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34 ISPs Subpoenaed By U.S. Government 391

Posted by Zonk
from the fighting-the-man dept.
seanonymous writes "The Justice Department, in their continued effort to revive questionable legislation, has subpoenaed dozens of ISPs for files. Considering that ISPs generally host their users' mail, this seems like it could be a larger issue than their fight with Google over search queries. Some, like Verizon, even resisted the call for information." From the article: "Representatives for McAfee and Symantec confirmed that the companies had received and complied with the subpoenas. A spokeswoman at LookSmart did not immediately return a phone call. Many of the subpoenas asked for information related to products that can be used to filter out adult content for underage Internet users. Symantec's subpoena, dated June 29, asked for a wide range of information about the price and popularity of the Internet filtering products it sells and how the products are used by customers. " Information Week has a number of the documents involved, including the letter of objection from Verizon.
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34 ISPs Subpoenaed By U.S. Government

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  • Damn... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:41AM (#15033699)
    Orwell was only off by two decades. Makes you wonder if the government uses his book as a guide?
    • My work (a public institution) made me remove my "Bush/Cheney 1984: War is Peace" bumpersticker and wouldn't let me put my "I (heart) Big Brother" bumper sticker on either...
    • Re:Damn... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by G)-(ostly (960826)
      Just this administration. The last administration tried this type of stupidity too, but apparently the Democrats are smart enough to say "oh, gee, it failed, let's go do something else", whereas this administration is, apparently, hellbent on creating some degree of facism before its time is up in 08.

      Maybe that should be the Democratic platform for 2008: "Yes, we'll try to intimidate and oppress you too, but unlike Bush's friends, we'll just give up if it doesn't work the first time!"

      I'm voting Democrat. Al
  • by dtsazza (956120) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:43AM (#15033713)
    FTFA:
    "There's a real question as to why the government didn't do all this fact finding first before enacting such a broad law that imposes severe criminal and civil sanctions."
  • I just don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:43AM (#15033715)
    Can somebody please explain why it is that the DoJ is being allowed to write all these subpoenas anyway? I didn't think they had any legal right to do so.

    Is this just a simple matter of the DoJ assuming that at least some of the corporations will decide it's faster to comply, than to argue for their privacy?
    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:28AM (#15034060)
      Can somebody please explain why it is that the DoJ is being allowed to write all these subpoenas anyway? I didn't think they had any legal right to do so.

      Its borderline legal. These are _civil_ subpoenas. They are not criminal ones. There is no crime involved. Porn is legal. Anybody, including the government can sue anybody in the US, but I don't understand why judges are granting these subpoenas being that nothing can come from the data collected. I don't understand why they forgot about the 1st and 4th amendments.

    • by adisakp (705706)
      For just once, I wish the government would "Protect the Children(tm)" without *Squashing My Rights* !

      You ever notice how gov't acts named things like "Protection of Families" or "Protection of Marriage" or "Protection of Children" or "Protection from Terrorists" mainly serve to limit or take away legal protections and rights from the people?

      I'm scared of my gov't trying to "Protect" me anymore than they already do. I think I have the right to make my own choices and live with the consequences as lon
  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:45AM (#15033733)
    I was under the impression that for any seiziure of private property for investigation, there had to be a reasonable suspicion that there was a crime commited.

    So now "not helping the government" is a crime in and of itself?
    • Easy Answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by woolio (927141) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:55AM (#15033812) Journal
      So now "not helping the government" is a crime in and of itself?

      Easy, "if you're not for us, you're against us"
    • Easy answer. It's not a seizure of private property. It's a subpeona for information. The collection of information for court proceedings happens for every case, criminal or civil.
      • It's not a seizure of private property. It's a subpeona for information.

        This idealogy is made of win and good. I'll be sure to let Microsoft and the RIAA know this next time I pirate some stuff.

        The collection of information for court proceedings happens for every case, criminal or civil

        Again, what specific crime has been commited that gives the justice department the right to subpoena information? This is nothing more than fishing for crimes. They can't simply say "give me your records so we can
        • Again, what specific crime has been commited that gives the justice department the right to subpoena information?

          None. The court is allowing them to subpeona information to use to decide a case. They're supposed to decide cases without information?

