back to article New York talks net giants into child pornography crackdown

After discussions with the New York Attorney General's office, three big-name American ISPs - Time Warner Cable, Sprint, and Verizon - have agreed to a sweeping crackdown on child pornography. This morning, New York AG Andrew Cuomo announced that the trio will sever access to child pornography newsgroups, remove child …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    ""The pervasiveness of child pornography on the internet is horrific and it needs to be stopped," reads a statement from Cuomo."

    Goodness knows - I was assaulted by child pornography four times just getting to The Reg's site! It comes at me from all sides - one minute it's Bootnotes, and the next it's kiddie porn! Please, someone, make it stop!

    At any rate, it's nice to know that the Internet Watch Foundation (whoever the hell they are) now have sole veto power over any web site or newsgroup, sans oversight or recourse. Sounds fantastic.

  2. Andy Bright
    Thumb Up

    Everyone knows

    The best long term answer to any major issue is a knee jerk reaction, sensationalist press releases and the passage of a bill that should not be read by anyone under any circumstances. How else do you explain the Patriot Act?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we register a domain name...

    ...that is suggestive of (insert bad thing here) and it gets banned. What a wonderful place to setup a file sharing service. Maybe the RIAA won't notice.

    Why was GoDaddy (suggestive itself?) involved?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even better idea...

    Imply that S*********y is involved with kiddie porn. Get it "banned". There is the ticket. You heard it here first!

  5. Seán


    <This post has been removed due to terse and unpleasant language directed at the happyspeak governing body>

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lose the whole Usenet?

    Is that what Time Warner did? It shut down access to all newsgroups? Yes, child pornography is horrid and should obviously not be hosted by the ISPs, and people who post it should be prosecuted, if not castrated.

    (On a side note, why are they just realizing now, in 2008, that they're hosting illegal porn? I thought're.into was the place to go for nerds in 1990.)

    But that does not mean that you block access to all 100,000+ newsgroups. What about my A keyword search would probably be good enough to get 90% of what's illegal anyway. This is just oh so slightly, you know, overkill.

  7. Pete "oranges" B.

    But, but... I thought... was a series of tubes?! Everything I know is a LIE!

    P.S. Be very, very afraid whenever an elected official utters the word "immoral".

  8. Colin

    My Idea would be.

    The problem is not going to go away with self regulation by big businesses. At least not unless you force them to do it by law. What's really needed is a properly trained and supported, internet police force, perhaps under the auspices of UNICEF. Staffed with police officers from around the world, whose sole job is to search out this vile stuff and remove it from the internet no matter where it is being hosted.

    Give them the legal power to investigate those that abuse children in order to post the stuff to the net and those who simply copy the images from elsewhere in order to create their own sites. When enough evidence has been gathered to bring a prosecution against these disgusting scum, have them arrested by their country's police forces.

    As this crime is international, I would like to see an international court convened by the UN, similar to the war crimes one in the Hague. If this was done then the ISP's worldwide would soon ensure their systems were kept clear of child porn, while at the same time those who commit child abuse or support it online are prosecuted in full view of the entire civilised world.

    I know it wouldn't end paedophilia, but it would certainly put a major stumbling block in the path of those that want to put it online.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    There is No Sound on the Internet

    So, is some or all of this banning activity focused upon preventing access to specific domain names?

    <sf> If so, then I'm quite sure that nobody will ever figure-out how to access a porn server via some sort of numeric identifier. Like an IP address. Or anything of that nature. </sf>

    Reminds me of an important USA district federal court ruling, made back in the 90's, based partly upon the fact that, "There is no sound on the internet".

    This ruling eliminated the "sounds alike" test from a trademark infringement case, and very likely helped to make domain name law into the mess we have today. At least within the USA.

    - The Garret

  10. Sevesteen

    Newsgroups gone anyhow

    I'm pretty sure that Time Warner wasn't far from turning off Usenet anyhow--It would surprise me if 5% of Time Warner customers even knew they had an NNTP server. A couple years ago the regional server lost its inbound feed. 8 hours later, I was (according to them) the first to report a problem.

