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                                                                                                      Bebeto Matthews/AP
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, front, joined by Matthew Sullivan, far left, Sprint
senior public affairs manager; Jeff Zimmerman, second from right, Time Warner Cable
senior vice president and chief ethics officer; and Tom Daly, far right, Verizon deputy
general counsel, during a press conference in New York, Tuesday June 10, 2008 (AP).

Internet Providers Agree to Block Child Porn

June 11, 2008 01:08 PM
by Denis Cummings
Three major Internet service providers have reached an agreement with New York state to block newsgroups and Web sites containing child pornography.

30-Second Summary

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Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner will be held responsible for regulating the spread of child pornography through their networks.

The deal is the result of an eight-month investigation conducted by the office of N.Y. Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo. Undercover agents reported instances of child pornography to the ISPs, who are required to alert the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

When the ISPs took no action, Cuomo threatened lawsuits for fraud and deceptive business practices. The ISPs were forced to make the deal, which also calls for $1 million to be paid to anti-child pornography efforts.

“When it comes to child pornography, there is no excuse this office will tolerate,” Cuomo said.

The agreement has raised concerns over First Amendment rights. Though there is near unanimous agreement that freedom of speech does not apply to child pornography, there is a fear that ISPs will begin to block other objectionable content, such as legal pornography or pirated material.

Others have questioned whether the agreement will actually prevent the spread of child pornography. A 2002 Pennsylvania law that required ISPs to block child pornography ended up blocking unobjectionable sites while allowing child porn through the automated censors.

Headline Link: ISPs agree to regulate child pornography

Opinion & Analysis: Will the agreement work as intended?

Related Topics: MySpace and Facebook predators

Reference: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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