          This was made clear in my previous comment.
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      I was under the impression that for any seiziure of private property for investigation, there had to be a reasonable suspicion that there was a crime commited.

      That's the great thing about being the government. In order to pursue your own agenda, you get to strong-arm people. I'm sure for many kinds of investigations, the government can compel your assistance.

      However, compelling your assistance to gather information to fight a supreme court ruling that a law you enacted was illegal -- I don't think should

  • by MasJ (594702) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:46AM (#15033739) Homepage

    Hmm.. I do think that this is getting a bit out of hand now. I'm glad that some of "them" do resist the calls for information, but for how long ? After all, most resources are controlled by the government and they're capable of putting an enormous amount of pressure on said corporations.

    I don't quite understand the US governments crusade against online porn and for child protection. Is it just a ploy to gain votes ? It's however scary to see such a breach of privacy, even if on a small scale. IMO, this could grow into things much bigger.

    I work with online advertising (read that I have a couple of websites..), and I want to share something with my fellow slashdotters. Many of you must have heard of/seen Google Adsense. Well, MS's response to that, MSN Adcenter launched in Beta a few months ago and I've been working with that. One look inside that interface and it is shocking to see the kind of targetting they're capable of. If they can target so well, they obviously have an ENORMOUS amount of information on folks on the internet. Just an example of their penetration, you can choose to target to "Unmarried Men in the age group of 30-35 in the state of New York with incomes in the rage of $100,000". (We all know what those ads are ;)) I saw this and was like "WHAT ?! How the hell are they supposed to have so much information on a person who's just opened a website to see some stuff.."

    Well, my point is that all this information that lies with MSN, Google, etc. CAN be accessed by the government, and as an individual worried about my privacy, this is alarming.

    I think it's time we all scroogled [scroogle.org]. (and no, this is not a promotional post :))

    • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:06AM (#15033883)
      I don't quite understand the US governments crusade against online porn

      Religious people don't just want to remove [insert_immoral_action_here] from their own life. They beleive it is their sacred duty to prevent everyone else from doing it as well. Regardless of the law everyone's agreed to live under.

      Remember, this is the president who actually beleives god instructs him personally
      • by smoker2 (750216) on Friday March 31, 2006 @11:24AM (#15034499) Homepage Journal
        Remember, this is the president who actually beleives god instructs him personally
        Great, so the most powerful man in the most powerful nation has an imaginary friend who tells him what to do !

        Aren't there laws about that ?

      • So, I just reread Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale" and, its really scary and very pertinent to these sorts of discussions. I'm not trying to be sensationalist, but if you look around at what's happening in the US, its not hard to see how easy it would be to end up in Atwood's world. And this is how it starts -- gather information about people's unsavory practices... next, whittle away at people's rights while spawning just enough fear to keep down objections. Create a mysterious external enemy to focus
      • by Lothsahn (221388) <Lothsahn@@@SPAM_ ... u_bastardsyahocm> on Friday March 31, 2006 @11:26AM (#15034515)
        Many religious people DO wish to impose their moral law on the entire society, however, not all do. It's important that you realize that "religious" people aren't just cookie cutters of everyone else--there are different "religious people".

        As a dedicated Christian (and a Libertarian), I believe everyone has free will to do as they choose. If you choose to do something which I personally don't believe in--that's your choice. For me to tell you that you cannot do something "sinful" is to impose on your personal freedom. Nor is it really helpful--I don't help you know God any better by making you follow my rules. Christianity isn't about making people not "sin", it's about knowing God.

        It is expected in our culture that children are not yet adults. They are limited in both the actions that they can choose (and the consequences--being tried as a juvenile is less severe than being tried as an adult). Most people would not support a mandatory bike (not motorcycle) helmet law for everyone, but most would support a mandatory child bike helmet law. As a culture, it is generally understood that children do not have all of the freedoms that we enjoy as adults.

        For that reason, there is a group of people which believes that it's societies' obligation to "protect" children from Pornography, which they consider harmful. Although I realize that you most likely do not view pornography as harmful, those that do wish to protect children in the same way as those who wish to pass mandatory child helmet laws. From their point of view, their beliefs are consistent.