  11. The Ref

    I think this is a good thing

    After reading this article I went to my NNTP server and there were about 65 groups with paedophile in the title. Other groups had titles indicating they were a place for posting the sexual abuse of children. While not willing to click on any of the groups, the fact that my ISP hosts these is offensive. Any news group with a title indicating it is *likely* to include abuse of children should not be hosted.

    When it comes to this type of thing, there are no free speech issues just the issue of freeing children from abuse. I am not in favour of censorship per se, but the ISP's should not forward these groups and some Interpol style police force should investigate what is being posted by whom.

    I understand there is a fine line with groups like alt.binaries posting pirated content which is also illegal, and I don't want to see the ISP's becoming a defacto police force, but when it comes to the protection of children much more should be done.

  12. Raife Edwards

    Completely, non-factual, information...

    The article repeatedly echoed statements claiming that this is being done to address rather-specific child-pornography instances. However, the reality is that the actual (backdoor, strong-arm) "solution" is, in reality, the institutionalized blocking (and permanent shutting-down) of virtually ALL "Usenet" access... indiscriminately. Thats more than a hundred-thousand interest-groups... being blocked (over a couple of dozen, alleged, instances of CP).

    And, it must also be observed (almost amazingly) that this is happening right after the RIAA began shrieking that ISPs must... repeat MUST... end any "Usenet access", that could facilitate any form of "copyright infringement"... Oh, and this will (almost amazingly) also include "P2P"... "IM"... or, virtually any other unmonitored, uncontrolled, communications, or file-transfers.

    Put bluntly...

    There is simply no rational, moral, or legal, justification for this, totally-obvious, ploy. In short... this sham is a complete travesty. And, everyone knows it!

  13. Chris C

    So how will they block it?

    My question is this: how will they block access to child pornography? Will they use deep packet inspection to calculate hashes of files requested and then run all requests through some sort of cache and then deny those whose hashes are "bad"? Will they use deep packing inspection to block HTTP access to specific URLs? Will they use a proxy filter for all requests and block access to specific URLs or domains? Will they use a packet filter to block all requests to specific IP addresses (this one would likely block access to many innocent sites, as I imagine most illegal content (child porn included) is hosted on shared servers)?

    That's the problem with announcements like this -- they offer no technical details, so you really don't even know what they're doing aside from a vague suggestion. While I certainly do support eliminating child pornography, we need to do a couple things first, in my opinion.

    First, we need to stop prosecuting teenagers who voluntarily (and without coercion) post nude pictures of themselves online, and we need to stop putting these people on the sex offenders register.

    Second, we need to stop prosecuting teenagers when they have consensual (and non-coerced) sexual relations with a 16- or 17-year-old, and we need to stop putting these people on the sex offenders register.

    And finally, we need to enforce the child pornography laws we already have. The people taking part in child porn do it (I would assume) because there seems to be little chance that they'll get caught. If we put time and effort into catching these people and harshly punishing them, we might see an actual change. The only thing filtering will do (as spam has shown us) is cause the offenders to change their tactics to remain one step ahead of the filters.

  14. Mike

    Have to agree...

    So, if indeed the process is by DPI, then this adds to the hop, skip, jump effect by inserting a resounding *FLOP* at the end... can you say bottle-neck? With ISP's already screaming about excessive bandwidth consumption and over staffing to meet regulations and data retention policies, they are adding yet another layer requiring management, processing power, and maintenance. OK, so be it.. this fits in well with Bell's corporate vision ;-). Might as well give Bell a bit more ammo to try and justify.

    That being said, I also think that this sends a clear message that these governing bodies are willing to take whatever measures are necessary (even if, as in this case, they are maybe not quite the best alternative) to try to curb this. Kudos.

    They will find another way to get around this unfortunately, it is what our world is built on... evolution. How do you think spammers have managed to survive? They followed the genetic history of cockroaches. And, like roaches, will be the only thing alive after the nuclear catastrophe. Legend has it, like roaches, they can live for a week with no head...

    Oh... I must go now... big brother says so. He watches me through my screen...

