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Giganews Deconstructs Cuomo's Child Porn 'Crackdown'
Political stunt over-emphasized problem, didn't accomplish much...
by Karl Bode 02:01PM Wednesday Oct 15 2008 Tipped by SND2005 See Profile
Over the summer, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo got a lot of attention for waging war on ISPs and newsgroup child porn, even though his highly publicized crusade resulted in ISPs, by their own admission, doing absolutely nothing differently. Really, all the crusade did was result in more ISPs using child porn to justify their decision to stop offering free Usenet to save a buck. In a few cases, the AG had carriers block some useful newsgroups (AT&T now blocks the entire alt.binary hierarchy "for the children"). User SND2005 See Profile points to a delayed retort over at the GigaNews blog that lays the smack down on Cuomo's so-called investigation, attacking Cuomo's numbers and assailing his artificial claims of cooperative enforcement in the newsgroup/broadband industries:
quote:
(Cuomo's) press release further states "[w]e are attacking this problem by working with Internet Service Providers to ensure they do not play host to this immoral business." Andrew Cuomo claims he worked with service providers in this investigation. However, as DSL Reports eloquently states, it was very much a sting operation. The NYAG certainly did not approach Giganews and ask us to work with them. Instead, the NYAG’s Organized Crimes Task Force began an undercover investigation and attacked us as if we were the criminals producing, consuming, promoting, and selling sexual abuse images.
GigaNews makes the effective argument that Cuomo over-emphasized the scope of the problem for political effect. According to the company, Cuomo's own numbers indicate that 99.9997% of the 3.7 billion available Usenet articles were free of the sexual abuse images found during the NYAG sting. Threatening to sue ISPs if they didn't block entire Usenet hierarchies -- or sign up to join coalitions that don't actually do anything -- might have created good press. But it's unlikely the campaign did anything that wasn't already accomplished by using the existing legal system to get those images taken offline.

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ftthz
If love can kill hate can also save

join:2005-10-17

1 recommendation

...

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.

funchords
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2 edits

Andrew Cuomo needs to create the appearance of a problem...

Speaking of disturbing jobs ...

New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo planned to use MediaDefender to collect child-porn evidence on P2P networks -- which is a rather questionable decision given that MediaDefender:

1. Has a history of interfering and disrupting online activity, including people and content that is completely legal and cleared to share

2. Is paid by the porn industry to plant fake files on P2P networks that, when viewed, drive the viewer to the porn-operators site

3. Lacks sufficient intrusion protection (they suffered a huge break in about a year ago)

4. Was preparing an entrapment website (MiVii).

Yeah, Andy's a good cop.
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pabster

join:2001-12-09
Waterloo, IA

Re: Andrew Cuomo needs to create the appearance of a problem...

Agreed. Cuomo's a fool and MediaDefender a disgrace.
SilverSurfer1

join:2007-08-19

1 edit
said by funchords:

2. Is paid by the porn industry to plant fake files on P2P networks that, when viewed, drive the viewer to the porn-operators site
When discussing the "war" waged by Opportunist NYAG Cuomo, let's be more specific when tossing around the general term "porn." We're talking about purveyors of child pornography here. Adult porn is still legal and is protected by the 1st Amendment.

funchords
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2 edits

Re: Andrew Cuomo needs to create the appearance of a problem...

said by funchords:

2. Is paid by the porn industry to plant fake files on P2P networks that, when viewed, drive the viewer to the porn-operators site
said by SilverSurfer1:

When discussing the "war" waged by Opportunist NYAG Cuomo, let's be more specific when tossing around the general term "porn." We're talking about purveyors of child pornography here.
Agreed. I don't think there's an advertising budget within any child pornography industry, but thanks for clarifying that just in case someone wasn't sure.

said by SilverSurfer1:

Adult porn is still legal and is protected by the 1st Amendment.
My complaint about MediaDefender and the (adult) porn industry is that they inject fake files and search results into the P2P networks to lure users to their sites -- users, who are not necessarily adults. Giving ones porn ad for "fetishsite.com" the same title as the search terms someone just used, such as "building implosions", is probably not speech protected by the first amendment.
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POB
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Re: Andrew Cuomo needs to create the appearance of a problem...

said by funchords:

My complaint about MediaDefender and the (adult) porn industry is that they inject fake files and search results into the P2P networks to lure users to their sites -- users, who are not necessarily adults. Giving ones porn ad for "fetishsite.com" the same title as the search terms someone just used, such as "building implosions", is probably not speech protected by the first amendment.
That may be so, but I've noticed that you have a nasty little habit of speaking in glittering generalities no matter what your opinion is on this site for any given topic. Someone corrected you so don't get your panties in a wad over it.
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funchords
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Re: Andrew Cuomo needs to create the appearance of a problem...