        The way that the Government is going about subpoenaing for information is wrong. There are a number of ways to collect such information without infringing on the privacy of its citizens. However, it's much more convienant to infringe on our rights (and our Government certainly doesn't care about rights), rather than collect information in a non-invasive way, so they've chosen to invade our privacy.

        Please realize that not all "religious" people have a similar viewpoint as those who generally disregard our rights. I too believe that God instructs me personally. I am not a puppet, but I do choose to live my life following the plan he has laid out for me. And by no means do I agree with many of the things that our Government is doing, as I feel that many of them are infringing on our personal freedoms. Realize that religion is often used as a tool to achieve personal goals, rather than knowing God. Don't blame God for the choices that people make when they USE God to support their Goal. That would be like me blaming you for the war in Iraq, even if you had opposed it from the onset.

        I'm truly sorry that you have had so many negative experiences with people who profess to know God in your life. It's a shame, and it's a disservice to him.
    • Several years ago, there was a program on PBS looking into how such detailed data developed. A lot of it is a consequence of having open public records e.g., birth and death records, real estate sales records,... Companies hire people, who sit in local court houses transcribing open records into computer databases. These records are tied to publically available census records. Thru information on home values, for example, they can guesstimate family income. From census data they can determine typical d
    • Thank goodness I'm not in the US..

      Where *do* you happen to be from? If you say England, I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to inventing a product that will reach through your computer monitor and slap you in the face.
    • I'm glad that some of "them" do resist the calls for information, but for how long?

      Precisely why I run my own mail server. My mail goes to my house on a machine I own. It might pass through a relay or two on its way, but generally mai lonly passes from the sender's ISP to my network. Same with my web presence, etc. While I do generally trust my ISP to keep my information secure, I trust myself a lot more. And since I qualify as an ISP due to the way information passes through my machines, the laws do a
  • I am all for stamping out child porn, it is sick and damaging. But like many others I do wonder if the action taken here and elsewhere is using this as a pretext for a wider intrusion on people's rights.

    Even if the Government does not currently read everyone's mail the fact that ISPs store the email for a long time (forever?) means that eventually once all ISPs comply they will.

    So don't send anything that you wouldn't be happy for the Government to read unless you use a web based account from a cybercafe t
    • RTFA

      This is not about "CHILD PORNOGRAPHY". It is (supposedly) about a law that is designed to prevent children from LOOKING AT pornography. It's also a load of BS, but at least get their lame-assed excuse right.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:58AM (#15033826) Homepage Journal
      I am all for stamping out child porn, it is sick and damaging.

      Careful -- you've already fallen for their manipulation of the language. They're hoping that by using the words "children" and "pornography" in close conjunction, you'll automatically think, "Oh, child porn, we've got to get rid of that!" But COPA has nothing to do with child porn; it has to do (allegedly) with children seeing porn on the web -- the vast bulk of which is not child porn; it's regular old-fashioned adult porn. Conflating the (very mild, and entirely within the parents' domain) issue of little Johnny looking at dirty pictures with the (very serious, and entirely criminal already) problem of child porn is a cynical and dangerous political ploy.
  • News flash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:48AM (#15033750)
    Private information can be subpeonaed. The Internet didn't change that.

    • Re:News flash (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sebster (62996)
      As far as I can see, the internet actually *DID* change that; at least in scope. Instead of the private information of one targetted individual being requested, suddenly private information of an enormous number of people is requested. And instead of the targetted individual receiving the subpoena it's a company; the many indirectly targetted individuals will never know what information about them specifically is handed over.

      I don't know if the law was ever intended to be used in this way, but either way it
      • the internet actually *DID* change that ... Instead of the private information of one targetted individual being requested, suddenly private information of an enormous number of people is requested.

        No it didn't. Before the internet, insurance company records could be subpeonaed. Also credit card company records. Banks. Hospitals. All of them have large amounts of private information on large numbers of people.

        either way it's scary

        Oh yeah, terrifying. Why can't it just be a problem you'd like to see co
    • Troll. Private information can be subpoena'd if a crime has been committed. What crime exactly has been committed here? The only thing being mentioned is that this information will be used to figure out how to better fight a crime that has not yet been committed by someone they don't know. In other words, they are using a legal tool originally designed to help on-going investigations for nothing but a witch hunt.