  15. john doe

    French are a bunch of lazy, smelly, bunnyloving bastards.

    "Today, the French government ordered ISPs to block ...content involving ... racial hatred."

    So by that measure, French ISPs must blocks access to this post.

    Politicians of all countries should be banned from making any decisons regarding Internet and the related technologies, which clearly they don't understand. They should also refrain from making any statements related to Internet so not to make obvious the cluless clowns they are!

  16. Ramon Casha
    Paris Hilton

    Didnt't work for the RIAA

    If the multi-bazillion dollar entertainment industry can't stop file sharing between those who want to, I very much doubt that this bunch will be able to stop determined kiddie porn makers from sharing their wares.

    Incidentally, who decides gets banned exactly? What about that Australian photographer who hit the headlines recently because his world-famous art exhibition included nudes of young girls? According to the ozzie prime minister these were "revolting" among other things. According to people who had actually seen them on the other hand, they were artistic and perfectly ok. If his site (assuming he has one) gets cut off from the internet, who can he appeal to? Is there even an appeals process?

    -- Paris Hilton to remind people there is something uglier than kiddie porn.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Is it 1998 again?

    Sounds like a very poor excuse to shut off a non-profit part of your business, i wouldn't have expected less from Time Warner.

    Pic Newsgroups these days are full of nothing but spam anyway, everyone has moved to boards now.

    Next to be pasted with this brush, Bittorrent, as i'm sure there are a few dodgily labelled files on there. Never mind that they are just viruses/fakes in disguise, or honeypots run by the feds themselves, just think of the children!!!!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Death to Usenet YEY!!!

    Cry me a river, no usenet access.

    Its a stupid place full of spam and dodgy images. The only ones that should have a chance of staying are the moderated ones.

    Come on people this is the 21st century. Usenet is dead, long live forums and social networking.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call to Internet Arms!

    Rather than having a national body, why not have some ostensibly powerful, international, high-profile body like the UN create a United Nations Internet Taskforce or similar? Define what is and what isn't allowed on the 'net, with a budget allowing them to pay the best wages for the best people and equipment (and a decent admin / forum-trawling-for-bad-stuff staff).

    Pretty much they should be independant from anyone else and guaranteed funding- to try and make them pretty impervious to bribes/threats from the MPAA/RIAA. They should NOT be there to enforce copyright laws, rather they should be there to help prevent the establishment- or at least use in DDOS attacks- of Botnets, safeguard the Internet/WWW infrastructure (key routers, DNS Servers and the like), and help force ISPs to do things like actually provide what they're selling- with the threat of disconnection if they don't. A rigidly defined charter that's pretty much inextensible and which specifically prohibits them from acting on behalf of the RIAssA/MPAssA or shutting down Torrent sites.

    Their trawling staff would sit and search the 'net all day looking for terrorist (from any state against a UN member state), carding sites, kiddiepron, etc. They'd then flag up any such sites and a UNIT team would be dispatched to hack the hell out of their servers and another team IRL would be dispatched to arrest them.

    This would not apply to sites discussing it- people trying to talk to others about why they have these feelings for kids and what they can do about stopping them, etc.

    They could even have a list of "hardenned" sites that are made extra-safe (plenty attention given to their traffic flows so there's less risk of hacking/DDOSing) such as power plants and controversial-but legal- websites.

    All states would have to sign up to the treaty for this to work, I guess. And the Yanks never would. Shame, really.

  20. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down

    Rubbish story.

    Terrible coverage of the story, which misses all the free speech and privacy implications (this move effectively gives the power of arbitrary censorship to a single unelected and unaccountable, non-governmental body) and the fact that it's a completely useless move in any case. There are plenty of third party NNTP servers around (mostly used by warez d00ds, but probably fine for kiddie porn enthusiasts as well). Blocking sites by domain name is futile for reasons so obvious they hardly need explaining. Come on - we all expect rather better than this from the Reg. Slashdot was a lot better on this story...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I had always assumed the dodgier alt.binaries newsgroups were being monitored directly. So why blanket remove ALL newsgroups?

