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Acting Assistant Commerce Secretary Baker Lauds Cable Companies in their Efforts to Strengthen the Fight Against Child Pornography on the Internet

July 18, 2008

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WASHINGTON-U.S. Commerce Acting Assistant Secretary Meredith Attwell Baker today issued the following statement on the announcement that the nation's cable operators, working through the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), have reached an unprecedented agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Members of NCTA will use NCMEC's database of Web sites identified as containing child pornography to ensure that no such site is hosted on servers owned or controlled by those companies.

"NCTA's agreement with NCMEC is a milestone in our nation's efforts to ensure online safety and promote Internet literacy for all families and Internet users. Since NCTA members represent the cable Internet Service Providers offering service to more than 90 percent of cable broadband homes, this agreement clearly benefits all Americans. I applaud the cable industry for taking this important step to insulate their customers from Web sites that contain child pornography and to facilitate the reporting of illegal material to NCMEC which, in turn, will enable NCMEC to refer cases for law enforcement for investigation and prosecution.

"This demonstrates that the industry already has the tools to police illegal activity on their networks, such as child pornography, without further regulation. The Bush administration is committed to allowing providers to continue to manage their networks effectively."

The agreement with NCMEC will provide cable broadband service providers with an invaluable source of information to help them enforce their terms of service, all of which forbid the hosting of such illegal materials on their servers. The information provided by NCMEC to cable service providers will also help them identify instances of child pornography, facilitating their reporting of such material to NCMEC as required by federal law. This in turn enables NCMEC to refer these cases to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution.

NTIA is responsible for the development of the domestic and international telecommunications policy of the Executive Branch.

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