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Censorship Communications The Internet Your Rights Online

Usenet Blocking Intensifies 449

Posted by Soulskill
from the forest-for-the-trees dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The war against the alt.* hierarchy of Usenet continues as NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has convinced two more ISPs to drop access to part of Usenet. They've also set up the website NY Stop Child Porn, and convinced California to join them in the fight. In some sense, this is rather like bulldozing the slums to fight crime; sure, it might get rid of a lot of undesirables, but it also affects many innocent people, and everyone will now start migrating elsewhere in droves. The article notes, 'Cuomo's new web site signifies that he's clearly not done yet. It includes contact information for 20 ISPs that presumably operate in New York, and text of a letter to send to them to urge that they sign on to the campaign.' And you thought the Eternal September was bad..."
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Usenet Blocking Intensifies

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  • AGREED (Score:2, Insightful)

    by od05 (915556) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:11PM (#24160885)
    While Usenet does have useful value, it IS full of kiddie porn [pictureview.com].

    alt.binaries.pictures.naturism.family
    alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.young
    alt.binaries.pictures.youth-and-beauty
    alt.binaries.erotica.teen.female
    alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.mclt

    I mean seriously, do any of these usenet categories contribute anything of value to society???
  • by crazybit (918023) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:11PM (#24160891)

    and start chasing the people that harm the children.

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:12PM (#24160899) Homepage

    What really bugs me about this is the fact that the Attorney General has employed bogus threats to get ISPs to comply with his demands.

    The AG's allegation is that all these ISPs have engaged in deceptive practices by on the one hand having terms of service that prohibit illegal content, and on the other hand failing to actively screen such content. If the AG's legal theory were correct, prohibiting illegal content would create a responsibility to screen all such content, and from what I can see it doesn't even matter whether the content actually originates on the ISPs servers.

    Folks, the Attorney General's behavior is blatantly unethical. He's using false legal claims to bring down legitimate forums, and the ISPs are bending to his will.

  • by Cordath (581672) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:14PM (#24160917)
    One of those nice little features of usenet is that people can *create* groups. If they ban the entire alt.* hierarchy, people are just going to create new groups outside the alt hierarchy for everything, legal or not. This will, of course, be an enormous headache to sort out since there will be *many* new groups being created for each existing group and it will take time for people to agree on which ones to use. Perhaps some of the new names will even make sense...

    e.g. startrek.ds9, music.lossless or porn.bigtits.
  • by corsec67 (627446) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:15PM (#24160923) Homepage Journal

    And stop hurting the people under 18 who take pictures of them selves.

    A life sentence for taking a picture of *yourself*? (In prison or registered a sex offender, there isn't much difference in some places)

  • by christurkel (520220) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:15PM (#24160925) Homepage Journal
    No, Cuomo is a politician.
  • RATM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:17PM (#24160937)

    they don't gotta burn the books
    they just remove 'em

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@o v i .com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:18PM (#24160943) Homepage

    Now I can be protected from alt.rec.motorcycles

    I'll miss it, but after all, it's for the children.

    Also, there should be no "content" on the internet not owned by a benevolent large corporation.

    Losing alt.rec.motorcycles is worth it to serve our new masters.

     

  • DISAGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NorbrookC (674063) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:28PM (#24161033) Journal

    It's quite easy to simply stop carrying the feeds for those groups. What this action is, is the equivalent of using thermonuclear bomb to kill a fly. I'm sure that out of the multiple thousands of groups in the alt.* hierarchy, there's probably some kiddie porn. For all I know, there might be some in the free.* hierarchy, but I have zero interest in searching through all the hierarchies to see if I can turn up any kiddy porn. I guarantee you it isn't present in the alt.help.*, alt.health.*, alt.animal.*, alt.fan.*, or the alt.sport.* groups. Even looking through the list of the alt.binaries.* groups, they're overwhelmingly obviously not kiddie-porn groups. But hey, somewhere in there there might be some.