    Surely it is pretty trivial for an ISP to spot when someone subscribes to a dodgy newsgroup? And then actively stays subscribed? Wouldn't that be an easier way to directly catch the people involved?

    NAaaaa.... just ban everything. Clearly a decision made by some web 2.0 idiot who thinks the IntarWeb is his AOL portal and MySpace.

    Removing all Newsgroup access is bonkers... it will just drive the pedos underground onto private, subscription only, encrypted FTP sites instead of them sitting in plain view.

  22. Mr Smith


    "We've rolled out an enhanced reporting procedure to make sure complaints always receive the attention the deserve,"

    Which means you'll end up in pokey for downloading child porn.

    Oh, and because you have downloaded it, you have in fact made a copy and therefore you will also be charged with producing and distributing said material as well.

    Have a nice day

  23. Keith Oborn

    Freedom of Speech vs Freedom from Abuse

    It's interesting to see this debate both there and in other forums (notably the US-centric Net Neutrality group). The attitude of US-based posters is, frankly, worrying. It is noticeable that the NNsquad mailing list will not even accept posts which discuss the situation outside the US.

    First off, I assume that no-one is suggesting that freedom of expression should include "freedom to store and propagate images of the sexual abuse of children".

    In the UK, the law is plain: to even attempt to view such material is illegal - so knowingly entering the URL of an image into a broswer toolbar is illegal. On consideration, I think that is about right.

    The UK authorities (Home Office) asked the ISP industry to make efforts to block access to (specifically) paedophile websites. This was done in full knowledge that such blocking was an incomplete solution - usenet, p2p, etc, provide plenty of online workarounds - but the idea was to prevent ACCIDENTAL access by the general public (kids, for instance!).

    The Internet Watch Foundation (, to answer the "who are they" question) operates a public reporting service: anyone can contact them and report possibly infringing content. However, they then review the content (using a group of reviewers who have been granted specific immunity from prosecution) before adding specific URLs to the list of sites to block. That list is used by the ISPs.

    This system has been in place voluntarily (from the ISP viewpoint) for aobut four years. The ISP industry has accepted this voluntary effort as the alternative would have ultimately been legislation, which is invariably heavy-handed.

    The result of this is that a very small proportion of infringing images are hosted in the UK. Any such image is taken down very quickly.

    Contrast with the US: there is no voluntary agreement, and much pressure against any such. The legal framework requires that infringing images be left up to assist the law enforcement agencies to trace the culprit. There is now a considerable amount of pressure from politicians to legislate, and the ISPs are caught in the middle. The US is one of the two countries that permanently head the list for hosting this type of content (the other is Russia: good company, guys!)

    So the net result of the apparent determination of certain pressure groups to maintain "freedom" at all costs is that the US government is likely to legislate - and given the track record of the current administration at least, I'd be very wary of the result.

    Get real: the UK and other countries have shown that a small degree of self-control prevents a deluge of draconian big-brother style legislation. Or do US citizens really WANT child porn?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    International responses

    Those who advocate an international response to the problem of kiddie porn seem to forget that there are a number of differing definitions of kiddie porn, and few of these agree with that put forward by the US / UK.

    How are you going to persuade a person who expects their daughter to be married before she is 12 or 13 years old, that the wedding photos are going to be kiddie porn? There are many more example than this single one.

    Those most vocal in the "Think of the Children!" brigades should also remember that their 'moral standards' are often seen as completely ridiculous and unworkable in many parts of the world.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happenned last time?

    Oh yes, they blocked a load of porn newsgroups which resulted in the first porn being placed into relationship newsgroups.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    You see - this is how it starts

    First it's child porn, and you can't argue against that. Then it will be someone's definition of "extreme porn". After that will follow groups or web servers being used for "terrorist activities", then music, pushed by the RIAA. Eventually it will be any comments that don't support the government view of the world and bingo - we are in China. Lovely.

