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Time Warner Cut Access to Usenet

Posted by geeknews at 4:21 PM on June 10, 2008

Well first it was bandwidth limitations now they are going to shutdown access to Usenet on their service. It is to early to tell if this is going to affect third party usenet services.

This is simply shocking and while many people have not a clue what usenet is, many rely on the service to participate in over 100,000 discussion groups.

Sprint and Verizon also are going to block access to some Usenet groups.

I am not yet a 100% sure if this means time warner is going to block access to third party usenet services, or if they are going to completely block access to Usenet by blocking Port 119 that the service runs on.

If the block access to Port 119 then this turns into a net neutrality issue among other things.

This stems from people using Usenet to share child porn which is horrible, but what is dangerous here is that they have decided to kill access to Usenet as a whole to stamp out what is happening in a handful of the 100,000 discussion groups. [CNET]

9 Comments

  1. From matit at 4:50 pm on June 10, 2008

    I’m sorry but this has to be related to the Governer Cuomo child porn crackdown.

    I download all kinds of stuff via torrents and p2p sites (ancient inefficient ones that DO involved actual discussions before the legal or illegal sharing takes place).. however I call bull on the usenets being used for “discussion groups.”

    Its used for about as much child porn trading as eMule or its predecessor(s) like eDonkey.

    Its sad to see them go.. but really? Is it that shocking?

  2. From Paul sylvester at 6:09 pm on June 10, 2008

    That sounds like they are wanting people to sue them, do you think they will let this go?? I know I will have to give them a call again!! Sooner or later the government is going to have to step and and say enough is enough. What about our free speech rights? I guess Time Warner thinks no one will do anything but I can say this without any doubt someone is going to sue Time Warner soon!! I say let’s make an Class action lawsuit against them!!!

    http://www.tech-linkblog.com/2008/06/time-waner-needs-to-get-off-its-duff.html

  3. From David Linus at 12:00 pm on June 11, 2008

    With all the recent news on what TM is doing, its no wonder why so many are jumping ship. For me, what kept me on were the LEGITIMATE newsgroups access they had to offer. With that gone now, my motivation to stay is non-existent. Luckily, I found another usenet provider, newsdemon.com that lets me access the newsgroups. Now I just have to find a new reputable ISP.
    D. Linus

  4. From Angelo Mandato at 6:33 am on June 12, 2008

    Time Warner is not blocking access to newsgroups, they are simply no longer providing their own news server to their customers. To me, this is the equivalent of them dropping the CNN channel from their lineup, it’s an important channel but it is their service and they can package what they want on it.

    There are a number of 3rd party paid news services available (giganews.com and newsdemon.com being the most popular) as well as applications to view them (NewsBin, Forte Agent, Outlook, Thunderbird). Some services offer SSL connections and TCP port options such as 80 and 443. I’m not worried about freedom to access the news groups, I’m more concerned how this change may create a downturn of usage on the newsgroups, which could lead to the usenets demise.

    Does anyone know if Time Warner warned their customers ahead of time of the change and offered them a list of alternative services they can use?

  5. From SbuxReg at 3:05 pm on June 16, 2008

    I am a TWC customer and they have not mentioned these changes to me i found out about them via third party news sources….i guess we’ll explore other options soon

  6. From Mike at 12:18 pm on June 19, 2008

    Here are a couple helpful sites if you’re considering third party Usenet access:

    Newsgroup Reviews – covers all the premium providers.

    Free Newsgroups – lists free Usenet trials.

  7. From TW_Bl0wz at 2:40 pm on June 23, 2008

    It is very crappy to see access go. Now I will have to pay to access all the groups that were there to help you out. By this, I am talking about the text based dealing with linux/pc help/ programming and the such.. not the porn crap that most people use usenet for nowadays…. TW did not give any notice at all.. they are becoming a ‘crappy’ isp… They are even testing pay-for-download in Beaumont, Texas… Too bad there is no real competition here in San Antonio… I called them to ask about a lower price since they are cutting usenet and I will have to pay for access… they created a case number and want me to call customer service to check on that… even if they don’t lower my bill at least they should bump me up to the next speed level they offer… I used to love TW… now they just suck a$$….

  8. From Ken_from_Allen at 1:03 am on August 17, 2008

    I have been going back to these articles and encouraging people to file BBB, Public Service Commission & FCC complaints with regard to these ISPs failing to follow federal policies that “protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet” and are “inconsistent with the concept of an open and accessible Internet.” These are excerpts from the FCC’s news release ordering Comcast to end discriminatory network management practices dated August 1, 2008 which dealt with blocking peer-to-peer. Viewing the FCC’s stand on that issue would lead one to feel a similar order would be handed out with regard to UseNet. IF!!!, we file complaints.

  9. From John at 8:13 am on December 19, 2008

    It amazes me what you find on these posts. An internet provider is not required by law to provide you with newsgroup access. All these posts are crazy. You have no idea what you talk about. “I am going to jump ship!” Go ahead and good luck. Most providers have already removed newsgroup access. TW was one of the last ones to do it. Newsgroups are no longer a wide area of communication. It has become an illegal download factory of movies, songs, porn, etc. If anything, you should be happy that TW let you use it as long as they did. I also love how everyone always wants to file a suit. “Let’s file a class action suit!” For what? Having an internet provider is not a necessity. They do not have to provide newsgroup access if they do not want to. They don’t even have to give you an email address. You pay for an internet connection. The other bells and whistles are extras. They can be removed at anytime and you can’t do anything about it. You should understand that before ‘YOU’ choose to select a service. This society has turned into a bunch of cry babies.
    If it was your business and people were using them as child porn trading, I think you would remove the ability also. It makes me sick, because you are the one’s that would cry and file a lawsuit to get it back, but at the same time, if you or someone you knew were a victim of child porn on the newsgroup, you would also be the first person to file a suit against TW for having the newsgroups.