      I hate child porn and everybody engaged in it with a passion, but that doesn't mean that I turn
      • This was mentioned up the page on another comment, but it needs to be repeated.

        The law this information is for is NOT against child pornography. It is against children looking at pornography. This is an excellent use of one of the most common (and sadly, effective) logical fallacies -- straw man.
      • Private information can be subpoena'd if a crime has been committed.

        Or for civil cases. Or in a number of other situations. Subpeona [answers.com].

        Grow a brain ... stop bending over everytime someone wants something from you

        Perhaps someone with a brain might want to know what a subpeona is before he says stupid things on a message board.

        And I didn't say anything about whether they ought to get the information. I actually think they shouldn't unless the court safeguards the ISP's users.
    • Re:News flash (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vertinox (846076)
      Private information can be subpeonaed. The Internet didn't change that.

      Private information can be subpeonaed for good and just reasons for a criminal investigation under guidelines of the constitution. The war on terror didn't change that.

      Or well... wasn't supposed to. The problem is that we are making crimes out of things that shouldn't be crimes and making a legal system so convoluted that all one has to do is look at a long list of secret laws and pick one that you have happened to have violated (unbekno
      • Private information can be subpeonaed for good and just reasons for a criminal investigation under guidelines of the constitution. The war on terror didn't change that.

        Read the definition of a subpeona [answers.com] please. Stop the war on terror FUD. Also, this isn't a criminal matter. No one ever said it was. You might want to stop the FUD on that subject too.
  • by Eccles (932) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:48AM (#15033754) Journal
    Generally the objections to adult materials come from religious groups. So why aren't they funding authoring of good content filters? Tithing adds up to a lot of money. A few million from the Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, etc. would be enough to fund a quality programming group, which could then distribute filtering software for free. Add a few folks to monitor domains, and make judgements on the "adultness" of the content (something like an extended version of the TV ratings), and you would have a service lots of parents would love to have, church-going or not.

    But perhaps the desire to control others runs too deep.
  • by zoidbergwins (954965) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:48AM (#15033757)
    Why is the government so concerned about controlling children's access to porn latley? Have the children found a way to extract oil from internet porn?
  • Data collection (Score:4, Insightful)

    by liliafan (454080) * on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:49AM (#15033762) Homepage
    Does anyone else find that the current trend by the government to collect any and all information they can to be a little spooky, the recent fuss about the NSA phone taps on US citizens sanctioned by the president, all these attempts to get information on peoples internet habits from search engines and ISP's. It is easy to say but think about the children, or think about the terrorists and any other sugar coating they decide to place on it, but the end result is the government is building a very large database of information on US citizens.

    Seriously even if this online child protection act fails they still have all the information they are requesting, what is to stop this information being cross indexed with the phone tap information, and credit information and anything else they may be gathering end result a rather worrying profile of a large cross section of the US population.

    I am usually not a paranoid person I don't subscribe to most conspiracy theories but this is a rather worrying invasion of personal privacy, at this rate bring in a few psychiatrists to review the files they are building on you and build a profile next thing you know you get a knock on the door from the feds arresting you because your physiological profile indicates a possible threat to the internal security of the US in the future, because of your worrying desire to take a vacation in Eygpt and since Eygpt is a mostly islamic nation you must be a terrorist.
    • the end result is the government is building a very large database of information on US citizens.

      I don't think so. There are larger and better organized databases out there that already for sale. This is just a power trip thing. Nothing new.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:49AM (#15033764) Homepage Journal
    Republicans stand for small, limited, noninvasive government. Personal freedom, corporate independence.
    • Re:Little Brother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:26AM (#15034041) Homepage Journal
      Moderators have already assigned insight into the satirical, sarcastic, parodic style of my post about Republicans. But some people [slashdot.org] apparently aren't so sure.

      To be clear: the current Republican government (controlling the White House for 5 years, both houses of Congress for as long as 12 years) lies when it tells you that it stands for small, limited, noninvasive government. These Republicans lie when they say they stand for personal freedom. And they're lying about corporate independence, too. They want corporate dependence on government, for government to do their competing for them, to prop them up with corporate welfare whenever possible, whether they need it or not. They are fascists, who merge corporate and government power.