    I also love the argument that the reason the mass populace should be "protected" from all this extreme stuff is that we are too weak willed not to go out and do whatever we see in pictures. However, the same people go on to argue that we should have specially appointed people to sift through all this all day and reject what is "bad" for us. Surely if the effect were as described, these special people, exposed to the by definition most extreme porn, would be kiddie fiddling rapists within a week of starting their jobs. When was the last time a film censor was had up for a sexual or violent offence?

    While we are at it, why ARE sex and violence linked anyway? For most people sex and violence do not go together at all and the link is used to fuzzy the argument. There is violent crime in lots of situations, not just sexual ones, and in my view we would be better off tackling that rather than some nebulous perceived threat from what the state views as unacceptable for us to see. I don't ever want to see any child porn and I have never understood why ISPs continue to host it after it has been pointed out to them that they are hosting it, but as usual, this knee-jerk reaction will inconvenience the majority who are going about their legal activities while leaving the kiddie fiddlers with their underground networks unaffected.

  27. Mark


    I am however left with two thoughts on how much we hear about KP. Either

    1) It's VERY common.

    2) It's too broadly defined.

    Being an optimist, I would plump for #2.

    There are a LOT of people being done for KP and so either these are legitimate accusations and the desire for KP is very prevalent, in which case we need to find out WHY and fix that (or, if unfixable, ameliorate the bad things about it, which would be legalise but control it, like methadone issued to drug addicts to get them off heroin). Or these people are being done for a crime they didn't commit (cue A-Team music) either because they didn't do it (joe jobbed, in which case the investigative techniques are insufficient or the requirement of proof far too low) or the definition of KP from a legal standpoint is far too low and so people being caught are doing things that, if we'd known the details, would be "huh? what's wrong with that?".

  28. Dave Bell

    Do they really know what they're doing.

    This could be a pretty sensible system, directed at clear illegality whish has been tolerated for far too long. I'm wary of what the IWF could lead to, but it's far better than some of the idiocy over newsgroups that was seen in the UK in the early Nineties.

    The trouble is, we don't really know what's happening. And, to be honest, I wonder what's left in the alt.binaries groups that's worth worrying about.

  29. Dave Edmondston

    @Anon Cwrd

    "Sounds like a very poor excuse to shut off a non-profit part of your business, i wouldn't have expected less from Time Warner"

    I Agree - surely the best way to monitor users of these groups is exactly that - keep the groups somewhere public. All this will do is force users underground; it'll be a far harder job to police sites that now spring up that are 'invitation only' requiring authentication keys.

  30. heystoopid

    Hmm , oh crap here we go again !

    Hmmm , the numbers along with those arrested and charged just too simply do not add up and the absolute fear of the "it" rather than reality in real life !

    So any old excuse for arbitrary censorship without right of appeal , sadly we know where that went back in the third decade of the 20th Century !

    With apologies

    "First they came for pedophiles !

    I did not speak up because I was not a pedophile

    Next they came for all animal rights activists and anti genetic engineering protesters !

    I did not speak up because I was not a protester

    Next they came for all democratic rights free speech activists

    I did not speak because I was not an activist !

    And then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak out for me !"

    Although given the recent controversy as to what constitutes art in Photography in Sydney Town , Down Under in OZ very recently where dumb and stupid puppets in blue acted more like evil troopers then responsible civil officials with a brain , on the basis of ill conceived but very stupid comments of an absolute idiot at best , not really thinking what was coming from there dumb and stupid mouths !

    Now then all of a sudden these trash brain dead wowsers are launching numerous co-ordinated controversial campaigns of this nature in key cities across the world which are the basic initial stage for the recreation of a new world order in which the censor is absolute in his rule with no court of appeal permitted !

    Well to me it looks like the Church of Rome will now have to cover up all it's remarkable fresco's of cherubs with the naughty bits showing and the Statue of David will have to sport a solid gold fig leaf too lest this stature make young ladies or males swoon in desire ? And as for Hollywood , they will only be permitted to make Disney style fairy tale "Feel Good" happy ending films with no naughty bits showing or any violence as the Financier , director , actors and crew will be shipped out to Bagram Air Base , Kabul , Afghanistan for an indeterminate extensive but very permanent holiday !

