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Governor And Attorney General Call On Internet Service Providers To Block Child Porn Access

Friday, June 20, 2008
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SACRAMENTO--Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called upon California’s Internet service providers to follow the lead of Verizon, Time Warner Cable and Sprint by “removing child pornography from existing servers and blocking channels” that disseminate the illegal material.

“Protecting the safety of our children must be a top priority, not just for government, but also for businesses with the direct power to reduce the ability to conduct illegal activity,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said in a joint letter to the California Internet Service Provider Association, which represents more than 100 Internet service providers in California.

“We applaud three of the world’s largest Internet service providers—Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint—for taking steps to block access to child pornography. It is not enough, however, for only a few Internet service providers to join the fight against online predators. Child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment, and distributing this material is illegal.”

On June 10, 2008, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced agreements with Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint, to block access to child pornography by purging their servers of existing child pornography and eliminating access to child pornography newsgroups.

Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown said other Internet service providers should follow these companies’ lead by ridding their own servers of child pornography and preventing access to illegal content through newsgroups.

“The California Internet Service Providers Association is the largest association of Internet providers in the country and we are asking your members to take their leadership role seriously. The association can begin by working with its more than 100 members to remove child pornography from existing servers and blocking channels, which include newsgroups, used for distributing this material,” Schwarzenegger and Brown said.

California is home to the Silicon Valley which has hundreds of Internet service providers, ranging from large companies to smaller, local providers. Some of the major providers include AT&T and AOL. According to the California ISP Association, the largest such association in the country, there are more than 100 Internet service providers in California.

The California Attorney General’s office has been working with other states to protect children from dangerous predators on the Internet. California recently joined 49 other states in reaching agreements with Myspace and Facebook so that those social networking sites take steps, including age and ID verification processes, to protect children from online sexual predators. The attorney general’s office also deploys special agents who conduct undercover investigations into online sexual predators. For more information about the apprehension teams, visit: www.ag.ca.gov/cbi

A copy of Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown’s letter to the California Internet Service Providers Association, sent today, is attached.

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