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Verizon Cutting Access To Entire Alt.* Usenet Hierarchy 579

Posted by Soulskill
from the surgical-precision dept.
modemac writes "Verizon has declared it will no longer offer access to the entire alt.* hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups to its customers. This stems from last week's agreement for major ISPs to cut off access to 'newsgroups and Web sites' that make child pornography available. The story notes, 'No law requires Verizon to do this. Instead, the company (and, to varying extents, Time Warner Cable and Sprint) agreed to restrictions on Usenet in response to political strong-arming by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups — out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist.' In response, Verizon will cut its customers off from a large portion of Usenet, as it will only carry newsgroups in the Big 8."
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Verizon Cutting Access To Entire Alt.* Usenet Hierarchy

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  • alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr. Cody (554864) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:00AM (#23799927)
    What a coincidence that they make an enormous overreaction which frees up countless gigabits of bandwidth!
  • Gad zooks (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:04AM (#23799951)
    People still use USENET?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:04AM (#23799953)
    It's nice to know that uploading child pornography to a service is enough to get it shut down.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:05AM (#23799965)
    Now they just need to block p2p protocols by raising the specter of child porn. More bandwidth freed!
  • That's all? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:05AM (#23799975)
    I'd block all access to the internet-- much more effective.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:06AM (#23799977) Homepage
    Child pornography has also been found on 3,000 of the 100,000,000 sites that form the Worldwide Web. Verizon will be shutting down access to this service immediately.

    Child pornography has also been found being shared by approximately 0.5% of users on peer-to-peer networks. Verizon will be shutting down access to this service immediately.

    Ahh, nothing like feeling protected. Pretty soon you'll find you can receive the same level of service and "protection" AS Verizon provides by cancelling your internet service entirely and save yourself $40/month in the process.
  • by BASICman (799037) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:06AM (#23799979)
    Wow, what a huge over-generalization on the part of Verizon. I guess that means you would no longer have access to alt.startrek.creative. Gotta keep those dangerous fanfiction writers away from t3h childrens.
  • Re:That's all? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Akaihiryuu (786040) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:10AM (#23800005)
    They aren't even blocking them...they just aren't offering them on their newsgroup servers anymore. The solution - run your own NNTP server. I don't use my ISP's DNS or email, why would I use their newgroup servers?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:11AM (#23800011)
    "Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups--out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist.'"

    Can we apply the same logic and standard to New York's population. If the state has any areas/counties/towns with a .088 or greater percentage of sexual predators will they restrict the rest of the state from traveling to that area?

    What about other crimes? After all we are talking about everyone's well being. If NY's overall crime rate is greater than .088 then other states should restrict all travel and communications with NY.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by couchslug (175151) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:11AM (#23800015)
    ISPs see usenet as a niche market they can dump, so they will.
    Who isn't surprised it's lasted this long?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:11AM (#23800017)
    the same way Republicans are obsessed with Homosexuals.

    If you thought GOP was bad in these past 8 years wait until Democrats assume the wheel with supermajority to push whatever nanny-state bullshit they can think of in the name of the "children"

    Video games and the internet seem to be the useful idiots for Democrats. Just blame it on violence and child porn to shut things down and generate talking points for the next election cycle. Oh yeah, do that in between paying lip service to net neutrality proponents.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:19AM (#23800067)
    is that it now opens up someone else to be sued.

    follow me, on this. right now, the network is *mostly* unfiltered and for many users, they do get a clean unfiltered net feed (home, work, whatever). and so if laws are broken (say you illegally download something), the own-ness is on you. the carrier or the authority policing the carrier isn't at fault since its not them who are guaranteeing a '100% legal internet feed'. they clearly can't say that all things you could pull down are legal and they are just a common carrier. I know that CC status is magical and not all real CC's have it but that's just because our laws in this area are not well fine-tuned yet. any reasonable person knows that an ISP is a service provider just like the water department, electric department or the phone company.

    but say that they now have the job of regulating the legality of all things you could net-access. then, if you -do- find some song or other 'illegal content' and you do manage to download it, you SHOULD be free and clear. right? afterall, there is now a policing layer (a 'great firewall' if you will) between you, the user, and the ISP or upstream service provider. if they take on the job of filtering and 'ensuring a clean and legal net experience' then ANY bad deeds you do by downloading files is not your problem anymore.