    Should we follow this rocky bumpy mobius loop road again back to the 27th February , 1933 , the Gulags will be full of a new fresh batch of ready made slaves and vassals for some ones evil new empire in under a decade that is for sure , this does not bode well !

    Or perhaps one should say to these wowsers to their face "Nice line of a permanent Mobius Loop argument that leads back to the 27th of February 1933 and then ask prove the numbers thus claimed minus the hype or lose total credibility absolutely !"

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so it begins ...

    The pedo's set up their own private infrastructure to swap their vile stuff.

    Oh hang about ... don't they do that already??? I think Time Warner jumped on the bandwagon a few years too late with this one.

  32. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    This begs a few questions...

    Be wary of any government crying "Save the children" while introducing new legislation. Some questions to ponder is, What do they consider to be child pornography? What is next? Obscene newsgroups? Music sharing newsgroups? Back years ago, I logged into CompuServe and found 80 percent of my newsgroups had been removed. They all had three magical letters in their name, 'S', "X", and "E" but not in that order.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    as someone else alluded, an international solution is impossible because there's no consistent definition of a child. Heck, we can't even globally agree on adult nudity - consider France vs Arabia or Montana vs Brighton.

    And then lets remember that one person's photo is anothers porno. Are photos of kids on the beach porno? How about photos of African tribeschildren? I mean - some people find photos of feet exciting.

    So each country should enforce its own laws. If US law says photos of under-16s in the buff are illegal, then clamp down on people posting or hosting such material.

    But don't blame the internet - thats like blaming printing presses for enabling page 3, or lead mines for enabling war.

  34. Tom Turck

    Recycle TCP 119

    I was a USENET fan for many years in the 1980s-1990s

    Lets face it the USENET protocol has functionally been replaced by blogs, forums and social networking sites and now only serves three purposes:

    1) Spam

    2) Porn that is so evil it makes porn fans barf

    3) Malware distribution

    Can we have TCP 119 for something else please? Somehow I just don't associate a kiddie-porn-bestiality-snuff porn that comes with a free root-kit with freedom of speech

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @Tom Turck

    There are plenty of non-binary newsgroups still active.

  36. Dick

    @ AC

    True, "There are plenty of non-binary newsgroups still active." but, except maybe for moderated ones, they are mostly full of crap postings, porn, the MI5 conspiracy guy, etc. It's a great pity, usenet used to be a great resource but now it's just an electronic garbage dump.

  37. Danny
    Thumb Up

    Lack Of Balance Of Article

    Don't get me wrong, I think kiddie porn is wrong and should be blocked off.

    I'm a little disappointed that the reg authors have failed to look at the wider implications:

    1. An unelected body dictating

    2. The blocking off of all usenet

    3. The fact this comes years after Usenets peak

    4. What this means for other websites/other usenet groups - whilst most people would agree that kiddie porn is wrong, other stuff is more debatable


  38. Wolf

    USENET has its place

    I use the net for, which is a group that still makes (and discusses) text adventure games. They don't have a website, they have little money, and if USENET were destroyed in its entirity then a quaint computer hobby would be gone forever.

    On topic, however, the last time I looked child porn fell under the law called, let me see, oh yes, *rape*. Duh.

    Find the rapists and let the authorities murder them. Oh, I'm sorry, *execute* them. Isn't much difference really, the rapist ends up underground and isn't capable of inflicting the abomination of rape on another innocent.

    No extra laws needed. Find them. Try them and (if guilty) kill them.

    Finding them, of course, is the hard part. That's why we have all the insane laws like "attempt to view"=sex offender. The politicians are incapable of anything actually useful, you know.


  39. Kanhef

    Time Warner

    must have jumped at the chance to eliminate their news servers. They consume huge amounts of bandwidth and require ungodly storage capacity to have decent retention time, but bring in no revenue and most users don't know about them.

    Not that it will have much effect. Serious users have switched to commercial Usenet providers, since ISP servers suck so much. It's still fairly active - most of Google Groups is Usenet with a shitty interface - but you have to know where to look.

