth is that education doesn't work, except in cases when it's not really necessary.

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

gamanimatron (1327245) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235641)

Um, hold on. ISPs are already capable of discriminating traffic by content. It's cruddy tech right now, but it will inevitably get better and faster, and eventually it will certainly be feasible to filter *all* of the traffic between average (DSL-speed) users at the point of connection. This leaves me unsure whether you mean that they should be prevented by the government from using that capability, or whether they should just not be required by the government to use it.

If you mean the latter, I absolutely agree, though with faint hope of staving off that eventuality.

The "public," in my limited experience, has no clue that these issues even exist, and can barely work google to find out why their Chevy's making that strange noise. Like every other area of public policy that can't be completely explained in one and a half phrases, it will eventually be co-opted by some guy whose popularity is sagging mid-term and he will ride the death of yet another freedom to reelection.

Dammit, now I'm all depressed.

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235671)

How can we convey to the public that the internet's value depends directly on ISP's not being able to discriminate traffic by content?

Unfortunately, the "public" is on the overcrowded #12 bus right now, occupying two seats and chomping down on a donut on their way to a custody hearing. In other words, a stunning majority of the public is uneducated and can't give a damn, and the reason stunts like this are done is for the nice little news blurb on the 9 o'clock Fox "news" show about how your local politician has undertaken an initiative to "end child pornography". He gets a news bite and name recognition, the public is happy that their elected man has fixed Interwebs crime, and no one gives a damn if your newsreader suddenly starts 404ing. Significant portions of the voting public aren't going to become technically inclined in the next few years, so don't expect to see things like this stop unless you can put a superhero-like spin on why Usenet should be free.

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235771)

Well...

Actually, i think the summary is also misleading. Im pretty sure they dont mean only usenet. Theyll go and filter and check what youre looking for in images.google. Theyll find ways to index all you do and none of this guys even say they "do no evil". Hell, their slogan could very well be: "limiting your BW and IPv6 for profit.... and quit crying 'cause we do not care".

The only possible upside of this is that its only a letter and that its probably all there is to it: i dont see them spending any kind of dough on actually enforcing in any technically excelent manner, anything that doesn't give'm money (and they are seldom good even for that).

So anyways, they are still stupid, and the deal is still stupid and wont do anything to thwart child porn.

I have no idea why do people think child porn is a net thing. Its been here for long time ago (id say that its been here since the discovery of the portrait... hell, look at those Greek pottery paintings).

Thwarting the net to "stop" or "hinder" child pornography is kind of like limiting the automobile in some ways so that al capone cant leg a ton of booze: sure, it sounds right, but it wont stop Al, while it wouldve fucked (or limit) the car for ALL the rest.

Possible solution... (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235845)

"Fucking legislators, fucking ISPs and fucking, unreasonable and plain stupid bible-hugging assholes."

We need to get more of these fucking people fucking each other and see how they fucking like it.

Re:YAUSDFN (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235877)

I hate child pornography too -- so long as its defined well and involves children, not pubescent well endowed 16 yr olds posing semi-nude for their friends on their webcam.

Unfortunately, these agreements and laws don't differentiate between "that's disgusting and horrible" and "wow, she's dumb".

Non-Public Agreement (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235467)

> the actual text of the agreement does not seem to have been made public

Now we're going to have a bunch of whiners who never even RTFA.

A first for Slashdot.

VIP QUALITY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235477)

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Re:VIP QUALITY (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235575)

I now realize that this is a spam post, but damned if I wasn't squinting at this thing for a few minutes trying to figure out what the ASCII art was representing...

Personally, I think it looks like a three-headed dragon with one arm and no legs. Or maybe it's a three legged dragon that's just upside down.

Re:VIP QUALITY (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235681)

I think it's supposed to be a hand with middle finger extended, but it's not a very good one.

Yeah, Get sneaky and clever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235481)

The ISPs can monitor all your traffic as deeply as they want to, and gather up whatever the local law enforcement needs for a warrant.

And you have no recourse, ever, thanks to the new FISA ammendments, brought to you with help from your pal and mine, Senator Barack Obama.

Hey, Mr Hope himself even supports the death penalty for child sex offenders. That'll be fun.

The good senator will spearhead this witchhunt with truth and hope and change and (bullshit), and all the expanded priveleges of the White House.

maybe this will change legal porn surfing habits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235501)

and granny pr0n surfing will be on the increase:p

Here we go again (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235505)

They'll have minimal impact on the perverts, but no doubt they'll get a chance to tighten the screws on the rest of us. Which is, of course, what it's all about.