    I don't think they want either side, to be honest. they don't want to be in the regulation business because once you do that in an above-board manner, you should be liable for any faults in your so-called filtering algorithms. if you tell some grandma that 'the net is now safe' and she finds something she does not like, she SHOULD be able to sue your damned ass.

    its sad to think that the ISPs are not thinking far enough in the future to see where this leads. they must insist on common-carrier status and all that that implies. the net is like a water pipe (cue the infamous senator quote about 'tubes!' here) and it should not be filtered or mangled by some well-meaning (cough!) government moran.

    responsibility belongs AFTER the demarc point, so to speak. NEVER EVER before it!

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:19AM (#23800071) Homepage
    I hope people didn't forget the Usenet that much as Verizon hopes.

    If you are concerned about pornography or even piracy of any kind, you don't carry alt.bin tree , problem is solved.

    alt.* tree besides bin is really about freedom of speech in its pure form.
  • Re:quick... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ComputerGeek01 (1182793) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:20AM (#23800075)
    Uh dude, MOST of us don't have that kind of stuff laying around the house...
  • Re:That's all? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:26AM (#23800115)
    good luck getting an alt.* nntp feed for any less than $kilobucks$. (also, where are you going to get the OC3 needed to carry the articles to your home server).
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:29AM (#23800133) Homepage Journal

    Child pornography has also been found on 3,000 of the 100,000,000 sites that form the Worldwide Web. Verizon will be shutting down access to this service immediately.
    Except for the "Version approved" websites of course.
  • by Svartalf (2997) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:32AM (#23800153) Homepage

    They are just choosing which newsgroups to carry.


    But dropping all of alt.* just because a few have had child porn floating about on them?

    I'd still consider them to be overreacting more than the grandparent poster is on the subject as there's quite a bit more actual useful stuff in the alt.* branch as it was for anything that didn't fit into the normal comp.*, etc. branches of organization in USENET. As someone said, this is a convenient excuse to lose quite a bit of bandwidth consumption on their part.
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:32AM (#23800157)
    Don't forget that child pornography is often sent by email. I trust Verizon will be halting all email service across its network immediately.
  • Re:That's all? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:35AM (#23800171)

    I don't use my ISP's DNS or email, why would I use their newgroup servers?
    Um, because you pay for them?
  • by Archon-X (264195) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:35AM (#23800175)
    Does / did anyone actually use their usenet service anyhow?

    ISP usenet services are 9 times out of 10 either outsourced, or have terrible retention, spotty coverage, and no propogation.

    BitNabber [bitnabber.com] has all my usenet needs taken care of.
  • Re:Binary groups (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fred_A (10934) <fred.fredshome@org> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:47AM (#23800233) Homepage

    Bullshit! If child pornography were the real target, they could have simply removed the binary groups. Removing alt.folklore.computers and alt.os.linux in order to avoid kiddie porn just makes no sense.
    And bad things could happen with alt.sysadmin.recovery gone.
    Very bad things...

  • by rhombic (140326) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:49AM (#23800249)
    No, they'll just do their best to turn all adults back into children, so there's just one group of people and they can all be protected together.

    To my eye, looks like it's been pretty successful so far.

  • by faedle (114018) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:52AM (#23800261) Homepage Journal
    That is why they are probably legally safe from just not carrying the entire alt.* hierarchy.

    Common carrier does not necessarily demand you service anybody. A common-carrier truck line can only service two major cities (say, Portland OR and Seattle WA), or only be able to provide services with a 14-foot van.

    Similarly, Verizon can choose to not carry a wide swath of net.news, provided their reasoning for not carrying it fills a technical requirement. All they have to say in front of a judge is that it is increasingly difficult to operate and maintain a news server to carry those groups, and any potential lawsuit is over.

    If it even sees the inside of a courtroom. Last I checked, Verizon subscribers are tied to binding arbitration.. so good luck with this ever being seen by a judge.
  • Re: alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr.Ned (79679) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:04AM (#23800343)
    "Personally, I would vote with my feet ASAP if my ISP stopped passing on data for anything other than technical or legal reasons."

