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Easynet ‘categorically denies’ child porn allegations

Ponders legal action

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Easynet has strongly denied allegations made in a Sunday newspaper that it is "peddling child porn" and "making money from child porn".

The Observer article claimed that Easynet customers have access to newsgroups which contained images of children engaged in sex acts.

But in a statement the ISP said: "The Observer published an article on Sunday alleging Easynet was involved with the sale of child pornography on the Internet and that it profited from this activity.

"Easynet categorically denies the Observer’s allegations.

"We also refute the claim that we have a record of such incidents. We wish to state in the strongest possible terms that easynet abhors any abuse of children or the use of the Internet in connection with such activity," it said.

The ISP told The Register that Easynet helped set up the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the industry body created to stamp out online child pornography, and follows the same guidelines as other ISPs concerning the removal of illegal images.

A spokeswoman for Easynet said: "These are unsubstantiated allegations that we categorically deny."

A spokesman for the industry group ISPA said the story showed a "misunderstanding" of how the Internet works.

"Easynet are not peddling child pornography and were not making any money out of it," he said.

He added that the newsgroups contained in the article were not deemed to be illegal by the IWF during the IWF's monitoring period and were not found to be carrying any illegal content.

In a statement yesterday Peter Robbins, chief executive of the IWF: "Eliminating abusive images of children on the Internet is our core remit and Easynet is doing as much as anyone to comply with the IWF policies.

"The only way to address this problem is to constantly work in partnership with service providers, as we do with Easynet, to delete or uncouple newsgroups that infringe UK law. Unfortunately, there is currently no software capable of monitoring the content of all newsgroups," he said.

Easynet says it is considering legal action concerning the article. ®

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