And I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with anything the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has its fingerprints on. It's been caught phonying up statistics and acting in a manner that could best be described as "self-serving" on more than one occasion.

Re:Here we go again (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235887)

I bet you're a pervert.

I bet everyone on Slashdot is a pervert.

Being that a "pervert" is someone who practices "perversion" which is "those types of human behavior that are perceived to be a serious deviation from what is considered to be orthodox or normal." That is, not just sexual.

But hey, there's plenty of sexual behavior that is "perverted" which makes most Americans blush (like that's hard), and there's lots of people that would love to "tighten the screws" on those practitioners also.

Child porn = smokescreen (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235521)

I suspect the RIAA and the MPAA are behind this.

(and no, you cannot borrow my tinfoil hat.)

Re:Child porn = smokescreen (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235627)

(and no, you cannot borrow my tinfoil hat.)

You were trying to read my mind, weren't you? Well, it won't work. My tinfoil hat is the latest deluxe model. The nice gentleman from the NSA told me it was even checked for listening devices beforehand.

Re:Child porn = smokescreen (3, Informative)

Epu (536381) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235911)

There's an interesting thread at dsl reports [dslreports.com] where some bell south customers point out: 1. many news groups still exist for the purpose of porn, they just aren't named alt.bin* 2. many news groups still exist with porn, erotica, sex, etc in their names. Yesterday, I fired up Pan on att yahoo to survey the damage. The posters were right, and there were many groups left. There were also posts in them from the last few days.

Don't be so nieve (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235531)

If this is going to shutdown the newsgroups, it is a semi-clever ploy to curb piracy... disguised as a "think of the children" scenario. I always enjoyed getting what warez I do grab from my ISPs hosted newsgroups, because unlike something like bittorrent, it is my ISP that is in fact "making available". Since there are actual legitimate (though very few nowadays) reasons for the existence of Usenet, they can't just turn it off. Instead, they give the world a bleeding heart story, while the RIAA and the likes line the pockets of these people.

FTFA (1)

wreave (1282730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235549)

Specifically, the cable companies have agreed to use NCMEC's list of active websites identified as containing child pornography, to ensure that no such site is hosted on servers owned or controlled by those companies. The companies will also report these instances to NCMEC's CyberTipline and where appropriate revise their policies around other potential sources of child pornography, such as, for example, newsgroups.

-----

Not just newsgroups, but also websites that are known chi1d pr0n purveyors.

Will it really help? Not sure. One thing is certain - the anonymity and reach of the Internet have made it easier than ever for those who want chi1d pr0n. These kinds of changes won't stop the hard-core users, but they may reduce the more casual dabblers. Is that enough? Not likely.

Tor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235585)

Tor (The Onion Router) is a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing - a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. Originally sponsored by the US Naval Research Laboratory, Tor became an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) project in late 2004, and the EFF supported Tor financially until November 2005. The Tor software is now developed by the Tor Project, which since December 2006 is a 501(c)(3) research/education non-profit organization based in the United States of America that receives a diverse base of financial support.
http://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]

Freenet is a decentralized, censorship-resistant distributed data store originally designed by Ian Clarke. Freenet aims to provide freedom of speech through a peer-to-peer network with strong protection of anonymity. Freenet works by pooling the contributed bandwidth and storage space of member computers to allow users to anonymously publish or retrieve various kinds of information. It can be thought of as a large storage device which uses key based routing similar to a distributed hash table to locate peers' data. When a file is stored in Freenet, a key which can be used to retrieve the file is generated. The storage space is distributed among all connected nodes on Freenet.
http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org]

MORE ONE FROM MAFIAA AND ANOTHER MAFIA (US GOVERN) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235603)

