[Marxism] Anti child 'porn' measure is really NewsGroup censorship
jbustelo at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 16:35:05 MDT 2008
Last week the NY Attorney General and some USPS, Verizon and Time
Warner's Road Runner, announced an agreement to block alleged "child
porn" web sites -- or at least so claimed the New York Times.
It turns out this wasn't exactly true. No web sites as such are being
blocked. It was just cover in Time Warner's case to screw subscribers
out of ALL free newsgroup access as part of their ISP services, and in
Verizon's case to restrict access to the supposed "Big 8" hierarchies
-- meaning, to DENY access to the ultra-popular alt hierarchy
newsgroups, as well as hierarchies in terrorist, I mean foreign
Although presented as an "anti-porn" measure, in Time Warner's case it
means completely dropping an unlimited outsourced access to News
Groups equivalent to a $20 a month subscription to a premium service,
with 100 day retention in the binaries groups. While TW was certainly
paying less per subscriber, every penny saved drops to the bottom
line. Oh happy coincidence!
In addition, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
has been crammed down Verizon and Time Warner's throats as the
Fatherland Purity office. Any web sites that aren't to the liking of
this outfit will be purged from Road Runner and Verizon servers,
although both ISP's have been quick to say they won't block access to
sites hosted by someone else (see below for the reason for this).
And more than a million dollars has been extorted by Cuomo from the
two companies to fund the ongoing censorship program.
I wonder if any of the civil liberties types like the EFF are going to
There certainly are grounds. One is that AG Cuomo is poaching on
federal jurisdiction. Federal law is quite clear in pre-empting state
action in this area.
What Cuomo has done is essentially single out certain newsgroups for
banning. The press release from his office says as much. But ISP's are
pretty much forbidden from singling out certain newsgroups or web
sites for blocking. If they decide what you are allowed to see and
what you aren't, they lose the safe harbor provisions of the federal
law that protect them from criminal and civil liability for what they
carry. That's why, in addition to whatever handful of newsgroups that
supposedly people have posted child porn to, free access to thousands
of others (in Verizon's case) and tens of thousands (in Time Warner's)
is being denied to subscriber of those servers, so that the ISP's can
make the claim that they're not selecting specific newsgroups to
block. Because the moment they do that, their status changes from what
is essentially a "common carrier" of information to a "publisher" who
is liable for what they put out.
It should be noted that the measure will do absolutely nothing to
prevent anyone who wants it and has a few dollars a month from
continuing to access the alleged child porn newsgroups. There are many
subscription newsgroup services that carry every newsgroup under the
sun and even offer encrypted connections to prevent anyone who may be
monitoring your line (like Cuomo or Fatherland Security) from knowing
what you're getting.
It is not without irony that Cuomo is a member of the Papist Church,
which is pretty much the official religion of pederasts and
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