April 12, 2001 10:37am
Yahoo! Violating Obscenity and Child Pornography Laws, Ashcroft Told By AFA
Source: American Family Association
by: Company Press Release
(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General John Ashcroft is being urged to prosecute Yahoo! Inc., one of the world's largest Internet companies, for its direct involvement in the sale and distribution of obscene material and child pornography.
In a letter, written by American Family Association attorney, Patrick Trueman, Ashcroft was told that it is urgent that Yahoo! be investigated immediately. Trueman is a former official in the Reagan and Bush Administrations who was responsible for the prosecution of illegal pornography. ``News reports this week indicate that Yahoo! has begun to offer thousands of hardcore pornographic videos and DVDs in its online store and receives 'a percentage of each sale' from merchants working with Yahoo!. Because Yahoo! has such a dominant presence on the Internet, it must not be allowed to flaunt federal law. To allow it to do so will surely encourage many more mainstream companies with a dot-com presence to also embrace the obscenity industry,'' Trueman said in the letter. ``Though Yahoo! claims to have 'controls' to keep children from its new porn video store, trafficking in obscene material is illegal whether it is to adults or children,'' he added.
Trueman also urged that Yahoo! be investigated for its trafficking in child pornography. ``Yahoo! offers a substantial amount of child pornography, available on its own servers, through its web hosting service, 'Yahoo! Geo Cities','' Trueman said in the letter. Child pornography is instantly available through this service. Profiting from the sexual exploitation of children and women by Yahoo! is not only degrading to all children and women but it is patently illegal, he added.
Trueman was chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, in Washington from 1988 to 1992. He now serves as legal counsel and director of governmental affairs for AFA.