Soo, its it..
Each day, the US gorvern come to be more and more like a BIG BROTHER.
Every way of anonymity have being closed.
And MAFIA goes..
Son, Bether just now, after spend 2 months living in china, I can say.
There i know WHAT I CANT AND WHAT I CANT, MY LIMITS.
HERE. NO IDEA.
CHINA TODAY with the BIG COMMUNIST KIND OF GOVERN, become each time more FREE and more OPEN SAME WITH MAO BOOK ON HANDS. THAN THIS CHIT BIG COUNTRY WITH THE CONSTITUTION THAT JUST WORK FOR WHO HAVE MONEY ( FREEDOM OF MONEY)ON A MUSEUM.
THIS IS THE FALLEN EMPIRE.
THE AGONISM OF A EMPIRE TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL (MONEY) UNDER OTHERS.
FOR A TIME THEY CAN DO IT, but after some time. they loose the control and everything come back against.
History is there and we know what will happens with the GOVERn, THE MAFIA GROUPS, AND POPULATION.
GOVERn = MAFIA GROUPS.
MAFIA GROUPS LEAVE COUNTRY AND PUT MONEY OTHER PLACE.
PEOPLE. Hoo, POOR AMERICANS.
The whole world still use USENETS but the well protected US no.
Like some friends from EUROPE, taht put the BUT in front just because the DAD NORTH AMERICA ask this.
This European FRIENDS NOW STARTED TO HAVE THE BUT KICKED, They start to discovery that the MILITARISM OF OLD DDR GERMANY AND COMMUNIST COUNTRIES MEAN. THEY START LOOSE MONEY, STABILITY and what they conker.

FOR NORTH AMERICANS, this not make sense, and seems bulshit.
But who lived in OLD EUROPE, WITH COMMUNIST, DDR, or same LIVED LITTLE IN CHINA. Understand what this mean, and how this is a LARGE STEP to be
  a NEO SS, WITH NEO HITLERS and NEO FACIST FRIENDS ON POWER.
ITS SOMETHING HAPPENS FAST AND EACH DAY MORE FAST
AND WE JUST HERE in slashdot speaking about this.
nothing more.
Iam just looking when peoples that have FAITH IN WHAT THEY DO and HAVE COMPROMISES with IDEAS, like GERMANS, JAPANESE start to do this AGAIN.. WHAT CAN HAPPENS.
NOW US think THE SAME WAY. NO MORE FREEDOM YANKES TO FIGHT IN A WAR, BUT FRIENDS OF TOTALITARIANISM IDEAS.
THIS IS SOMETHING BAD.
WE START TO SEE FROM WHERE COME THE NEW WARS IN A FUTURURE AND EXACT WHAT THIS GOVER WANT TO DO WITH WORLD.
CONTROL YOUR MIND
BIG BROTHER LIKE.
AND WE?

Finally somebody is thinking of the children! (2, Funny)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235613)

I think that somebody must think of the children. No, not the pedophiles, though I guess they do think of the children. Some OTHER body must think of the children. And luckily we have the corporate body! From TFA:

CableNCTA's agreement with NCMEC is the latest milestone in cable's efforts to ensure online safety and promote Internet literacy for all families and Internet users.

There is no more precious resource in this country than our children. They depend on us, their parents, to protect and guide them. A childâ(TM)s cry for help must not be ignored and at the same time, an adult that preys upon children on the Internet MUST be caught and contained.

The cable operators that have agreed to execute the MOU within 30 days include Time Warner

I can only assume that "MOU" means "molester of children", and I for one am glad that our media overlords finally live up to their responsibility and execute all suspected molesters! Finally somebody thinks of the children and are not afraid to say so! When Time Warner death squadrons rake hot lead into the last paedophile and burns his body with acid will be a great day not only for America but for all of Earth! (queue crying eagles)

Did they define it? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235619)

Did they at least take the time to define what child porn is?

Re:Did they define it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235963)

Any sexually suggestive picture of anyone with the age of 17 years, 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds or less.

Re:Did they define it? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#24236005)

17 years, 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds or less.

What if it's a leap year?

OK, so the NCTA members have agreed. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235623)

So the NCTA member ISPs have agreed to censor the internet (details still unpublished).

Let's presume, for the moment, that it turns out this includes suppressing the .alt hierarchy, usenet in general, watching traffic and filing tips if a user browses a "bad" site, or otherwise doing something we'd consider improper.

Then it's time to switch to a non-NCTA ISP wherever the option is available. (Yes, even - especially - if you're NOT a pedophile.)

The government and the ISPs claim that competition is all that's needed to keep the ISPs regulated. Fine. Competition works by the customers switching to "better" providers, thus hitting those who misbehave right in the bottom line.

Let's try it.

Net neutrality (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235659)

When you announce censorship to stop piracy, everybody gets up in arms about net neutrality.

When you instead use child pornography as your scapegoat, the majority will turn a blind eye to your censorship efforts.

Note that the first thing to go was alt.* on usenet, a large source of piracy. If they had choked off alt.* because of piracy, there would have been much talk about net neutrality. Since they did it because of child pornography, nobody mentions net neutrality.