Since my "panties" aren't "in a wad" about anything, I think you have misinterpreted something. SilverSurfer has not said anything that I disagree with.
said by POB:

That may be so, but I've noticed that you have a nasty little habit of speaking in glittering generalities no matter what your opinion is on this site for any given topic.
For example?
said by POB:

Someone corrected you so don't get your panties in a wad over it.
People correct me every day, and I have invited and embraced that and I thank them for it.

In this case, I don't see any glaring corrections. In fact, SilverSurfer took what may be seen as a generality of porn and clarified that it was distinct from child porn. I'm perfectly okay with that, since I meant that from the beginning.

Welcome to our violent agreement.
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Doctor Four
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1 edit

Re: ...

said by ftthz:

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.
I doubt a person was involved, except maybe to program an
automated bot to know what to search for.

And that bot was most likely one of Giganews' own, not the ones that MediaDefender use. If it had been the latter, chances are that Giganews would have reported a much higher percentage of CP posts on Usenet, given how inaccurate such tools that are used by the anti-piracy companies are.
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cdru
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1 edit

Re: ...

said by Doctor Four:

said by ftthz:

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.
I doubt a person was involved, except maybe to program an automated bot to know what to search for.
In one of the past articles there as a link to a press release (that's no longer posted) that stated "The Attorney Generals investigation reviewed millions of pictures over several months, uncovering 88 different Newsgroups that contained a total of 11,390 sexually lewd photos featuring prepubescent children". Yes they paid someone (or some people) money to surf the download and look at millions of pictures of porn. They likely used a bot or some other automation software for the actual downloading, they still apparently reviewed them in person.


FFH
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Tavistock NJ
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said by ftthz:

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.
And even if the % of child porn was low(.0003% of 3.7 billion), it still amounts to over 11,000 images. Who would want a job to check those out - ugh!!
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Ebolla

join:2005-09-28
Dracut, MA

1 recommendation

Re: ...

said by FFH:

said by ftthz:

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.
And even if the % of child porn was low(.0003% of 3.7 billion), it still amounts to over 11,000 images. Who would want a job to check those out - ugh!!
a pedophile?

james1

join:2001-02-26

Re: ...

said by Ebolla:

said by FFH:

said by ftthz:

So someone was paid to find those images??? Sounds like a disturbing job.
And even if the % of child porn was low(.0003% of 3.7 billion), it still amounts to over 11,000 images. Who would want a job to check those out - ugh!!
a pedophile?
That's a big risk, but people in those positions are put through some pretty tough psych evaluations, and their private lives are subject to much more scrutiny than Joe Blow.

The "investigators" I'd be worried about are the ones who aren't acting on behalf of any agency. Private citizens who "stumble across child porn" and report it are probably surfing on some legaly questionable sites.
Expand your moderator at work

WiseOldBear
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Just Another Pol

Cuomo is just another politician (and by definition a whore) so don't be surprised when he engages in practices designed to make him look good regardless of whether they have a positive impact.
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pabster

join:2001-12-09
Waterloo, IA

Let's be realistic here...

Sure Cuomo is off his rocker, no bones on that.

But understand Giganews has a vested interest in keeping the whole thing afloat. It's good PR for them, attracts new customers, and keeps their business going. In fact, the whole charade has been a boondoggle for Giganews. They're getting a whole lot of new business - both from individuals and from ISPs who have begun to outsource their Usenet to Giganews.

LaDeiDa

@sbcglobal.net

Wow, Somebody Actually Believed it Wasn't a Cost Issue.

Seriously, the BIG Smoking Gun would have been if the big ISP's were actually behind the whole investigation in that they recruited Cuomo via donation to be their mouthpiece. They just wanted a way out of supporting binaries or usenet at all. As I always have said, I seriously doubt ISP's cry foul whenever somebody saves them a buck. Over here when crappy AT&T claimed to have binaries, the service was so bad that the articles would never show up or they were incomplete.
cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA

for the children...

as long as you put 'for the children' as a reason to block, restrict, or do anything, you can get away with doing whatever you want. sometimes it gets used for legit cause, others as a dumb excuse, and others twist it to make it an excuse.