    Saying Usenet is "full of kiddie porn" is pretty much a lie. There are a lot of groups in the alt.hierarchy I've belonged to over the years, and still do, and I've never seen any. However, I've always used the rule of "if it looks like something you're not going to want to see, then don't go there!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:30PM (#24161047)

    >And the ISPs probably don't mind not providing a service that doesn't do much but cost them extra for bandwidth and storage.

    And customers.

    Considering once the data is on their network, it costs them (virtually) zero to transmit it to their customers, a usenet leech is the best customer you could ever have.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:31PM (#24161057) Homepage Journal
    Just to be technical...unless the kids are doing something sexual...it isn't kiddie pr0n. If if the bar is 'that' low, then we got a bunch of parents out there that are liable to be arrested and taken to jail for taking shots of their little kids bathing or running around nekkid...
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:40PM (#24161115) Homepage Journal
    "Seriously, though. There are very, very few people left who use the USENET for anything real."

    Far from it...I still find programming advice, and discussions out there. I've had discussions with lawyers and accountants on corporate law (especially when wanting for form my own corp)...and lets not forget the huge amount of binary material out there, easy to download tv shows you might have missed in real time.

    I'm guessing your are gonna say that IRC is dead and unused for anything real too?

  • Re:AGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:43PM (#24161143)

    Is some of that really 'kiddie porn'? I checked out naturism newsgroup has lots of regular looking folks not engaging in sex and doing regular activities in the nude, I wouldn't exactly call that 'porn', many of them look like family vacation/bbq/get together photos to me IMHO.

    Looking at pictures in naturism.family doesn't seem like porn to me at all, (disregarding cross posters) there are regular people taking pictures in the background in a few of them.

    I think this all has to do with judeo-christian cultural values of the west and it's crazy puritan heritage, other cultures do not share the same values. The idea of 'kiddie porn' is not universal.

    People are naturally born naked, and many other cultures are comfortable being around people (strangers) in other countries, it's only really the west that is so repressed.

  • by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Friday July 11, 2008 @09:55PM (#24161211) Journal

    From a technical standpoint, I have absolutely no problem with an ISP dropping access to USENET. It's an old protocol that has outlived its usefulness. No one expects their ISP to carry access to UUCP anymore, this is no different.

    But that's not the argument that Cuomo is making. He's essentially saying that because some third grader pissed in one end of one pool, we have to close and drain all the municipal pools and outlaw swim lessons. This is absurd. Kiddie porn traders used to send their garbage through the mail, did anyone suggest shutting down the postal service? What's next, will he try to force ISPs to inspect every email that traverses their network and make sure there are no images of little kids in them? (Oops, I think they're actually already doing this one.)

    He's had some good press lately with the consumer protection stuff, this is just completely insane and should be laughed out of court.

  • At which point they'll just ban it entirely. They're already using overkill, what's the differences between a nuclear and a thermonuclear bomb if you don't care about the target's safety?

  • Re:AGREED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:03PM (#24161277) Homepage

    People often have problems defining kiddie porn, but they know it when they see it ... and many, when they see pictures of a naked family having a bbq ... they know it's kiddie porn. (now, the actual law may (and actually does, in the US) say something else, but that doesn't matter -- they know this is kiddie porn, and off they go on their crusade against it.)

    Now, that works for the naturism group. But if the name has `erotica' in it, that suggests that it's actual pornography. As for alt.binaries.erotica.teen.female, well, that group is probably mostly full of pictures of 18 and 19 year old girls, and that's not child porn. Looking up the mclt group, it means `My Collection of Lolitas and Teens' ... which also seems to like 'em young, but as for how young, I don't know, and I don't feel like checking.

    Either way, if they've found child porn in 88 groups, it seems stupid to drop the entire alt.* hierarchy because of it -- just drop those 88 groups.