Something similar happened here next week (5, Interesting)

shermo (1284310) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235691)

We had one of our ISPs cave to something similar. So I wrote this letter to the marketing director: (pardon the asterisks)

Dear Steve Jackson

I'm writing to express my concern over ******'s introduction of website filtering. I believe this sets a disturbing precedent for the continuing provision of internet services by *****.
An ISP's role is not to regulate what I can use my internet connection for. An ISP's role is to provide me with an internet connection, which **** has been excellent at doing.
The aim of 'stopping objectionable practices' is a noble one. However, problems soon become apparent when one considers that my interpretation of objectionable behaviour is undoubtedly different from *****'s interpretation. The logical conclusion to this line of reasoning, is that at some point in the future when I want to use my internet connection for something, **** will decide that it knows best, and stop me from so doing.
This quote from David Lane (Director of Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.) is particularly disturbing: "... [The society] wants the filtering extended beyond child porn content to include the blocking of all hard core pornographty sites and those promoting "objectionable" content defined in secion 3(2)(a-f) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 (sexual violence, bestiality, etc).".
It illustrates the problem rather well. I have used the internet for pornography, and I don't expect to be blocked from doing so in the future. If I look at pornography more hardcore than the limits imposed on free-to-air television, this doesn't make my behaviour 'wrong', and I certainly don't expect **** to impose its standards on my behaviour. If I do something illegal, then that's relevant for the Police, not a coporation.
Additionally, the concept that a list maintained by the Internal Affairs Office will be capable of cataloguing all objectionable sites on the internet is flawed if not outright hilarious.
There are various software packages available which attempt to keep the internet 'safe' for younger users. I am sure that, combined with actual parenting, these tools are far better suited to keeping children from accessing inappropriate content.
I should take this moment to clarify that my primary concern is not that I may soon be unable to access pornography with my **** account. Instead, I believe that once this form of filtering has been introduced for one honourable reason, it will only be a matter of time before the practice of filtering is extended to other aspects of the internet.
It is widely publicized (although not necessarily accurate) that 'peer to peer' (p2p) services consume a disproportionate amount of bandwidth accross the internet as a whole. I extend from this assumption that some time in the future **** may be in favour of blocking p2p services in order to extract more customers from the same amount of bandwidth. This would have a real and noticeable affect on my internet behaviour.
There are other scenarios in which **** might decide to filter my internet use. For example, I'm sure **** wants to retain their customers, and so logically it would be a sensible idea to block all competing ISP's websites. Or, if there is a damning report about ***** on a news website, it would be very easy to block any user from accessing that website.
I'm not suggesting that **** does or would do any of these measures, but the only way I can be certain of this is for **** not to regulate my internet behaviour in any way.
The knee-jerk reaction to this news would be for me to cancel my **** account. Instead I'm going to post this letter on a few popular **** forums, and raise general public awareness of ****'s actions. I will continue to closely monitor ****'s actions, and may switch ISPs if it continues with this course of action.
Yours Sincerely

Stupid and pointless (3, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235701)

"I commend the nation's cable operators for utilizing the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) to negotiate and collectively enter into a unprecedented industry-wide agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to limit the availability of child pornography on the internet."

No agreement is, or ever was, necessary for any ISP to proceed forth to fight child pornography. The fact that some kind of mutual agreement is in place suggests something else is going on behind the scenes. Would NCMEC have prohibited ISPs from fighting against child pornography without an agreement? I doubt that. Maybe these ISPs knew all along they were part of the problem with child pornography? Or is NCMEC trying some more extensive shake-down tactics?

The big question will be just to how far will these ISPs go in the name of protecting children? Just how many will use it as a false excuse to shut off internet resources that have nothing to do with child pornography and were not even the victim of spammers of such content?

Make all the internet child porn laws in the world (2, Insightful)

Jewfro_Macabbi (1000217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235751)

It won't protect me from my uncle... Or any other child - this stuff isn't new. As if no child was ever molested before the internet. These are nothing but keywords - to elicit emotional response and push through their agenda. That way if you oppose them, they can say "You support kiddie porn!"

Going too far (1)

plazman30 (531348) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235757)

I'm all about getting rid of child porn on Usenet. But, I think Time Warner axing all newsgroups and Verizon getting of the whole alt heirarchy is a bit too much, and hurts Usenet.

Why not just block the newsgroups that cater to these sick perverts and leave all the others alone.