    Problem is, even after crippling usenet, Verizon is still the best in my area - I can either go with them, Comcast, or RCN (cable) unless I want to shell out for a dedicated line. I'm surely not going to vote with my feet over to Comcast, and RCN doesn't have a stellar reputation, either.
  • precedent (Score:2, Insightful)

    by farmdevil (1308025) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:08AM (#23800365)
    The ISP industry should stay out of matters like this or it will be to their own disadvantage in the long run. If they set a precedent of just forwarding the content and not actively deciding what users can get, they will be less liable when somebody does access something. When somebody gets child porn on their network, they can just say "We just provide a gateway to view content. Our industry has never played a role in deciding what gets viewed." It's a slippery slope and this precedent seems dangerous for ISPs.
  • Re: alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:13AM (#23800407) Homepage Journal
    My previous ISP did not offer local newsgroup support, so I was left to go looking elsewhere for it. What I encountered was frustrating, because ALL the free usenet services on the network were not complete. Most for example, did NOT cache the entire alt.binaries tree, or any other group that hosted large amounts of data. The few that did were very selective as to which groups they carried, had a low retention (some as little as 4 days) and were god-awful slow.

    The free services came and went on a weekly basis, and every couple months I'd have to blow another afternoon looking for another service.

    So I ended up ponying up for a pay newsgroup service that carried all the groups, for an extra $20/month I felt my ISP should already be giving me. The service was metered, and once you'd downloaded your monthly limit, you were done until next month. But they did have good speeds and almost 100% of the available groups with at least 2 weeks retention.

    Although cost-cutting and censorship are both being blamed here, I don't think that's it. It looks more like a company taking the path of least resistance. The ThinkOfTheChildren tag seems most appropriate. People exercising extremely poor judgement and foresight that result in a massive net-loss in public benefit, under the guise of some holy cause, the only real purpose of which is to shut up a few whiners.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:18AM (#23800449) Journal
    Will the ISP's drop the subscription rates now they dump Usenet?

    My last ISP dumped Usenet (which like many still use over 'blogs'). I asked if they were going to drop the subscription cost. They said no, I said bye! That decision cost thousands of subscribers.

    It's just an attempt to get rid of all discussion, which is what the governments want, especially "democracies" under pretext of terror or in this case a certain type of "porn".
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:19AM (#23800455) Homepage Journal
    Ok...who broke the rules???

    I thought the first rule about USENET was that you didn't talk about USENET....

  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by notdotcom.com (1021409) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:23AM (#23800479)
    And IRC too. Let's not leave any loopholes for those pedophiles. Maybe email attachments too? This is insane, and sad.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:24AM (#23800489) Homepage
    Newsgroup feeds use up about 1.5TB a day. Do the math for 14 days retention. It's a heck of a committment.

    Dropping the entire alt tree is an overreaction but it will save them money in server administration and bandwidth - I'm willing to bet 95% of their users have never even heard of usenet (and half of the remainder call it 'google groups').
  • Re: alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegameiam (671961) <thegameiam@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:39AM (#23800589) Homepage
    Voting with your feet is tough in a lot of places - there are a very small number of actual service providers to choose from.
  • We're talking about felony distribution of child pornography. Such material is not "protected free speech" and it never has been. Unprotected speech [wikipedia.org] has a long history of censorship in this country, the court case in the link being just one of many examples. That case is what brought forth and confirmed the argument that "yelling fire in a crowded theater" is not protected speech due to the risk of unintended mob violence. Threats of violence is another example of unprotected speech.

    Thus, while many on slashdot might not like this fact, it is legal and justified to censor material that causes great harm to another person. And in this case, it is great harm done to a child, for profit. To censor this material is to uphold the right of privacy for those children who have been sexually abused in front of a camera for profit. The distribution of that material is assumed to cause those children involved great personal harm. That harm is far worse than the harm to society in general due to a policy of censorship. Particularly since we're not censoring political speech, but are censoring the commercial product of a criminal conspiracy.

    Let's be clear: child porn is essentially a snuff-film.

