Calif. Asks ISPs To Block Newsgroups Exchanging Child Porn - InformationWeek

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6/20/2008
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Calif. Asks ISPs To Block Newsgroups Exchanging Child Porn

Attorney General Jerry Brown hopes Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint will extend their agreement with New York to the Golden State.

California's attorney general wants his state's Internet providers to purge their servers of child pornography and block access to newsgroups where child porn is distributed.

Jerry Brown announced Friday that he wants other providers to follow the lead of Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint, which recently struck a deal with New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to block child pornography.

"We applaud three of the largest Internet service providers -- Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint -- for taking steps to block access to child pornography, Brown said. "It is not enough, however, for only a few Internet service providers join the fight against online predators. Your more than 100 members can help by ridding their existing servers of child pornography and blocking access to child pornography through newsgroups."

Brown and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a joint letter to the California Internet Service Provider Association, which represents more than 100 ISPs. In it, they said that businesses with the ability to reduce illegally activity should make child safety a top priority.

"The association can begin by working with its members to remove child pornography from existing servers and blocking channels, which include newsgroups, used for distributing this material," they said in the letter.

Although their popularity has dwindled, the ISPs that have blocked groups have come under fire for blocking Usenet newsgroups that focus on other topics, including science and technology.

With Silicon Valley and more than 100 ISPs under California's jurisdiction, any changes to newsgroups there are likely to affect many users. Major service providers in California include AT&T and AOL.

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