  • TWRR dropped Usenet because they were sending too much money to Newshosting for their outsourced news server, and Cuomo gave them a convenient excuse.

  • Re:Wonderful. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chrono11901 (901948) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:06PM (#24161301)

    pointless, nearly everyone who does pirate stuff off of usenet uses something like giganews.

      Hell i wish they put more legit stuff on it, i get 1.5-2MBs via giganews; I even download things like wow from it because its way faster then any other method.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:06PM (#24161307)

    First of all, you're confusing a network protocol and a community. The Usenet of NNTP is the same as the Usenet that used to be propagated via UUCP. Some people might still get their messages via UUCP - how would you know?

    Second of all, we don't have many things we took for granted at the height of Usenet:

    1. Multiple competing clients for a single discussion venue
    2. Downloading messages for offline viewing
    3. Cross-posting between multiple groups, storing only a single copy of the message
    4. Reliable and accurate flagging of read messages
    5. Reading a cross-posted message once and seeing it marked read everywhere
    6. Ability to delete (err, cancel) posts
    7. Extensive filtering and archival, depending on client
    8. Real, nested, arbitrary deep threads. Most online discussion venues on the web have dumbed-down linear threads that are a pain to read

    Today's fragmented web has nothing that can approach Usenet, and every time somebody wants to add these features to some web app or another, he has to do it from scratch, and often incompatibly and poorly.

  • Re:Spam filters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi@nosPam.gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:12PM (#24161349)
    Gee, it's almost like the war against drugs and piracy! Strange how people keep doing what they want, against the "laws", despite the prevalent "morality" of their state. It's almost like the state doesn't truly represent the people at all.
  • by leereyno (32197) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:13PM (#24161355) Homepage Journal

    Cuomo isn't an attorney, he's a politician.

    He's playing the "Ooooh ooooh look at MEEEE!! I'm stopping those evil kiddy porn traders from hurting kids! I'm going to huff and puff and blow their house down!!!" game.

    Of course nothing he is doing is having any sort of an effect whatsoever, but then that isn't the point. The point is that the average dimwitted (but I repeat myself) person doesn't knows very little about computers and absolutely nothing about usenet. But they sure do vote! So when Cuomo shakes his stick and growls at imaginary hobgoblins, the voters think well of him, and remember that good impression come election day.

    Unfortunately the only real way to stop someone like him is to give him REAL problems to deal with and REAL bad guys to chase after.

    This is what happens when you get rid of the mob, people like Cuomo have too much time on their hands.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:24PM (#24161419)

    I mentioned usenet to my sister the other day, and she asked me what it was and why I wanted to use it. I actually had a hard time explaining it until I thought about it later.

    My take: It's an online forum with unmoderated groups that gives you a choice of hundreds of programs to access it, similar to email. The choice of programs means there are really good ones that respond quickly and have good filtering options, and no fucking advertisements or images to load at all. Since there are hundreds of thousands of groups, you get a common interface to whatever topic you want to discuss. When you're subscribed to your groups of interest, you can quickly check for new messages within a couple of seconds. With web-based forums, you don't get any of this; you're stuck with whatever the administrator uses for each forum, and with sometimes over-zealous moderators.

  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:28PM (#24161445) Homepage
    Frankly, I've been amazed for years at Usenet's continued slipping  under the radar.  It's interesting that these days it's considered a kind of advanced or very geeky part of the internet, when in the old days it was often our first foray into global networking (after FIDOnet, of course!).

    Increasingly, it seems like Usenet is being hosted by a few large, dedicated Usenet providers, and ISP's just subscribe to them for their users, which is understandable.  Who wants to maintain an NNTP server?

    Only problem is it makes it easier to take down.

    The stupids, now that they are starting to finally grasp the true power of the internet, are naturally keen to see it destroyed...because they're stupid.  We gotta remember who's right in this struggle, and the importance of protecting unpleasant and unpopular speech--including filez, warez, movies--everything.  If you can keep me from sharing data you don't want shared, you can control what I say.  There's no two ways about it, you can have one or the other--free speech or control over content.