    Finally, Verizon owns that hardware. There are no filters in place across the network to block access to the nntpd port or its encrypted counterpart. End users can continue to purchase newsgroup access from a variety of vendors. They can even use free services to read and debate on USENET. The issue here is not about a right to USENET access, but about a private company choosing to heed the request of a district attorney to block access to criminal materials. That they chose to close a large portion of the service down for business reasons is not relevant to the central issue of children's human rights.
  • by thegameiam (671961) <thegameiam@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:46AM (#23800629) Homepage
    I keep a small public wireless network running in my spare time, and we all agreed that fully open access was the best way to limit our liability.
  • The real fun will be when all of the "normal" user groups are taken over by the folks who no longer have access to the .ALT usergroups. I mean DUH everyone will just move in on other newsgroups and flood them! They are going to end up playing whack-a-mole removing group after group, this is stupid!
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:15PM (#23800835) Journal

    If Verizon and the rest only allow access to a choice few sites, they will be giving millions of customers away to smaller ISPs who would be all too happy to grant unfettered access.
    And those smaller ISPs will be getting their pipe from whom? I'm on a very small, very cool ISP, but I definitely see things like Sprint on the traceroute between me and most places.

    More importantly, are we expecting these customers to physically move? Because often, the big ISPs have a physical monopoly on an area.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Google simply set up a public proxy for everyone to use
    Well, I think Google Groups already proxies to Usenet...
  • by base3 (539820) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:17PM (#23800849)
    From the leaked emails [torrentfreak.com]:

    yes

    From: Randy Saaf [mailto:randy@mediadefender.com]
    Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 5:06 PM
    To: Benjamin, David
    Cc: Ben Grodsky; Jay Mairs
    Subject: FW: newsgroups

    David:

    There looks like there is a fair amount. Is this a play at ISP liability?

    R

    From: Ben Grodsky
    Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 1:04 PM
    To: Randy Saaf; leaks
    Cc: Jay Mairs
    Subject: RE: newsgroups

    yes. loads of it. and loads of other illegal type content that David might also be wondering about.

    From: Randy Saaf
    Sent: Mon 11-Jun-07 12:57
    To: leaks
    Cc: Jay Mairs
    Subject: Fw: newsgroups

    Without downloading, can anyone tell me if there is kiddie porn on news groups?

    --- Original Message ---
    From: Benjamin, David
    To: Randy Saaf; Octavio Herrera
    Sent: Mon Jun 11 12:42:39 2007
    Subject: newsgroups

    is there kiddie porn on newsgroups
    Next target is going to be premium ISPs. Now that the "legitimate" ISPs have dropped alt, it's just a matter of suing for contributory copyright infringement, which is what the crackdown on USENET is really all about.
  • Re:Nanny Verizon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:19PM (#23800871) Homepage
    Wipe? Barbarians...

    Real men use a bidet.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:28PM (#23800955) Homepage

    But dropping all of alt.* just because a few have had child porn floating about on them?
    Of course they didn't. They wanted to drop it because of economics, and got a convienient excuse for dropping it with kiddie porn. What are you going to do, complain and demand that they reinstate the kiddie porn groups? That doesn't change the fact that they were in full rights to drop the alt.* tree anyway, even if they used a bullshit excuse. It's not censorship, not YRO, not illegal, doesn't change their common carrierish status or anything else. It's a business decision with an ounce of truth and a ton of bullshit, if that was illegal most companies would be locked up.
  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:36PM (#23801017) Homepage
    MY question is why are we treating the child porn imagery itself as something horrid and evil that anyone who possesses must be arrested for?

    Why not go after the people who MAKE child porn? You know the ones ACTUALLY HURTING kids? Oh wait, that's because this requires actual police work, which is DIFFICULT. The prosecutors and lawmakers need someone to blame, so they blame the people who possess and distribute simply because they are easier to find.

    It's laziness combined with a need to point a finger at someone. And it really stinks.
  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @12:46PM (#23801067) Journal

    How about just blocking the 88 groups that have been identified as carrying child porn? That's quite doable and they could even include a provision to drop other groups if they had more than X reports of child porn in them as well. That way they only drop groups that are known to have child porn in them but keep the rest for their customers.

    I think Cuomo's mostly concerned that they took no action on the groups they reported in the sting. If they did something like the above it would probably satisfy him because they're acting on reports (which they should have been doing anyway).

