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Comcast, NetZero sign on to anti-child porn plan

Wed, 07/30/2008 - 8:40am
Brian Santo

Comcast and United Online’s NetZero are the latest Internet service providers (ISPs) to agree to abide by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s plan to limit access to Internet sites identified as trafficking in child pornography.

Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and other ISPs had previously agreed to adopt the measures demanded by Cuomo.

As one of the largest ISPs in the country that had yet to sign on to Cuomo’s plan, Comcast had been singled out by Cuomo for threats of legal action if it did not do so quickly.

Cuomo is pressuring ISPs to block access to certain Usenet newsgroups said to contain child pornography and to purge their servers of all Web sites identified by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In July, an agreement among the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) stated that cable operators that offer Internet service to 87 percent of U.S. households would take additional, voluntary measures to limit the distribution of child pornography (story here).

The cable operators that agreed to execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) within 30 days included: Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom Communications, Insight Communications, Bresnan Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Broadstripe, GCI, Harron Communications, U.S. Cable Corp., BendBroadband, Eagle Communications and Sjoberg’s.

In June, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Sprint Nextel announced that they would cut off access to Usenet and block access to a few designated sites in response to pressure by New York State to restrict access to child pornography (story here).

Weeks later, AT&T and AOL announced that they would stop providing access to newsgroups that deal in child pornography, and that they would purge their servers of child pornography Web sites (story here).

More Broadband Direct:

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• Comcast, NetZero sign on to anti-child porn plan

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