The Null Device

RIP alt.*

Another milestone in the prolonged death of USENET: US ISP Verizon has removed the unregulated alt.* hierarchy, along with all other newsgroups that aren't formally regulated, on the grounds that they are a stagnant pond that breeds paedoterrorists:
Cuomo claimed that his office found child porn on 88 newsgroups--out of roughly 100,000 newsgroups that exist. In a press release, he took credit for the companies' blunderbuss-style newsgroup removal by saying: "We are attacking this problem by working with Internet service providers...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."
The alt.hierarchy is even more extensive. In the discussion thread attached to our earlier story, one of our readers said: "This is ridiculous. I actually met my wife on alt.personals, 14 years ago... I still use usenet - there are a lot good discussions and a person can get answers to questions on specific topics pretty quickly. It's nice to have a decentralized place to hold discussions, one that is not beholden to a sysadmin to correctly run a forum, one that's free of blinking gifs and flash ads."

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