I mean, how many child porn newsgroups are there. My usenet account show maybe 5-6 groups. I'm sure other servers have more. Let's say there are 20. Just block those. Leave all the other newsgroups alone. There are plenty of legitimate alt newsgrops. I use alt.aquaria all the time.

If the ISPs want to not deal with it, let them take down their Usenet servers and outsource the way Comcast does to Giganews.

Re:Going too far (2, Insightful)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235951)

Apparently, there are 88. 88 out of 107,000+ last time I checked. Roughly .008% of usenet is affected in this manner, and I'm not even going to get into group volume to find a more accurate estimate, because it would just drive that number down. So if I'm getting this right, 99.992% of usenet does not contain such things. This is one of a few things:

1) ISPs getting rid of a service that a small minority of their users use and saving themselves money on bandwidth, which is somewhat shaky, most of the people that use Usenet would find a 3rd party solution anyway, so the bandwidth savings would probably not be as large as expected.

2) ISPs are actually concerned with this content moving to other areas of Usenet if they block only the groups known to contain it, so they are essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Cliched, I know, but accurate. Or:

3) ISPs are doing this to appease corporate interests by getting rid of the offensive material along with everything else that could possibly constitute copyright infringement. It's already been said here a few times, but from what I can see, it's the most likely scenario. The public thinks they're great for fighting the perverts, while corporate interests think they're great by closing off an area of mass piracy. Again, see point 1, because the people that use it will go to external providers, and I have a feeling they may be next on this hit list.

This doesn't affect much..... (1)

cyberworm (710231) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235761)

From what I gather, this is only the ISPs that have their own servers that are affected, and not independent usenet providers themselves (like Giganews). Notice that Comcast is not listed as an ISP in this grouping? That's because Comcast contracts out their usenet service to Giganews. If you want unrestricted Usenet access, then chances are you'll have to pay for the service, instead of the (in my opinion trivial) offerings from the likes of Sprint et al. If I recall correctly, most dedicated usenet providers start somewhere around 5-10$/month for a couple of gigs and free headers. It's really just a flash in the pan feel good law. I wouldn't know about the CP scene, but just like with anything else (music/movies/whatever) there are always going to be other ways. I'd like to know how the stand alone usenet/alt.* providers are going to respond to this. Will they follow along and weed out groups? Looking at Giganews AUP they mention something about responding to reports of inappropriate groups (where the name refers to illicit content) by reviewing the group and making a decision to keep it or drop it. alt.multimedia.simpsons.episodes would be ok, where alt.multimedia.kiddie.pron would be subject to removal if the group showed itself to actually contain that and not be some bad joke some idiots had added for their own amusement.

Re:This doesn't affect much..... (2, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24236011)

"From what I gather, this is only the ISPs that have their own servers that are affected, and not independent usenet providers themselves (like Giganews)."

How long do you really think it's going to take for this to trickle over to premium USENET servers, if in no other way than to have their traffic as closely monitored, and potentially throttled, as that of P2P users?

*Any* time it's "for the children", you can be damn well sure that they'll be last on the list of those being served.

I smell herring, red, and believe this is far from a "flash in the pan feel good law". It will in time be seen as odious as the DMCA and others of like ilk.

asdf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235799)

Seriously? This is like using mortars to end a hostage standoff; sure they'll hit some nefarious parties, but most of the casualties will be the very ones they're (supposedly) trying to protect.

Uh Oh (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235807)

Won't this just mean that ISPs will become responsible for content now? So if I see some child pornography I can sue my ISP for not properly enforcing their own standards?

Dang, only 2,047,314 alternatives left now... (1)

LeandroTLZ (1163617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235841)

There are so many ways to make available files to a lot of people that getting rid of Usenet may barely be noticed. Even without P2P networks, a lot of people make warez files available through FileFactory, MegaUpload, RapidShare, and similar sites; while some of them are rather restrictive, I dare say they're easier to access for the regular Joe than Usenet is, and you can both upload and download using a proxy so your IP isn't logged.

So I don't see why lists of child porn content hosted in those services won't be available just as easily and readily as they are on Usenet. Sure, those services take down files every now and then, but I still see lists being available in plenty of places and kept up to date; IRC chatrooms, P2P networks, Yahoo groups... there are plenty of places where such lists can be posted.

Trying to stop information, any kind of information, from being spread on the Internet is a really futile excersice. You'd think they would have figured that by now.