    Besides, didn't I read a year or two ago how some of the big Usenet providers were working with the Feds to try to filter out the kiddie porn?  I highly approve of that action, and I think thats where we need to draw the line.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:4, Insightful)

    I mean seriously, do any of these usenet categories contribute anything of value to society???

    Does blocking them?

  • Re:Pro-control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:34PM (#24161491)

    CENSORSHIP IS NEVER THE ANSWER. WHAT YOU PROPOSE IS STILL CENSORSHIP.

    Information can never hurt anyone. If you want to stop harmful acts, then stop harmful acts. As a Supreme Court justice one said, the answer to bad speech is more speech. Not banning what you personally find offensive. Banning things is the way to a repressive, stagnated culture.

    Also, what ISPs are doing, although reprehensible, is perfectly legal. Stop the sloppy thinking already. Learn to separate the concept of "right" from that of "legal". You'll get bitten in the ass time and again.

    The answer to "why shouldn't I do this?" should always be "because it's wrong", not "because it's illegal."

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:35PM (#24161495)

    I have always believed that the flaw of the internet was in fact one of its strengths, The idea that it is a web of unrelated legal entities routing traffic. Once one starts to think about which traffic to route, the internet as a "free" (as in freedom) medium breaks down.

    This is exactly what we are seeing today.

    The problem with the internet is the same problem we have with the U.S.A. Fascism! The joining of government and industry is a dangerous precedent and strategy.

    Just remember, Hitler (no godwin here, actual history) was fighting terrorists and protecting the children. We should be very suspicious of government that employs industry for its objectives because that mean industry will employ government of its objectives.

    With RIAA, MPIAA, the telecoms and ISPs, and the new FISA bill can we ignore this any longer?

  • Re:DISAGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    Saying Usenet is "full of kiddie porn" is pretty much a lie.

    You don't understand.

    If there is even the possibility of child porn being present, then we have "Serious Cause For Concern".

    If there is even the slightest amount of material that someone even thinks might be child pornography, then we have "Disturbing And Objectionable Materials Being Posted".

    If there is actually some child pornography in any form, then we have "A Haven Of Depravity Full Of Obscene And Vile Depictions Of Abuse".

    If you don't like entire internet protocols being tarnished in this manner, then you are a "Person Of Questionable Motivation".

    And of course if the place is an actual child pornographer's hangout stuffed to the gills with the worst of material, then you have an "Private Gentlemens Club, For Pillars Of The Community".

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday July 11, 2008 @10:53PM (#24161619)

    We should also be sure to lose alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++, a group whose standard has varied over the years, but which much of the time consists of questions asked by young people learning to program and answered by professionals taking the time to help out. It is absolutely essential to protect the interests of children that such volunteers should be put off wherever possible from using modern technology to offer the next generation the same or better opportunities than they enjoyed themselves.

  • by Nutria (679911) on Friday July 11, 2008 @11:15PM (#24161739)

    it's the software, video, and music that gets shared in the alt.* hierarchy, too.

    That's basically the first thing I thought of: Cuomo in be with {RI,MP}AA and using child porn as a smokescreen.

  • Today alt.* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Friday July 11, 2008 @11:20PM (#24161765)

    Tomorrow: the .ORG, .NET, and .COM TLDs get blocked from major ISP nameservers.

    After all, there are a few .COM domains out there that contain illegal porn.

    There may be some legitimate sites to use the .COM TLD, but "a small price to pay", for keeping the information superhighway clean.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Friday July 11, 2008 @11:29PM (#24161823) Homepage

    If Cuomo really wanted to stop the child porn, he'd focus on the child porn. But this absolute idiot who is a disgrace to the human race is running some kind of agenda to shut down the internet. Instead of asking these ISPs to close off the groups that have the porn, he's creating a situation where people who have absolutely nothing to do with the porn, and are involved in groups that do not have any porn, are forced to go somewhere else, which is likely to have those same porn groups. This is an action that won't shut down porn. It will just move it elsewhere ... and move the other people that effectively and unknowingly help support it, along at the same time. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! That is one dumb politician.