  40. Skyraker


    Sniggerdly aren't involved in child porn, we shag corpses

  41. Vendicar Decarian

    Did any newsgrouips actually hold any content? I seriously doubt it.

    "After reading this article I went to my NNTP server and there were about 65 groups with paedophile in the title."

    You mean groups like... (0 messages)

    alt.imbecile.baedophile.barry.bouwsma.binariez (0 messages) (0 messages)

    So where was all this horrible child pornography?

    Which groups specifically?

  42. Vendicar Decarian

    Blame the U.N.

    "There is simply no rational, moral, or legal, justification for this, totally-obvious, ploy. In short... this sham is a complete travesty. And, everyone knows it!"

    Oh pleaaaaaaase.... Everyone Knows that AmeriKKKa is the land of the free...

    What you need to do is find some way to blame this on the U.N.

  43. Vendicar Decarian

    Liberty is not for AmeriKKKans

    "Rather than having a national body, why not have some ostensibly powerful, international, high-profile body like the UN create a United Nations Internet Taskforce or similar? Define what is and what isn't allowed on the 'net, with a budget allowing them to pay the best wages for the best people and equipment (and a decent admin / forum-trawling-for-bad-stuff staff)." - anonymous coward

    The anonymous AmeriKKKan coward is right. Banning free speech in AmeriKKKa is a much better solution.

  44. Dave Bell

    And confusion continues...

    Are Time Warner shutting down their news servers. or blocking port 119? People seem to be confusing the two.

    Remember, there are independent news servers which don't carry binaries. And it's the binaries groups which consume insane quantities of bandwidth and storage, with a lot of illegal content.

    I've been following one popular newsgroup for over fifteen years. From hundreds of articles a day, it's slumped to near-death. Most of the current article count is trollery, and at least some of that looks like Republican astroturfing.

    Almost all of the old community frequents a very few blogs, with aggressive moderation policies. It's not about following some party line: it's about whether you can carry on a conversation.

    If you want to think of Usenet, think of a calendar, turned to September, for ever.

  45. Vendicar Decarian

    To be free, some thoughts must be criminal.

    "Be wary of any government crying "Save the children" while introducing new legislation. Some questions to ponder is, What do they consider to be child pornography? What is next? Obscene newsgroups?"


    "Music sharing newsgroups?"


    You are living in the land of the free, and AmeriKKKa has just murdered over 1 million Iraqi civilians to free them from tyranny. So killing a freedom of speech and communication is no biggy.

    You see, to be truly free, it must be illegal to transmit illegal information, think illegal thoughts, or posess illegal data or ideas.

  46. Vendicar Decarian

    So what was banned? Alt.Binaries.Tiny.Tits ????

    Does anyone have a list of the banned newsgroups?

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Been there, and they tried to do me with that

    This was not fair

    Listen and learn people

    I was arrested in 2006 for downloading and distributing child porn via Landslide (Google it)

    Check out

    I now know that my credit card had been used after I booked a holiday online in France. This can never happen again as I now don't own a credit


    The IP address logged on the entry was from Eastern Europe

    thats the best that I can find based on the year being 1999

    I've lost my career, and have been declared bankrupt because of a fraudulent entry into a database in f*cking Texas.

    I used to think the police were "pillers of the comunity" now I would

    happily ignore a request for help from any police officer.

    I think this stems from the fact that:

    1. My house was torn to pieces

    2. My Wife was told I was a peadophile

    3. My Employer was told that I was a peadophile

    4. My Childen were subjected to a Social Services Investigation

    5. All my computer equipment was siezed (So nothing to work with)

    6. I was forced to declare bankrupt as I was unable to pay my credit card bills.

    7. I am thinking that a truck driver might be a better career

    8. NO IT/comms company would employ me

    (as the police told "MANY" people I had contact with)

    Well I wish I could just leave the UK and watch as it smashes into the ocean, But I can't do that as overseas employers don't want UK bankrupt people.!!

    Guess I'll be on the Job-Seekers Allowance for a very long time!!