      These Republicans will search your email, surveil you from unmanned drones over your hometown or Spring Break, tap your phones, kidnap you and send you to Guantanamo to be tortured. They'll steal your taxes as collateral on unsupportable debt you'll have to pay for generations, and give the money to their corporate cronies. Who will not only fail to protect you when your home is destroyed by years of paying contractors for useless infrastructure, but will actively prevent individuals from helping you survive with gun-enforced useless bureaucracy.

      But maybe I'm just not seeing the Republican vision at the end of the long, hard slog. Maybe that "small, limited, noninvasive government" really is coming. The personal freedom and corporate independence of humanity's natural state: anarchy and warlordism. Just how Marx predicted capitalism would eventually burn itself out. Then the only hypocrisy in the Republican plan is naming themselves after Plato's description of a representative government.
      • Re:Little Brother (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pintpusher (854001)
        I have to agree with you. What amazes me is that more people can't see it. How gullible is the general population? I am constantly baffled by the simple shit that gets pulled by the current adminstration/congress and there is NO response from the public. scary.
  • And so it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Buddy_DoQ (922706) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:49AM (#15033765) Homepage
    The fight for the Internet has just gone global. Looking to help China is great, fabulous, noble and all, but the time to focus on America is now. ISP's are clamoring for tiered networks, the government is looking to legislate censorship (it only starts with protecting the kids, soon it will be to protect EVERYONE,) and the entertainment industry is suing people left and right for sharing, which I'm sure will lead to regulation of P2P traffic.

    The question is this, do we continue with this network as it is now, let the man direct the traffic and install his regulations, or do we the geeks of the world build a new Internet in the hopes of even one more day of geekish freedom?
    • I say we build a new one!

      I got about 65 ft of 10base I can donate!

          td
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:31AM (#15034090)
      No offence, but if all the people who posted comments like this were helping with / donating to projects like Freenet 0.7 [freenetproject.org] and i2p [i2p.net] we would probably have fairly robust and usable strong anonymity / censorship resistance networks by now.

      Fight against this authoritarian bullshit sure, but we badly need to prepare for the preservation of freedom in a 'soft' police state, because that's where we're heading right now.
  • um.... 34 ISP's... Big brother time.

    I'm not sure Verizon is makine the best move here. Either way we *need* something like this to happen, make its way to court, and set a precident.

    Right now, its still a game. We can get away with a lot of stuff simply because there is a whole lot of "stuff" going on. Whats one more downloader? Its usually been like failing to buckle your seat belt. In some states, it wont get you fined unless you're pulled over for something else.

    If we know we'll get stomped for DLing, an
  • It's, at best, overstating the case to claim that Verizon's response here [cmpnet.com] is “resisting” anything. Most of their objections are pretty lame. They say, for instance, that the government should've sent the subpoena to Verizon Online Services, not to Verizon. They don't want the information to be given to their competitors. They say they might not know how many subscribers they have (how this is possible is beyond me). Beyond these objections and similar, they say how happy they would be to comply.
  • Parents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by szembek (948327) on Friday March 31, 2006 @09:57AM (#15033822) Homepage
    This just in: Having solved all other problems, the US gov't has decided to waste our tax money and invade our privacy because apparently parents don't know how to be parents. Porn is out there. Parents must realize this and if they feel their children shouldn't see it, then don't let them! Put the PC in the living room or some other common area. Install a filter. I've never used one, but I'm sure they're not all bad. Why does the government have to get involved?
  • FTFA:
    "The subpoenas are part of the government's defense of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act. The law makes it illegal to provide children with online content deemed harmful to them."

    As easy as it is to change some words in the article, you should also be able to change the filter. Let's try it:

    "The subpoenas are part of the government's defense of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act. The law makes it illegal to provide people with online content deemed harmful to the government."