Glaice
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North Babylon, NY

Re: for the children...

Another dumbass excuse as pols turned children into cult objects as it's always something about them.

halo5

join:2000-07-20
Dayton, OH

Re: for the children...


Ahhh!
Agreed.
cableman0327

join:2004-10-10
Westminster, MD

Somebody do Something

Do what I do, use a filter, block out the sites, ISP's can do the same thing, and dont give me your rights bullshit, if it is'nt legal, its not a right!

BabyBear
Keep wise ...with Nite-Owl

join:2007-01-11

Harumph

Whenever I see this kind of political grandstanding always reminds me of this scene from Blazing Saddles!

Gentlemen please, rest your sphincters!

You know when it comes time for re-election he'll use the "I help clean child porn from the intertubes!". Even though he really did nothing.

doober

join:2002-01-30
Essex, MD

Protecting the children ...............hmmmmmmmm

I wonder if there is a statistic showing how many children that are allowed to use newsgroups unsupervised? Are we kidding ourselves or are we just to lame to get back what once what provided to us for free.

Are we really letting a ISP conducted and paid for investigation getting away with something like this? Who are we protecting here? The ISP's? The Children? or the politicians that are in the pocket of the "K" street bandits?

This investigation is censorship on free speech.

NormanS
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Re: Protecting the children ...............hmmmmmmmm

said by doober:

This investigation is censorship on free speech.
The investigation, itself, is not "censorship", it is more of a "witch hunt".

The result of the political grandstanding stunt, which this witch hunt has turned into is not "censorship". The ISPs, base on discussions I've participated in, with the SBC wonks over in 'sbcglobal.help.tech.newsgroups' (you can't get there unless you have an "at&t Yahoo! HSI" login) considered Usenet service to be a net cost, and would like any excuse to get out of offering them. Andy Cuomo just happened to hand them their excuse.

Now, if your ISP keeps you from accessing 'news.motzarella.org', or the other NNTP servers offered by dedicated NNTP service providers, then you have grounds to cry, "Censorship". Otherwise, it is nothing more than political, and economic hanky panky.
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id_deleted

join:2003-05-01
Salt Lake City, UT

4 edits

Of course it will stop with saving children, right?

But if it does who will protect the poor adult airline passengers from being exposed to porn via airline broadband connections? And what about all the internet cafe and library users, we cant have their delicate morals degraded by internet porn now can we? Should it stop at porn or should we include terrorist related sites, maybe ANY sites that deal with illicit topics, and perhaps a few that just deal with left wing values?

(Those that claim censorship will be limited to illegal activity alone, have a lot to learn.)

Want an example? Move to Utah, and please remember to disgard all your dangerous high point beer and XXX movies into the box at the border.

doober

join:2002-01-30
Essex, MD

witch hunt

Are you saying that I should give the state of Utah all my downloaded XXX movies I got from newsgroups/limewire,p2p progies etc. just to protect the kids. There are something wrong witht this picture.

But to get back to this story about the witch hunt of end users in USA only. I wonder who will sue who for this? Will it be a case of censorship or will it be a case about restrictions, freedom of speech, lack of service on the internet(s) service we as consumers are paying for.
id_deleted

join:2003-05-01
Salt Lake City, UT

4 edits

Re: witch hunt

No, it was an example of how censorship has already been implemented to an extreme. In Utah, you could not buy a XXX movie from a B&M store; you go over the border to Nevada in order to do that. All adult movie rental is limited to "cable" versions. Adult shops have been banned from even operating in certain areas, and there is no such thing as a topless bar here. We cannot buy liquor other than 3.2% beer in our grocery and convenience stores, where it is also illegal to have a Playboy in plain view on a magazine rack. Utah's moral majority would like nothing more than to filter all Internet access within the state, and has even tried several times with some pretty outlandish legislation that barely failed.
IMO, these "save the child" campaigns are really nothing more than a convenient foothold used to initiate what the "moral terrorists" really want; total censorship.

If they really wanted to address this problem they would not be banning the illicit newsgroups, they would quietly monitor and trace the IP's accessing these groups, and then knock on a few doors. All they have really done here is drive the offenders underground where it will be much harder to identify them. Its sort of like forcing a landlord to burn down the local crackhouse when no one is home and then expecting the drug problem to magically go away.