New York's Cuomo deals with ISPs to block child porn

Andrew Cuomo, New York's high-profile Attorney General, announced yesterday his office has made agreements with Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint to block child pornography newsgroups and known sites.

The statement issued from the Attorney General's office contains the following passage: "An undercover investigation...uncovered a major source of online child pornography known as 'Newsgroups.'"

To anyone who has used the Internet more than casually for the last 20 years, this is the equivalent of a press release claiming the office of the Attorney General has uncovered the existence of crime in the inner city.

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The investigation by the Attorney General's office reportedly found 88 different newsgroups with over 11 thousand sexually exploitative images of children. Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint, as a part of their agreement with Cuomo's office, have blocked access to these Usenet groups, and have agreed to "purge their servers" of all child pornography Web sites catalogued in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) database.

Additionally, three groups will contribute a total of $1.125 million to the ongoing effort by both Cuomo's office and the NCMEC's efforts to cleanse the Internet of such material.

The Supreme Court's 1997 ruling which struck down the Communications Decency Act that attempted to censor online speech, essentially cleared the way for most every type of communication on the Internet...except child pornography. Justices William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O'Connor at the time agreed that all provisions of the CDA were unconstitutional except in their application to "communications between an adult and one or more minors."

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