    He's only making the problem worse.

    The child porn will go somewhere else. He hasn't eliminated the market for it. Then he'll demand shutting down other parts of the net. Next you know he'll demand ISPs block port 443. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! That is one dumb politician.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @12:01AM (#24161969) Homepage

    The problem with the web site forums is the severe fragmentation. You have to join so many different sites just to have access to several of the topics. With Usenet, you could go to a single place to get everything under one signon. With Usenet, if you wanted to jump to another topic you have never been on before to ask some question, it's easy. With the web, you have to go find a site that carries that topic, register, keep track of yet another password, sift through ads that are in many cases abusive, and post your question. Then repeat half of that after you login, and do this all several times to see if you got an answer. And that doesn't even account for the fragmentation of there often being a couple dozen web sites covering the issue. But no web site is as thorough as Usenet; not even close.

    Yes, it is sad that New Yorkers seem to host so many of the idiots of the Democratic party.

  • Re:Today Usenet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @12:01AM (#24161971)

    Throw in nntp and you'll be back in business.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by compro01 (777531) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @12:02AM (#24161975)

    The problem with "something must be done" is that it rapidly turns into "this is something, therefore, it must be done".

  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday July 12, 2008 @12:33AM (#24162091)

    I wouldn't be surprised, if Mr. Cuomo gets caught with child porn in the next few years...

    What do you mean caught? If he does get caught with "it" they will just find him in the evidence room looking at evidence... with his penis in his hand.

  • Re:DISAGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quacking duck (607555) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @12:50AM (#24162147)

    And dropping alt.* creates lots of collateral damage -- much intelligent discussion on various topics, and variety of non-porn-related subjects that happen to fall in the alt.* hierarchy.

    The last thing certain people in charge want right now, are people participating in intelligent discussions.

  • by slyborg (524607) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @01:22AM (#24162283)

    The problem with the web site forums is the severe fragmentation. You have to join so many different sites just to have access to several of the topics. With Usenet, you could go to a single place to get everything under one signon. With Usenet, if you wanted to jump to another topic you have never been on before to ask some question, it's easy. With the web, you have to go find a site that carries that topic, register, keep track of yet another password, sift through ads that are in many cases abusive, and post your question.

    +1 Insightful. Exactly right, USENET was fundamentally a democratic medium, since except for moderated groups, it wasn't "owned" by someone like a web forum. And as noted, it was all in one place. in so many ways, a lot of the "innovation" on the Web is retrograde. In some sense, what we have gone back to is the old BBS model, only with Google so you can actually find the locations of discussions.

    The other good point here is that the main problem commercial types have with the old school USENET is that it doesn't permit real advertising delivery, since it isn't possible to easily determine how many views a posting gets. Plus it's text, which is pretty unappealing to Madison Avenue, since they can't show all the skillz at bullshitting the masses via kewl graphic design.

    Since it's in the ISP's own interest to kill USENET, I think this puts the nails in the coffin. The non-affiliated providers like Supernews are now the long poles, and they'll have to cave as well.

  • Re:Wonderful. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Baseclass (785652) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @01:34AM (#24162319)

    Back in the day usenet was my bread and butter. It is sad to watch it fade away into obscurity. The binary groups have been replaced with p2p and the message boards with blogs. Since my ISP imposed a 2GB per month limit I've stopped using it altogether. I do feel a small piece of me and my heritage has been lost.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @01:41AM (#24162347) Homepage Journal
    Actually, his agenda is not to shut down the net. His agenda is to get himself elected governor, and possibly eventually president.

    Shutting down the usenet is just a means to an end.

