Feeds

Comcast plays New York anti-porn game

Bad news for Usenet

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

After a legal threat from New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, Comcast has joined the grandstanding American politician's quixotic crusade against online child pornography.

In signing Cuomo's anti-child porn "code of conduct," the country's second largest ISP has agreed to shutdown certain Usenet newsgroups containing "sexually lewd photos featuring prepubescent children" and rid such images from its web servers.

Five other big-name American ISPs have already signed the pact - AOL, AT&T, Time Warner, Sprint, and Verizon - and yesterday, in announcing Comcast's capitulation, the New York AG also trumpeted the signing of cut-rate ISP NetZero.

"Today's agreements with Comcast and NetZero will deliver another blow to the despicable online child porn industry," Cuomo said. "I commend the companies for working with my office to aggressively eradicate online child pornography and strongly urge all outstanding Internet service providers across New York and the nation to get on board."

Of course, the Cuomo crusade is little more than a publicity stunt - and an excuse for ISPs like AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon to block access to much larger swaths of the Usenet.

Comcast has already agreed to eliminate child-porn from its servers through a pact with the National Association of Attorneys General (which includes Cuomo) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). So there's little change on the web side.

"We are committed to working with attorney general Cuomo - and his attorney general colleagues - on the pressing issue of child pornography on the internet," reads a canned statement from Comcast executive vp David L. Cohen. "Signing this agreement in addition to the already announced steps Comcast is taking with nearly the entire cable industry, 48 state attorneys general, and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will enable us to step up the fight against child pornography."

The question is what the cable ISP will do with Usenet, which it serves up through Giganews, a third-party outfit. Will it simply block access the 88 porn-ridden newsgroups Cuomo has identified, squash all binary groups like AT&T, or ban Usenet entirely à la Time Warner? Comcast has yet to say. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.