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Regional News

Cuomo: Social networking websites agree to use new state child porn database

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By Dave Bullard/WRVO

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wrvo/local-wrvo-908111.mp3

Audio courtesy WNED.

Syracuse, NY – It will soon be harder to post child pornography on the major social networking websites.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that Facebook and MySpace have agreed to use a new state database to purge their sites of child porn.

"This is groundbreaking," said Cuomo at press conferences in Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton. "The same way the child pornographers use the technology to explode and distribute (pornography), we're going to use the technology to stop the distribution of the pornography."

The database contains what the Attorney General's office calls the "digital fingerprints" of pornographic images. The social networking websites have agreed to compare the images on their sites with the state's database, and to remove anything that matches the database.

Cuomo said his office is asking 13 smaller social networking sites to join the effort. Letters from his office have been sent to: Black Planet; Buzznet; eSpin/eCrush; Flickr; Flixster; Fotolog; Friendster; hi5; Live Journal; MyLife; Orkut; Stickam; and Stardoll.

The Attorney General also urged parents to help protect their children by making sure they know which websites their children are visiting, who they are sharing information with, and what information is being shared.