  • Stupid fucker (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:03PM (#23801219) Homepage
    Stupid fucker. The child pornographers will just pick on a non-alt newgroup to invade and post on, but the rest of us will lose alt. Moron politicians -- they know nothing about the Internet and should leave their dirty stinking hands off it.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by socsoc (1116769) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:33PM (#23801419)
    I seriously doubt it cost them thousands of subscribers. Comcrap gives me like 2gb of NNTP, so I use another provider for that service. Ironically the same one as my ISP, but I pay for an account without the cap.

    The fact that some ISPs still offer newsgroup access (in-house) surprises the hell outta me. How are you going to throttle bittorrent traffic while promoting NNTP as a service you offer...
  • by JSBiff (87824) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:39PM (#23801459) Journal
    . . . the child pornographers will just user other newgroup servers. Ok, so Verizon chops alt.* from *their* server. Is there anything that prevents a user from connecting to a third-party news server over the Internet? What does this accomplish other than pander to the NY AG?
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:43PM (#23801509) Homepage Journal
    Those posts of child pornography on Usenet are traceable evidence of crimes exploiting children. The state AGs should be tracing the evidence back to the criminal exploiters and busting them. Instead, they're driving it underground, where it's harder to stop. First use the evidence to find and bust the perps, then remove the evidence from the public where it does further harm. Or the perps will just disappear, then pop up again creating more harm to more kids.

    This foolish shortsightedness isn't just prosecutors and cops misunderstanding the newfangled Internet. This is cops and prosecutors failing to understand how free expression is always a benefit, when you understand it enough to use it right. That's a lesson at least 200 years in the making. It's about time Americans forced our "justice" system to get smart about it.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMMDI (815272) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:50PM (#23801539) Homepage

    More importantly, are we expecting these customers to physically move? Because often, the big ISPs have a physical monopoly on an area.
    Amen, this is the thing that people keep forgetting about. In my little hometown (and the towns immediately surrounding it), we've got four choices:

    1. delaware.net - Can't complain about their service or policies as I was a member for years, but... it's dialup.
    2. Comcast.
    3. Verizon (they aren't available for me, but if I lived a little further to the north and to the east, I could get it).
    4. AOL.

    Those are my choices if I want to get online. I'm not going to be so silly as to pull a number out of my ass, but I doubt that I'm in the extreme minority there.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:01PM (#23801649) Journal
    Because NNTP takes up little more traffic than a mailinglist, unless you're one of the abusers using it to post binaries encoded as text which takes up that much more bandwidth..
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:10PM (#23801749) Journal
    Communication is overrated. It just leads to confusion and bad thoughts. It's something that's best left to professionals, with a license.
  • Re: alt.binaries.* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:37PM (#23802019)
    >the only real purpose of which is to shut up a few whiners

    No No NO dammit: pay attention.

    The whole idea here is to slowly destroy the ability of the non-centric Internet to spread information without control from any hierarchy (political, economic, religious, or whatever). Using porn as an excuse to censor the Internet and efforts to indirectly control it (as in the US government circa early 2000s asking providers for millions of search requests so they could analyze how people used the net) are the "thin edge of the wedge".

    The net started as a DARPA project* to create a web that (among other things) would continue to function if chunks of it were lost to attack; the design makes it difficult to break the web enough to stop data transfer. That ability to keep moving data without easy application of control from above is what those who would keep us ignorant, divided, and powerless fear most.

    Wake the f@ck UP. A lot of very powerful interests would love to take away from you all but a very few, sanitized "tubes" in "the Intenets".

    *http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/cerf.shtml

    http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~jrex/teaching/spring2005/reading/clark88.pdf

    http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/~acc/docs/arpa--1.html
  • by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:03PM (#23802239)
    Another thought... Usenet allows the free exchange of commercially produced child porn. It's child porn piracy.

    Now if music piracy is supposed to hurt the music industry, and movie piracy is supposed to hurt the movie industry, then shouldn't child porn piracy hurt the child porn industry? By shutting down child porn piracy, aren't the feds and the ISPs helping the commercial producers of child porn by protecting their business model and intellectual property rights?

    (Hee hee, I figure a post that equates the RIAA/MPAA with pedophiles has to get a +5)
  • by X.25 (255792) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:05PM (#23802265)
    I've been using Internet since roughly 1991. Before that I used X.25 a lot. Obviously, I make my living by working in network/internet related areas, and spend half a bloody day using Internet in one way or another.