    Mod me a trol
  • I noticed that one of the requested items was ALL of the URLs in Google's index and two month's worth of queries. No matter how this information is transferred (digital media, dead trees, FTP) it's going to be a lot of info and expensive. Is there any way for a company to reimburse these costs from the government?
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:04AM (#15033865) Homepage
    Oh modern American parents are so busy that they cannot keep track of little johnny or susie. They can't watch the media they buy, they can't notice needle tracks, slutty/pimp cloths, etc. But wait, others claim that they can't regulate what their kids do and see when they go outside. Huh? When has that ever been the case? Heroin used to be sold at general stores alongside whiskey and military-grade firearms. Softcore porn has been around in America in small, but noticable numbers for over a hundred years. It's always been there, and then some, but never before have parents had so many self-enforcing controls like content filtering, V-Chips, etc.

    Parents have **never** had control of what their kids are exposed to when they go to a neighbor's house. It's a basic fact of life. If parents did their jobs, instead of pursuing wealth for its own sake, their kids would have a very hard time getting porn. But how are they going to do that when both parents work because neither of them wants to give up their job for selfish reasons like self-fullfillment. Can't give up your uber-fullfilling job? Don't have kids. You can't "have it all," despite what the fucktard feminists and their male counterparts have claimed for decades. Being a parent is a fulltime job, not a babysitting job.

    We don't need this damn law because kids only get access to porn when parents refuse to be parents. I can perfectly well understand a woman not giving up a job as an artist or scientist, but most of the girls I saw at college were headed for jobs like human resources. Anyone, regardless of gender, who won't give up a shitty ass job like that for their kids to keep them raised right is a selfish bastard who deserves to be sterilized.

    My girlfriend's mom gave up a job as a realtime assembly and Ada programmer to homeschool her. My mom gave up her job as a GSA IG agent in the early 80s to be a stay at home mom, despite the fact that she'd be probably a GS14 or GS15 today knowing how good she was at her job. What's every other "fullfilled" office monkey's excuse for valuing their job more than their kids' mental, physical and spiritual health? I don't care how you have to do it, but the person who makes less and has less prospects for making money should give up their job and be a full time, stay at home parent. Either that or those who refuse to do it should just hand their kids over to the government to raise fulltime instead of the part time parenting known as public schooling.
    • I think you made a lot of good points with your post. However, the value of your good ideas is squandered when you use hyperbole like advocating compulsory sterilization. Take more care to be a good communicator and you will be a more effective advocate for your ideas.
    • But how are they going to do that when both parents work because neither of them wants to give up their job for selfish reasons like self-fullfillment

      let me guess... trust fund brat? must be nice living in a part of the world where a studio appartment doesn't consume an entire salary. however, you shouldn't assume that everyone else has it as easy as you. where i am (ny), it is difficult for many families to get by on 2 incomes - even if they have no children. once you throw the additional expense of kids
    • Also, depending on how you raise your children otherwise, I have this theory that porn may not impact their view on sexuality much at all. I mean, if kids at an early stage understand what porn is, as opposed to NOT telling them by hiding it and making it taboo to talk about, I think they'll have a much easier time to deal with it as well. If they understand only the people with a certain physique become porn stars, that it's about fantasies and not reality, etc, I doubt parents even *need* to care that muc
    • If parents did their jobs, instead of pursuing wealth for its own sake, their kids would have a very hard time getting porn. But how are they going to do that when both parents work because neither of them wants to give up their job for selfish reasons like self-fullfillment. Can't give up your uber-fullfilling job? Don't have kids. You can't "have it all," despite what the fucktard feminists and their male counterparts have claimed for decades. Being a parent is a fulltime job, not a babysitting job.

      Wow.

  • I love porn! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:04AM (#15033869)

    First, this proves that the government's infamous "Carnivore" either does not exist or does not work. Which is nice.

    Second, this proves that something is wrong with the government.

    Porn is legal and good. The quality and quantity that you can get now is astounding, and most of it is served straight from the US in very high speed, and the companies comply with all laws, or at least as many if not more than other companies.

    Porn is legal. Subpoenaing ISPs and snooping into our business is not legal.

    I'm guessing that this is yet another attempt by the feds to get more control of its people they work for, and they are just disguising it as one of those "think of the children" things so that women and the like will say, "Well its for the greater good, right?"

