Here we go again: NY State attorney Andrew Cuomo has managed to get two more ISPs to join his "Crusade" (his choice of words, not mine) against Usenet child porn. AOL and agreed have agreed to "stop major sources of child pronography", as the press release reads.

Now here's where it gets interesting: AOL apparently has agreed to do something it already has done years ago, as Declan McCullagh reports over at CNet. The online service shut down its Usenet offerings back in early 2005.

AT&T subscribers will feel more substantial changes related to the Cuomo crack-down. Here's a brief statement from the AT&T website:

"AT&T takes its obligation to protect its customers from child pornography very seriously. We're working with public officials and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the effort to help prevent the distribution of this harmful and illegal content.

We'll continue to provide access to newsgroups as part of our broadband offering, but we'll no longer include alt.bin* nor alt.bain* hierarchies because of the possibility of child pornography in those particular groups and the difficulty in ensuring that no child porn reappears in them."


There is a very interesting discussion going on over at DSLReports.com that features some quotes attributed to a AT&T newsgroup admin which were apparently taken from an AT&T newsgroup. Here's one example:

"There was and still is a group of people on the inside fighting this decision. Unfortunately, we just got outplayed from a poliitical standpoint. The game is still not over yet though."


The same is unfortunately true for other ISPs that still carry newsgorups, such as Earthlink. Cuomo has created a website for citizens to email ISPs and demand AT&T-like steps - maybe it's time that Usenet users start their own letter-writing campaign?

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