    I have never, ever, in my life, found a child porn, nor seen it.

    It is pretty simple, I think. I have never looked for it, so I never found it.

    If a dumb politician thinks that him looking for something and then finding it (and he was looking for nothing less than child porn) is a reason to be upset, well... I feel sorry for the people he represents.
  • Re:Nanny Verizon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:07PM (#23802287) Homepage Journal
    Hmm... if we move it to .xxx, then the ISPs will just be able to block .xxx.

    Children might be able to see boobies, and we all know that boobies are bad.
  • It's politics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mastodon (757726) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:25PM (#23802455)

    Even worse than that, it costs them MORE bandwidth this way. Keep in mind, most ISPs only pay the big bucks for their internet connectivity. The network between them and you (and all their customers) is MUCH cheaper, measured only in maintenance costs. The internet lines have the same maintenance cost, plus bandwidth costs, on top of base charges. Before, they transfered all of the news articles Once, using internet bandwidth once, from their upstream new servers to their own. Customers could get these all from their news server, which can happen by any number of customers any number of times and there is no extra bandwidth fees to the ISP. Now, all of their users will be transferring news articles from the internet to them, each one taking their share of bandwidth from the internet pipes.


    All true. It's not about bandwidth. It's about politics.

    What Verizon has accomplished here is getting this stuff off it's servers, thereby reducing the heat from a local New York politician, who still has no handle on third-party usenet services not located in New York.
  • Re:It's politics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fez (468752) * on Sunday June 15, 2008 @03:53PM (#23802699)
    This is quite a political issue, and I think they are (as many others have already speculated) using this as an excuse to do away with a very resource-intensive and negligibly profitable service.

    Politicians will never learn that the kind of oddballs who go for that crap will find ways to do it, no matter what laws they have in place.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nutrock69 (446385) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:14PM (#23802925)
    If I had mod points they'd be yours.

    The internet in the US, now that it has been taken over as a telecom commodity, is only available to the vast majority of people as "choose one of the following options"...

    1 - local cable monopoly (usually the fastest affordable option)
    2 - local DSL monopoly (about the same price, but much slower)
    3 - local dialup barely eking survival (cost about half 1 or 2, but too slow to matter)
    4 - national dialup (about the same as 3, unless you also purchase a line from 1 or 2 as a carrier, increase speed at increased cost)
    5 - local telco T# line (very fast, but bend over and grab your ankles for the pricetag)

    Very few other alternatives exist anymore, as most were driven out of business. Lately we've been seeing FIOS as a new option, but the valid market segments in the US for people who can see fields and trees outside their home's windows can be counted on the fingers of one hand. For instance, I probably won't have FIOS available in my area until about 2019.

    Do I like having Comcast as my provider? Hell no. Do I trust them with my connection? Hell no. Do I have any other options? Hell no.

    This complaint has come up several times recently on Slashdot and other sites, and it always burns my ass when people reply with statements like: "Well, why don't you move?"

    For an easy thing to say, it's one of the hardest things to do. Maybe those of you that are thinking this can pay for me to buy a new home and move to it. If it's outside of Comcast's influence, since moving that far would make my commute somewhere on the order of 3-4 hours each way, maybe you'd also like to get me hired to a job near my new home so that I can continue doing things I've gotten into habit to do - such as, you know, "eat".
  • Re:Nanny Verizon (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Two9A (866100) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:24PM (#23803007) Homepage

    Top-posting.

    What?

    You know what really sucks?

    Disclaimer: I saw it in another thread some time ago, but it's apropos here.

  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fëanáro (130986) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @04:26PM (#23803027)

    Even worse than that, it costs them MORE bandwidth this way.
    Now, all of their users will be transferring news articles from the internet to them, each one taking their share of bandwidth from the internet pipes.
    By disabling most of usenet the provider saves about 3.8 TB per day for the whole usenet feed plus the maintenance and repair cost for servers to store this much data locally for several days.

