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AT&T Quits Free Usenet Access July 15th

AT&T Quits Free Usenet Access July 15th

Caves to demands that it “protect its customers from child pornography” even though discontinuing free service will do little to fight the problem since pedophiles will simply switch to third party premium Usenet services.

Thanks to pressure from NY Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, AT&T will soon join ISPs Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint in eliminating free Usenet access, specifically to the alt.bin and alt.bain newsgroup hierarchies that provide actual data files, in order fight child pornography.

“The pervasiveness of child pornography on the Internet is horrific and it needs to be stopped,” said Attorney General Cuomo in a press release from last year following the agreement.  “We are attacking this problem by working with Internet Service Providers to ensure they do not play host to this immoral business.  I commend the companies that have stepped up today to embrace a new standard of responsibility, which should serve as a model for the entire industry.”

This new “model” begins next Wednesday, July 15th, for AT&T and means Usenet users will have to begin seeking an alternative if they want to continue downloading actual content.

“Please note that on or around July 15, 2009, AT&T will no longer be offering access to the Usenet Netnews service,” reads a post on AT&T’s Usenet site. “If you wish to continue reading Usenet newsgroups, access is available through third-party vendors.”

That last part reiterates the idiocy of AG Cuomo’s efforts. All he’s really doing is forcing people to purchase 3rd party premium Usenet services like Giganews. The creeps who traffic child porn will just pony up the $3 to $30 bucks a month and go on with their lives, resulting in a probable net zero effect on the trafficking of child porn. The lack of free child porn certainly won’t deter them, and it’s pretty disheartening to learn an educated man like AG Cuomo thinks it will.

“AT&T takes its obligation to protect its customers from child pornography very seriously,” adds AT&T in a message on its Usenet’s “system status” page. “We’re working with public officials and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the effort to help prevent the distribution of this harmful and illegal content.”

It really had to begin discontinuing free Usenet access to alt.bin and alt.bain because it couldn’t effectively filter child porn. After AG Cuomo uncovered “88 different Newsgroups that contained a total of 11,390 sexually lewd photos featuring prepubescent children, and in some cases photos of children being raped and sexual activity involving animals” the writing was on the wall.

“While we will continue to provide access to newsgroups as part of our Internet Service Offerings, we will no longer include alt.bin nor alt.bain hierarchies because of the possibility of child pornography in those particular groups and the difficulty in ensuring that no child porn reappears in them.”

Stay tuned.

[email protected]

______________________

NEED AN ALTERNATIVE USENET PROVIDER?

The one preferred by most is Giganews, myself included, for it has more data, or “binary retention” (365), available than any other Usenet provider. It even boasts that Usenet members upload more than 5TB of new discussions and content on a daily basis.

Giganews Newsgroups

Others include:

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
DrewWoW
DrewWoW

People still use usenet? Do browsers still have newsreaders buil-in? I thought the trend these days was P2P and embedding pics in files with misleading names that appear to be corrupted files to most, but easily recognized by pedophiles.@DrewWilson: I don't get your sharing hierarchy? Is the degree of dissemination from low to high for sharing?

Pete Ashdown
Pete Ashdown

Usenet was never intended to carry terabytes of binaries around, it was intended for discussion. There are numerous ISPs, tech businesses, and individuals who run servers that limit message size, block binary groups, and run Cleanfeed to filter out the rest. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with blocking binaries as a whole. Binary groups limit the spread of Usenet due to their hardware and bandwidth requirements.A well run Usenet server can handle spammers and spam. If the server you use is overloaded by spam, find another, or run your own.

