Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Newsgroups and N.Y. Attorney General

Before I begin this let me state unequivocally that I have no interest in child pornography, I don't search for it, I don't peruse it and I do not advocate it.

So, with that disclaimer out of the way, I have to say that what New York's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo , is doing is evil. Fox News has an article on Cuomo and his decision against Comcast news in that:
New York's attorney general notified Comcast Corp. on Monday that the state will take legal action if the company — the nation's second-largest Internet service provider — doesn't agree to eliminate access to child pornography.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wants major Internet access providers to agree on steps to remove certain newsgroups that contain child pornography and purge their servers of Web sites that contain child porn.
I'm a bit flabbergasted at the sheer idiocy of the New York Attorney General's office. How exactly does he plan on Comcast (or any other ISP) on eliminating access to child pornography.

After all, the only sure-fired way is to eliminate internet access except to very specific websites. Which as we all know, Comcast wants, and encourages, but as a Net Neutrality advocate I can't agree with.

What this does is merely creates a precedent where Comcast and others are able to filter access to the internet based on the possibility that child pornography exists on that particular service.

Don't like BitTorrent? Hey, there's Child Porn, so we've gotta block it.

Don't like AIM? Hey! There's Child Porn, so we've gotta block it.

Don't like GOPHER? Guess what's out there? Child Porn! Gotta block it.

Don't like all those pesky Blogs on LiveJournal or WordPress? Hey look! Child Porn! Time to block it.

Amazon.com is hurting your business? Hey look! It sells Lolita! That's Child Porn masquerading as classic literature! And *gasp* even worse, they sell Pretty Baby! That's a movie! It lacks even that pesky classic literature tag! Ban them from the 'NET!

If this type of activity continues, and the ISPs become controllers of what their end users see or don't see, then the concepts which the internet were built upon are in fundamental danger. The thought that all traffic is the same, that every packet that passes through an ISP's hands should be as anonymous and as important as any other packet is in danger.

The Internet was hailed as a great tool of democracy and free speech.

These types of rules endanger that concept. They in effect struggle to turn this tool of free speech into something twisted and dangerous. These rules try to actively stifle free speech.

These rules try to actively control what you see and do.

Frankly, that's not a power that I want in Comcast's or any other ISPs hands.

And it's definitely not a power that I want in the government's hands.

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