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Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General, has been fighting one of those fights that you sadly cannot win: to rid the Internet of child pornography. Believe me, as a father of four I would love to say that it was possible but as a technology journalist with some 20 years experience of writing about the online world and the people who inhabit it I know that it isn't. It would take a sea change in terms of international cooperation, both legal and political, for starters and that's without even thinking about the technological hurdles that would need to be jumped. Still, according to the New York Times Cuomo has won a small victory in the battle against the paedophiles, even if the war itself looks set to wage on indefinitely.

That victory comes as three of the bigger US service providers have agreed to block child sex abuse sites and bulletin boards alike. Sprint, Time Warner Cable and Verizon have all come clean and admitted that they will bring a broad brush to the likes of Usenet which has been exploited by paedophiles as both an avenue of communication and a system of image exchange for as long as I can remember.

The Inquirer reveals that coming to this conclusion was not as straightforward as you might imagine, however. "Despite the fact that service providers clearly state in their customer service agreements that certain activity (including child sex abuse) is severely discouraged, they rarely do anything to prevent it, or to remove the sites once they are up" says reporter Sylvie Barak, continuing "Sprint, Verizon and Time Warner only agreed to enter negotiations after a sting type operation proved that the companies totally ignored any 'consumer' (or undercover attorney general employee) complaints about illicit material."

It appears that only after threatening to bring charges against the ISPs for fraud and deceptive business practises, if the reports are to be believed, did the acts get cleaned up. Which kind of proves, I guess, that where there is a will there is a way. Indeed, several more ISPs are said by the New York Times to be in negotiation with Cuomo on following suit. The trouble is that while I agree you have to start somewhere, New York is a little fish in a hug international Internet sea. Heck, where there is precious little evidence of a groundswell of other US States taking the same approach as New York, let alone other nation states around the world, the hopelessness of the situation starts to become clear.

Unfortunately, I do not have a workable answer to the problem although I look forward to reading yours…

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by anthonyms666
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next step, sueing these ISPs for violation of their contracts with their customers to provide unlimited access.
Even though I don't like child porn, and would never knowingly download any (sometimes one does get tricked into visiting sites one doesn't want when they're misrepresented by search engines), blocking them when you sign a contract with your customers that you won't limit their internet access is a contract violation.
But I doubt anyone will dare take that step lest they be branded a pedophile themselves, loose their jobs, get forced to change their name and move out of state to avoid the vigilantes firebombing their houses and cars, etc. etc.
And of course the ACLU won't be anywhere near when it happens.

Next step, force ISPs to block content that radical Muslims don't like because such content would upset radical Muslims...

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Duckman, I don't think it's in the way in which you just said it. Blocking a communication medium because it's occassionally used as a means to commit illegal activity would be grounds for blocking the internet, TV, phone conversations, and just "talking" to another person as a whole. Also, it alienates customers from them, and since corporations - when evaluated as a single individual - would fit psychological profile of serial killer, thus having no concious, are only doing this as a PR act. Going from completely ignoring complaints about illegal websites to using a broad brush on something that doesn't appear to make them much money only goes to show how indifferent they are to the matter.

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I'm not sure if I'm in the right place here - I am responding to the thread about some company getting mad at Wikipedia for allowing
a nude photograph of a child on their site.

People are extremists. The people producing porn never film
anything beautiful or natural about the human body. The people
ay Hollywood try to show as much skin and lovemaking as
possible in their films - so long as they don't get an X (or MA)
rating. And the religeous extremists? Duh.

As far as a picture of a naked child? That's like a picture of a
baby bird, or a flower, or whatever. People are simply too
immature and corrupt (themselves) to handle such a thing.

Alls I can say about that is "naughty naughty! you filthy old
simpka!"

(Who cares anyway).

- - - a member of Daniweb.

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