  • There must be (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @02:22AM (#24162481)

    a 'Soviet America' joke in there. The sad fact is that it isn't a joke anymore.

    On another note:

    When the governement came for p2p,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a p2p user

    Whem the governement closed nntp,
    I remained silent,
    I was not a Usenet user.

    When the governement came for ssh,
    I remained silent,
    I was not a ssh user.

    When the govenement came for http,
    there was no way left to speak out.

  • by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @03:14AM (#24162661) Homepage
    You forgot a biggie: decentralized distribution. Get your Usenet feed from your local (or otherwise preferred) site. If one Usenet site goes down or goes crappy, simply switch to another one [dmoz.org]. Conversely, if your favourite web forum goes away, you're fucked.
  • Re:AGREED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KGIII (973947) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @04:02AM (#24162867) Journal
    I too am a parent but you're not going to like what I have to say. How about you, oh, install filtering software AND monitor your child's online activity? I have a 9 year old daughter - getting closer to that age - and she is not allowed unmonitored internet access. I can't protect her when she's not around me but I can instill values and observe and comment as to how she can improve and why she should. That's all I can do. When she uses the internet (and she does a great deal) there is an adult in the room with her at all times - no exceptions. I can only hope to show her the right way, enforce the right way when I can, answer the questions as they come, comfort her when she makes mistakes, and hope that I've done my best.
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @05:35AM (#24163155) Journal

    It's easier to shut down a website forum with easy to alter DNS records etc. then to stop free speech in Usenet which gets sent around all over the world, no central storage. THAT's what it's about, control of speech and thought.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @07:03AM (#24163453)

    Who am I to decide why someone looks at pics? We're getting pretty close to thoughtcrime here.

    Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? I'd guess so, since I don't understand the appeal of watching people BBQ naked (unless you're in some twisted way interested in how people react when they get burned in more sensitive places, I wouldn't stand next to a BBQ without some protective clothing).

    But just because I don't understand it doesn't make it "evil", or leads automatically to the train of thought "there is no other reason to do X but Y", since Y is the only thing I could think of. Along the same lines, you could argue that games like Battlefield and Call of Duty serve no purpose but to prepare people for terror attacks, since I don't understand why someone would play it for the sake of playing it.

    Beware the borders of thoughtcrime.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @07:15AM (#24163499)

    This is the typical action of a "quick, fast, hard action" politician. I don't even think he isn't aware that this action won't do or solve anything. I'm quite sure he's aware of that. But it serves the purpose: It looks like he's really badass about cracking down on $boogieman_of_the_month.

    What you need to do for this tactic is to shut down something that can in some way be linked to the crime in question and doesn't hurt a sizable portion of your voters. Now, who uses UseNet? Certainly not Joe Average Voter. So Usenet is the perfect scapegoat. It's something his voters don't understand, thus don't really miss if it's gone, and it looks like he's really putting pressure behind his agenda. That it doesn't do jack doesn't matter.

    When you look around at the scapegoats that were blamed for this or that, and politicians going badass against those things, you will notice that NONE of those scapegoats were anything a sizable majority of their voters would use or at least know about.

  • Kids and bathwater (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @07:25AM (#24163537)

    That's what we're getting in here. You want to stop X, X is faciliated by Y, so getting rid of Y should get rid of X. Easy conclusion, but a fallacy.

    Child porn was around years before the internet existed, and no matter how you crack down on internet propagation thereof, you won't stop it. Why? Because the internet is not the medium it was created for. If you wanted to get rid of, say, MMORPGs, then yes, getting rid of the internet would probably solve this problem.

    If you want to fight child porn, don't try to eliminate the propagation means (you can't, it's much like trying to mimic Sisyphos rolling his stone uphill), eliminate the source. You have pictures of the perpetrators, for crying out loud!

