Verizon Cutting Access To Entire Alt.* Usenet Hierarchy
"Verizon has declared it will no longer offer access to the entire alt.* hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups to its customers. This stems from last week's agreement for major ISPs to cut off access to 'newsgroups and Web sites' that make child pornography available. The story notes, 'No law requires Verizon to do this. Instead, the company (and, to varying extents, Time Warner Cable and Sprint) agreed to restrictions on Usenet in response to political strong-arming by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups — out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist.' In response, Verizon will cut its customers off from a large portion of Usenet, as it will only carry newsgroups in the Big 8."
This is plain and simple bullshit - you are either offering internet access (yes the whole internet or you aren't)
It's the commercial companies right to offer a 'cut down version' of the internet but if they do they should lose all exclusive rights allocated to them by the federal government so that Verzion no longer have any federally awarded benefits of sole exclusive provider or any other common carrier status mandated subsidies etc. Your tax dollars are paying for their interpretive editorial decisions.
To be able to make what amounts to an 'editorial' non court mandated decision to cut off parts of the internet makes Verizon no better than China. In fact it makes them worse than China because at least China is upfront about their censorship, Verizon are hiding behind the guise of 'protecting the children from kiddy porn',
Yeh ok but what about the other 99.5% of the alt. groups you just killed? Yep alt.startrek.creative. very dangerous stuff.
What this means in practice is that, thanks to the New York state attorney general, Verizon customers will lose out on innocent discussions.
Verizon is retaining only eight newsgroup hierarchies, even though over 1,000 hierarchies exist. That means not carrying perfectly innocuous--and, in fact, very useful--newsgroups like symantec.customerservice.general, us.military, microsoft.public.excel, and fr.soc.economie.
Please forward this post on to every political figure with a brain (apart from Andrew Cuomo) who makes decisions concerning Verizon's rights to common carrier status - they cant have it both ways.
P.S. If you dont think Net Neutrality is the biggest issue affecting information publication and distribution in your life I challenge you to watch this short video and tell me you dont care http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/net-neutrality.html