Since he was elected to office, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been targeting groups that victimize New Yorkers.
One of his most prominent investigations has delved into the seedy world of online child pornography, something Cuomo considers a scourge that must be eliminated.
Cuomo spoke to a group of about 20 parents and community members Tuesday afternoon at NOPL at North Syracuse regarding his revolutionary initiative to eliminate child pornography on the internet by getting internet providers to agree to block the sites that carry such content.
"Child pornography is one of those things that we've heard about for years, but it just keeps going on," Cuomo said. "These agreements are essentially turning off the faucet of child pornography."
Cuomo noted that his interest in eliminating child pornography stems from more than his role as attorney general.
"Most importantly, I'm a dad," Cuomo said. "I have three girls, and it's my job as a parent to teach them and to mentor them, but first and foremost to protect them and keep them safe."
Cuomo's program is a novel one, and New York is the first state to take it on. Instead of targeting the users of child pornography, as was the practice for years in law enforcement, the initiative targets the source. Since these images are transmitted over the internet by internet providers, Cuomo said he believes the providers are legally liable for the content. Using the unique "Hash Values" attached to every image, the attorney general's office has compiled a database of web sites and images. Internet providers who sign the agreement are agreeing to match that database with their own servers and block access to them.
"Basically we're asking them to sign a code of conduct," Cuomo said.
The initiative grew out of a six-month investigation into the sources of child porn on the web. That inquest reviewed millions of photographs and uncovered 88 different newsgroups containing a total of 11,390 lewd photos containing children.