    Btw, your daughter should be safe. Or rather, it's in your hands whether she is. A friend of mine is a social worker, specializing in just that matter. In a nutshell, whether a child gets into such a situation depends mainly on his or her parents. It usually is parents not loving them enough, or parents "loving" them too much (if you catch my drift...).

  • Re:Spam filters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @07:36AM (#24163597)

    A government chasing down CP is not representing me. Why? Because I don't give a damn about it. You want your kids safe? Your job. Not mine. You want to keep children abroad safe? Pay their parents more money so they don't send their kids working the streets.

    No, a government that eliminates freedoms to create a feelgood nannystate doesn't represent me.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by freeweed (309734) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @09:03AM (#24164023)

    As another example, there are deeply creepy web sites where parents dress up their 12-year-old daughters in bikinis and miniskirts and get them to pose in very adult (think Penthouse) ways. People have gotten in trouble for that, too.

    And yet when they do it in the style of "beauty pageants" a la Jon Benet Ramsay, it's considered "cute".

  • by mxs (42717) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @10:31AM (#24164429)

    It's not just (or probably even mostly) about the kiddie porn

    Well, his initiative is.

    - it's the software, video, and music that gets shared in the alt.* hierarchy, too. And the ISPs probably don't mind not providing a service that doesn't do much but cost them extra for bandwidth and storage.

    Actually, ISPs should be flocking to Usenet, make it more accessible, and give it a lot of storage and bandwidth if what they want to do is reduce costs. Every bit that comes from the ISP-owned Usenet cluster is a bit that does not have to come from distant networks. If your customers leech the binary usenet servers dry all day, they can't be using the same bandwidth to leech the P2P services dry and clog up the network -- remember, since they are the ISP and they control the network, they could easily have caching Usenet-servers in the more densely populate locales.
    (As for making it accessible : something like what easynews.com is doing, i.e. searchable and fully pre-decoded files on HTTP servers)

    Widespread use of this would probably cost a lot less than those silly filtering thingies they install on their network and do more for customer satisfaction. Of course, every content producer and their mothers would probably try to sue you, too -- but then again, there is plenty of precedent in this area; especially as how it relates to caching.

    It's a lot more lucrative to sell your own content though, via your own triple-play packages and the like (why would you want to offer unfettered access to usenet that contains most of what TV has to offer when you are also selling cable TV at the same time, or worse, are in the business of selling music, movies, etc ?)

    So long as enough people use Usenet in your ISP, it's a costsaver -- even if you have to deal with 1gbit/s of incoming data all the time.

  • Re:Spam filters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi@nosPam.gmail.com> on Saturday July 12, 2008 @10:51AM (#24164509)

    sexual exploitation of children

    Yup, considering most of those pictures no child is actually being harmed, I would say there's no reason to stop them. Why do you think otherwise? The children aren't being exploited in a huge percentage of this activity, so why stop it? Because you don't like it?

    For the material where, yes, children are actually being harmed, something should be done. But it should never infringe upon the rights of the citizens to do so. And it also depends on what you mean by "children". A video of two 16-year-olds might be harming nobody, and yet there might (and have been, in cases like this) be charges levied. Considering the age at which a woman can get pregnant, our society is pretty screwed up pushing the "legal age" all the way up to 18.

  • Re:AGREED (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @03:09PM (#24166121)

    If you show me how to break into someone's home by possession of "pornography", I'll follow your logic. Until you show me how to harm someone with this kind of publication, I can't see the problem with someone jacking off.

  • NYC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @04:41PM (#24166841) Homepage

    The city of New York has without a doubt been used to distribute child porn. I say we nuke it!

    Of course, there's the post office! We'll have to burn those down.

    Of course, the one absolutely essential ingredient to child porn is children.....

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:43AM (#24170617)

    Let's suppose you're right about smoking pot being harmful. Even so, what right do we have to prevent someone from harming himself? Shall we make overeating illegal too?

    And nobody is proposing that driving high -- or drunk, for that matter -- be legal. There, we have a clear danger to others.

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