    If they really wanted to look for porn, subpoena CCBill, subpoena a porn website, subpoena credit card companies, or bank records. Oh, that might not slip under the "save the children radar" of the courts and the people. So, lets just look at ISP records for now, later....

    • Re:I love porn! (Score:3, Informative)

      by mosch (204)
      First, this proves that the government's infamous "Carnivore" either does not exist or does not work. Which is nice.


      Not at all. Do you really think the spy agencies would publicly reveal one of their most valuable assets, just to get some stupid DoJ pet project finished?

      This does nothing to confirm or deny the existence of echelon/carnivore/any other massive government snoop operations.
      • Not at all. Do you really think the spy agencies would publicly reveal one of their most valuable assets, just to get some stupid DoJ pet project finished?

        Do you think for a minute that any of the potential information that could or would be gathered via such a subpoena would be publicly revealed?

  • It's sometimes better to ask for permission than it is to sue for it.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:07AM (#15033889) Homepage Journal
    This is where we are headed.

    Once this point is reached, does that mean all content providers lose their 'common carrier' status and are now liable?
  • Cripe (Score:5, Informative)

    by spellraiser (764337) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:07AM (#15033893) Journal
    Is it just me, or are the DOJ's demands ridiculously numerous and far-reaching? A typical subpoena request 29 separate items, many of which are pretty, well, general. Consider, for example, this item from the Comcast subpoena [cmpnet.com] (PDF Alert):
    27. Studies indicating the number ofwebsites with pornographic content available on the World Wide Web, the proportion of such websites in comparison to the number of all websites on the World Wide Web, and/or the proportion of websites with pornographic content produced or created in the United States in comparison to such websites produced or created elsewhere.

    Why on Earth is a humble ISP supposed to provide the DOJ with this information, and how are they supposed to do it? And why doesn't the DOJ just research this themselves if this is such a big deal for them?

  • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:15AM (#15033948)
    Sirs:
    Due to the complex nature of the requested data and the security requried to gaurd such data, we must clear this information throught the board of directors and shareholders of this company. Also, due to the volume of data, we will take at least three years to collect such information. Please be advised that we intend to comply with the subpeona but your data will not be available until March 6, 2010.
    We will keep you informed of the progress.

    Sincerly,
    Corpoerate Red Tape Caused By Government Beauracracy
  • by halosfan (691623) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:24AM (#15034019) Homepage

    I'm a parent of a 6-year old girl. She's been using the Web since she was old enough to use a computer (3 years old? perhaps, 2+). Her mom has often asked me to install a content filter.

    I have long since learned that to come up with a solution, you have to understand the problem first. So, I just watched my kid's online behavior trying to see what she can get to that I don't want her to see. The result? I still don't have any content filters installed to this day. Why? Porn is of no interest to her whatsoever. She goes to various kids' sites. If she wants to search for something, I taught her to use google instead of typing random words into the URL bar. As a result, it is very rarely (as in, once a year) that she gets to see an image of a nude person on the Web. Her reaction so far was to navigate away from such a web site. And if she shows any interest, I feel I would be able to explain to her what was going on. I mean, she doesn't believe in tooth fairies, and she figured that Mickey Mouse was a costume when she was 3, so why wouldn't she be able to figure out the rest of the real world?

    Of course, I might be missing something, but then I'm wondering what that is?

    • It seems to me that content filters are wanted by people who abdicate the responsibilities of parenting.

      You know, the sort who unthinkingly park 'the kids' in front of the TV/DVD to give themselves a few hours 'freedom'...

    • Sir you are my hero. I know this doesn't happen often and everyone wants to rely on someone else for raising their child and keeping the "bad" content away. You have actually approached the problem in the simplest yet most effective manner. You spent time with yrou child taught her how to use the system and are planning to actually talk to them about the content when it eventually matters to her. Thank you for being a parent I wish more children out there had those.
  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:28AM (#15034055) Homepage Journal
    In an effort to reduce children's exposure to pornography, the U.S. Government today subpeonaed all existing forests and wooded areas. "It's commonly known that the second greatest, and before the internet the greatest risk for children's exposure to obscene materials stems from finding porn in the woods," said State Department representative Ms. Fascista McRedstate. "The fight against standing timber is the fight to save our children."
  • Legalese (Score:2, Funny)

    by mjm1231 (751545)
    From the Comcast subpoena (which the website identifies as "a typical subpoena"):

    " "And" and "or" shall be construed either disjunctively or conjunctively as necessary to bring within the scope of the request all responses that might otherwise be construed to be outside of its scope. "

    So and can mean and or or, and or can mean or or and? (Or possibly and can mean and and or... no, let's not get crazy.)