A sneaky way of blowing away "net neutrality" (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235875)

The FCC admonishes Comcast for their P2P traffic management techniques.

Never fear. Now major ISPs can start blocking P2P altogether in the name of a cooperative effort with government (45 attorney generals), to crush child porn.

The FCC can't oppose a measure "to crush child porn".

It's a very crafty political technique.

There are a lot of people who want to see child pornography crushed. It's a popular political position to take.

ISP entirely blocking access to an IP, just because some of web pages served from it may include 'undesirable' content (for ISP's definition of the day for 'undesirable'), is definitely non-neutral.

There aren't that many of the general public who understand what "network neutrality" means, or the harm it will cause when ISPs start blocking sites for arbitrary reasons.

I'm sad to say, that Network Neutrality will probably be the first casualty of this cooperative.

It will start with "child porn" illegal stuff, but it won't stop there.

Yes, all of Usenet, or all of alt.* may die, even with all its perfectly legitimate and legal content and discussion areas.

Will the general (uneducated) public hear about it, or lose any sleep over it? Probably not.

First Usenet, then P2P, then IRC, then Youtube, then most of the web (other than major content providers' and business' sites).

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235919)

I know my karma will take a massive hit if I post this under my Slashdot user name - the kiddy diddlers have many champions here. But I have to say that the idea of at least making child porn even a bit harder to access is a good one, and one that I support wholeheartedly. Yes child porn was around long before the Internet came along and no this partnership is not going to eliminate child pornography from our society. But the dogged insistence on perfect has always been the enemy of the good, hasn't it? I want as many roadblocks as our society can construct thrown in front of these sick perverted freaks, and if nuking alt.alien.vampire.flonk.flonk.flonk and alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.lolita is one of the prices we must pay to help achieve that goal, then tough on you if you don't like it.

RoadRunner's reason (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235933)

On RoadRunner's website they state that they dropped usenet access because of low customer demand. Supposedly some other ISPs only dropped certain groups (alt.binaries.*) but RR just stopped providing usenet service altogether. They used to have their own servers until around November of 2006 and then they outsourced their service to NewsHosting. Then of course in June they stopped that as well. Given that when I would call tech support when I had issues with the usenet service and none of the techs knew what I was talking about (I used both 'usenet' and 'newsgroups' terms when calling) or wouldn't know anything about it but knew what it was, it doesn't surprise me if demand was actually really low and it just wasn't worth it to keep paying NewsHosting for the service.

I ended up signing up with NewsHosting instead of Giganews because NewsHosting had recently changed their plans around to offer 8 connections with 80 day retention and unlimited downloads for only $14.95 a month which was must cheaper than Giganews (I was aiming for an unlimited account). Luckily I can still stick it to RR since all my downloads still have to go through their pipes.

At least we still have these 3rd party news services. Hopefully they will not ever cave to SIGs who want to stop usenet just because a few groups contain child pornography. We may as well disable TCP/IP on all routers because it is the transport mechanism for digital child pornography.

Why not invest in stopping the crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24235961)

I find it odd that we are supposed to be impressed by them preventing the viewing of this material. Isn't the real crime the act? Shouldn't this money and their time be spent preventing more harm to actual children rather then the same old prevention of the copying of bits? I see a lot of effort wasted.

Go get the people committing the crime! Surely preventing distribution of the documentation of the crime should be a part of the effort, but why does it seem like that is the end in of itself? There isn't a copy file method in existence that hasn't been used to distribute all manner of offensive and criminal behavior. Yet there is far less prevalence of certain crimes than others in distribution channels. If you can stop (for the most part) beheading, torture, and other crimes, why not this?

Also, forget about usenet, why not shut down all of limewire?

Don't Bother Asking for the Blacklist... (4, Insightful)

PipianJ (574459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235971)

Owner of www.example.com: "Uh, yeah, I want to see the child porn blacklist. I think you might have blocked my site by mistake."

ISP: "Hey! This guy is trying to view the child porn blacklist!"

Police: "Oh hey, website owner. We're arresting you under suspicion of possessing child pornography."

Owner of www.example.com: "Wait, what?"

Police: "You asked for the list of sites, and on top of that, you tried to visit www.example.com, which was on the list. Clearly you wanted to see child porn."

Why not just shut down the Internet? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235973)

Then, watch the whole country get pissed off.

What agreement? (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 6 years ago | (#24235987)

Just read: "Anti-child porn agreement"... wow.
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