    They would only need more bandwith if all their customers who use usenet combined now download much more than that from external providers. I am sure they have done the numbers
  • by dean.collins (862044) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @05:28PM (#23803521)
    my point about only 8 out of 1000 websites was an analogy.
    sorry you didn't get the link.

    maybe the post below will help you get the point

    Cheers,
    Dean

    http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/and-so-now-it-begins.html [blogspot.com]
    Sent: Sunday, 15 June 2008 4:49 PM
    To: Dean Collins;
    Subject: Re: And so now it begins......

    What motivation would they have to do that? Just dumb or nefarious in this instance?
    ---

    Andrew Cuomo - gets press, and to be seen to be doing something, (probably being advised by people who have 'ulterior motives' and he's too stupid to know the difference).

    Verizon - heaps of reasons; far too many - but here's my interpretation.

    Usenet is an ancient 'spooky' space on the internet that no one but geeks and porn swapping perverts visit, by blocking 99.7% of UseNet's under the guise of getting rid of kiddy porn Verizon are able to establish a precedent that 'managing' internet access for the betterment of society is a good thing.

    The thin edge of the wedge has been struck.

    After that it's easy to start blocking off entire country domains, I mean no one has any good reason for reading blogs in Iran correct?

    Ok now lets move to something that some people will care about but with 2 sets of prior acts Verizon will be covered. Lets block all P2P traffic, I mean P2P is only used by people swapping pirated music and video's - yes some 5% of the population may complain but most of them will be kids and not voters so we should be able to cover any publicity backlash. ....now lets move onto the juicy bits. - That pesky Vonage traffic is travelling over our users networks and Verizon don't make any money form this, lets start blocking that traffic. ....You like watching video's from Netflix using their Roku internet set-top box, cool we'll just have to charge you for this. .....Listening to a radio station that isn't in the Time Warner 'family', sorry this is tier 2 internet class traffic so the audio might be a little jittery from time to time, sorry about that.....

    If you want to hear from people who are far better at explaining this check out http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/net-neutrality.html [blogspot.com]

    Like I said it all started with some dumb politician who had probably never used Newsgroups before and had some carrier stooge whisper something into his ear about 'think of the children'......the rest is history.

    As a society we should be strong enough to accept that any technology solution to a society problem will never work and any politicians who suggest otherwise are either too dumb to be making that decision (e.g. swallowed a story from a lobbyist) or is acting in coercion.

    But what do I know, I'm just a disgruntled geek.

    Cheers,
    Dean
  • Re:That's all? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:50PM (#23804125) Homepage

    I'm not sure you completely understand just how much 1.5TB a day is...
    Either that, or they don't understand how fast an OC3 line is. If I've done my math right, 1.5TB a day is 18.2 megabytes per second, which is almost exactly the speed of an OC3 [wikipedia.org] line, assuming you keep it completely saturated 24/7.

    Verizon FIOS [wikipedia.org] tops out at about a third of that in certain areas, or considerably less everywhere else.
  • by Ratbert42 (452340) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @09:02PM (#23804955)
    I participated in this same debate at two different universities.

    So what's different now? Everything.

    This isn't just one university. This will soon be most major ISPs. If most U.S. ISPs drop alt.*, the posters will just hammer big 8 groups. With NZB files, the actual group things are posted to doesn't matter very much. Issuing cancels will be a full time job for the few that care to fight the flood.

    What's sad is that this really threatens the argument that ISPs are common carriers and aren't responsible for filtering content. Sure, I understand the different between filtering and not providing groups on your NNTP server, but people that wear suits and robes for a living don't. If alt.* falls what's next? All of Usenet.

    Usenet is an unusual asynchronous, disconnected, communication model and in a way, is an almost priceless anonymizer. There is (almost) no link between the sender and receiver of a message. I've always wondered how we've let an almost untraceable communication system survive.
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) * on Sunday June 15, 2008 @09:50PM (#23805259) Journal
    Because the interface sucks ass?
  • Re:alt.binaries.* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday June 16, 2008 @07:12AM (#23808285) Homepage Journal

    Which bit of each of us paying an ISP for every bit we transfer doing stuff "from which they are not making money" is not making ISPs money?
    You don't get it. They're not making "enough" money. Since they have to show huge growth every quarter, they have no choice but to make more and more. That means when they see that you're listening to an Internet radio station or watching Youtube instead of their cable television, they don't like it and want to stop it.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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