    Talk about a broad subpoena. If I were Comcast, my response would be, "It depends what your definition

  • by Churla (936633)
    The way I see it there are a few possible outcomes to this. The government is trying to prove that there isn't sufficient software capable of helping parents keep their children away from porn. That is what they're looking for information to prove/disprove.

    Beyond the repercussions of them wanting information from ISP's there is a greater question here and that is what will be the outcome? I work in the security and content control industry. I know what's out there, and I have seen how much a parent can
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:39AM (#15034157) Homepage
    The Justice Department doesn't seem to have anything to do. All the real crime in the U.S. has been eliminated, so they're moving on to thought crimes. God knows what teenagers would do if they found out sex existed.

    I, for one, welcome our aimless overlords.
  • My Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cytlid (95255) * on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:54AM (#15034254)
    I'm an admin at an ISP... who's newsgroup servers were confiscated in 1998 (before I worked here) by a certain Attorney General, and set sort of a legal precident for ISPs. (The guy did it as a PR stunt, he was up for re-election. If you search google, you can find the story).

      I've never understood the need for filters. Sure, there's "bad stuff" out there on the internet. And I have a teenager in the house. I *know* he goes to porn sites, and I don't care. I care when he gets viruses on his machine from those sites, that's about it. (Of course, he is a bit older).

      Parents (and political types), here's the formula. Send your kid's machines' through a proxy. You can control where they go from there. You can see whatever site they go to, etc. Don't want them online when you're not around? Setup special policies. (Aka, on a router). Internet time is 6-10pm, etc. You can enforce this in the router. I'm not saying every parent has to be an admin, but I am saying every parent should know more about the Internet than their kids. Don't allow the federal government to enable you to be lazy.

      This works! It works wonders! It's called ... ready, something conservative types should know about: BEING A PARENT. Wow, we *don't* need filters, and magic subpeonas and laws.

      Why are we wasting our time finding difficult solutions to easy problems? Is our government really that dumb, beuracratic and full of red tape? Since when did the government become the parents of every kid in America? Is that what you're trying to accomplish here?
  • Sublte (Score:3, Insightful)

    by g0bshiTe (596213) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:54AM (#15034255)
    Here we go again. Wasn't it posted here in the last few days about the .XXX bieng shot down again?

    Seems to me this is a redherring, if there were a .XXX and all porn related material had to be there, then you would not need consumers using products or apps to block this stuff.

    But let's let the government waste money and time to get whatever information they are seeking under the guise of "it's for the children".

    I'm a parent myself, I have an 8 year old. My child has their own computer in their room, and it has net access. I also have a proxy server which limits the places that pc can do on the net and where it can go. It is currently setup to goto child related websites that I have browsed myself and verified the content. Why did I do this?
    Because it is [b]MY[/b] responsability to raise my child and know what content they are seeing.

    Big brother will be moving in soon enough, I want him to enjoy some sense of personal freedom before they are all stripped away.
  • Self Hosting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gyorg_Lavode (520114) on Friday March 31, 2006 @12:04PM (#15034811)
    And this is why all personal hosting should be on your own personal machine. Your email, your website, etc. Sure, hire someone else to maintain it for you if you want, but you need to own the hardware, the software, and the data. Which brings me to an interesting thought. Who owns email on someone else's server? Can the government subpoena my email from someone else or do they need to subpoena it from me?
    Regardless, I host my own email, webpages, etc. I control my personal data. No-one else.
  • B E A utiful... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GReaToaK_2000 (217386) on Friday March 31, 2006 @12:07PM (#15034862)
    So, we are "free-ing" a couple OTHER countries from their dictatorships but heading ourselves down the path to dictatorship... NICE!

    At least there is "balance" in the world.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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