Missy PR Person
Missy PR Person

Perfect example of spinning a move to decrease the value of thier product while maintaining the same price. Please note: ATT users can still subscribe to any premium USENET service on the web and ATT will look the other way. As long as someone is making cash, which they can get their cut from, anything is game. Say Mr. premium USENET service provider, we need to up your bandwidth fee.The fat cats and PR hacks are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

John Davis
John Davis

Usenet dies several months ago. With services like P2P file sharing, who needs Usenet!Jiff www.be-anonymous.tk

Mat
Mat

Usenet used to be great for actually communicating with people, now it’s certain to become nothing but an alt.binary ghetto, and a paid service at that. What a shame. If all the ISP’s drop nntp service, then these third party access providers don’t stand a chance because the precedent is already se

Barkley
Barkley

Usenet is full of porn because they're trying to kill it, end of story. And there has been a stepping-up since about a few months ago. Seriously. Actual child porn people (whatever you call them) do not upload multiple copies of the same three or four files (I know they're the same file because they have the same suspiciously low filesize, not because I actually downloaded them) under different names. The Republicans have a hand in this, mark my words. This fits their modus operandi perfectly: If you want to control something, break it first, then complain that it needs to be fixed, and claim that you are the best man to fix it.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

A lot of BitTorrent releasers get their stuff from UseNet. Yes, I'm talking about the private sites as well. There's only a small handful of releasers that get their stuff from FTP which is the protocol that is about as high up as it goes.FTP -> UseNet, BitTorrent -> Kad -> LimeWire, Shareaza -> Google, YouTube, Kazaa, Soulseek, etc.

Norm
Norm

Never found that much on usenet to begin with. I realize alot of scene stuff makes it's way to usenet before showing up on bit torrent. Besides that, no great loss. P2P is the way to go, being decentralized and what not.Hell usenet is so full of spam, it's almost impossible to use for meaningful discussion anymore. The few groups with active conversations can be reached with google groups or something similar.

mal greenborg
mal greenborg

Usenet used to be great for actually communicating with people, now it's certain to become nothing but an alt.binary ghetto, and a paid service at that. What a shame. If all the ISP's drop nntp service, then these third party access providers don't stand a chance because the precedent is already set.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

Looking into the news headlines of 2020 if things continue this way..."Today, AT&T has announced the disconinutation of internet access to help save the children. AT&T says that if one wants to have continued services that they contact third party vendors and discuss internet access in other countries.The government commended AT&T for disconinuing internet services, saying that e-mail, the HTTP protocol and anything that can be used to communicate anything can be used for the spread of illegal content.This announcement was made on the heals of the government issuing a ban on computers, CDs, DVDs, digital storage devices and anything else that contains a computer chip."We're proud that we are finnally winning the war on child pornography" said Cuomo the Second, "and we'll continue to work with technology companies that enable such activities."Another government official commented on how sacrifices have to be made in order to stop such illegal activity, but stressed that we'll need to look back to cave-men and learned how they lived in order to addapt to the new societal changes."

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

I'm sure for lawmakers, it's easier to say everything is pedo shit and block everything accordingly no matter how untrue that is.But yes, that would be the well-known hierarchy of files being disseminated traditionally. There are some exceptions like regular user releases where they (shock!) buy this stuff themselves and disseminate it in different parts of the hierarchy and the files will spread in both directions if it's anything other than the top. There've been known cases where scene groups actually download from p2p, rename and re-releasing it (hash values are a wonderful thing sometimes).

mal greenborg
mal greenborg

Usenet used to be the greatest forum on the planet.FILE SHARING KILLED IT

D.AN
D.AN

This guy is just like you, malgre.

Astroboi
Astroboi

I think you will find that the suspiciously small and identically sized files are actually executable files that contain trojans and such and they are posted by overseas hackers that run botnets and harvest passwords. This sort of thing is seen in many newsgroups, not just porn groups. While its tempting to think politicians, the RIAA, The MPAA, cops, moral zealots or worse are behind the postings, they are probably just more attempts to compromise your computer by low level hackers.

Television Spy
Television Spy

Usenet became more of a troll ground and as it was said in the article, those likely to engage in illegal acts will probably pay so that they can continue to do so.

D.AN
D.AN

You wish.



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