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AT&T, AOL join other ISPs to block child porn

N.Y. attorney general urges other ISPs to rid their servers of the material

By Linda Rosencrance
July 11, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - AT&T Inc. and AOL LLC have joined three other major Internet service providers in eliminating access to child pornography newsgroups, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today.

In June, Verizon Communications Inc., Time-Warner Cable and Sprint Nextel Corp. signed an agreement with Cuomo to shut down access to two major sources of child pornography.

Like those ISPs, AT&T and AOL will also rid their servers of child porn Web sites, according to a statement from Cuomo's office.

"AT&T takes its obligation to protect its customers from child pornography very seriously, and we're happy to work with Attorney General Cuomo's office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the effort to help prevent the distribution of this harmful and abusive content," said AT&T spokesman Marty Richter in an e-mail.

AOL could not be reached for comment.

Cuomo is also calling on other ISPs to follow the path set by the large ISPs.

"Today's agreements with AT&T and AOL send a message to Internet service providers across the nation that they can no longer drag their feet when it comes to protecting our children and instead must quickly purge child porn from their servers," Cuomo said in the statement.

Undercover investigators in Cuomo's office reviewed millions of pictures over several months, and uncovered 88 newsgroups containing 11,390 sexually lewd photos featuring prepubescent children.

Cuomo also announced a new Web site dedicated to fighting online child pornography.

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