    There are NO IT jobs where I live, and nothing in the forseeable future

    What am I supposed to do?

    Any Suggestions ?

    Really? Any Suggestions?

    What a waste of an MSCE and CNCE £2k down the drain in 2005


  48. Pete "oranges" B.


    "newsgroups" by AC

    "Clearly a decision made by some web 2.0 idiot who thinks the IntarWeb is his AOL portal and MySpace."

    Finally, some sign of intelligent life on this godforsaken rock. VIVA LA USENET!

  49. Michael

    Long Live Usenet

    A wee bit more than 200 years ago some Murricans decided not to conform to British mandates on what Newsgroups were permitted to exist or that it should exist at all. That's a bit of a twist on history, but the idea that one of you dictates what another should see and do is well established by the comments above.

    I enjoy Usenet. It is not your place to tell me Usenet should not exist. It is the one and only sure way to escape narcissists; and those writers that want Usenet *gone* must be the aformentioned narcissists who want that I must conform to a blogger's personal bias in order to write my thoughts.

    Of course I can always start my own blog, but that is not a *conversation* since now *I* am the censor and no one with a sincerely held, but different, point of view is going to challenge me on my own blog. It is not neutral territory.

    I enjoy a bit of surprise, sort of like opening National Geographic. In the photo newsgroups are many surprises. For instance, a batch of photos of someone's trip to Egypt included many very interesting photos out the airplane window. These were vacation trip photos but large and high quality.

    I'll admit that Google Earth and Panoramio have started to satisfy my geographical photo interest, but once again you are viewing these things at the whim of an operator.

  50. Martin Maloney
    Thumb Down

    Kiddie porn ban is the shoe in the door...

    The excuse is always "Protect the children!" And, if you protest, then you are demonized as someone who favors child abuse.

    Perhaps this AP article will get the idea across:

    French to block porn, terror, hate web sites

    1 day ago

    PARIS (AP) — The French state and Internet service providers have struck a deal to block sites carrying child pornography or content linked to terrorism or racial hatred, Interior Minister Michel Alliot-Marie announced Tuesday.

    The plan, part of a larger effort to fight cybercriminality, is to go into effect in September when a "black list" will be built up based on input from Internet users who signal sites dealing with the offensive material, the minister said...


    Under the French plan, Internet users, via a platform, will be able to signal inappropriate sites and the state, receiving the complaints in real time, will then decide whether the sites are to go on a so-called black list to be passed on to Internet service providers to enforce site blocks....

    "...the state...will then decide..."

    It reminds me of my favorite line of erstwhile satirist Tom Lehrer, "Sliding down the razor blade of life."

    "Oh, no! This site says, 'Sarkozy cheated on his first wife.' And this one is even worse, 'Internet censorship sucks donkey dick!' Blacklist those right now, for sure!"

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    It must be very annoying for commercial child pornographers when they find their valuable pictures made available for free on newsnet. It looks like they have banded together and convinced law-enforcement agencies, governments and ISP's to protect their investments.

    It is amazing that our politicians can respond rapidly and effectively to help fund the child pornography industry.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how this will be twisted

    People talking about getting psychiatric help for paedophilic feelings etc- will those sites be banned too? It's easy to get the wrong end of the stick or misquote someone to support your POV. But sites like that would probably be helping people _not_ offend when they wanted to.

    An example:

    This morning, New York [Attorney General] Andrew Cuomo announced that... he... will... access... child pornography newsgroups,...child pornography websites,... and contribute more than $1.1m...

    ^^^ Entirely quoted from El Reg, entirely correct quote (the ... means "something's missing here" IIRC and seems to be rather overused in the media) but entirely different meaning. Misquoting rocks.

  53. Kanhef


    Just got a notice from them. Quoting, in part:

    "On June 24, 2008, we will be modifying our Newsgroup offerings to only offer groups in the Big-8 Newsgroup hierarchies, which are listed below. The 0.verizon.* newsgroup hierarchy will also continue to be available. Users will not be able to post or download from any other newsgroups using our Newsgroup service.








    talk.* "

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