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German police suspect child porn on Napster, Gnutella

IDG.net
graphic

(IDG) -- State police in Munich are investigating whether file-swapping platforms like Napster, Gnutella, and MyNapster are being used to trade child pornography, and whether users have stored illegal material on their PCs.

"We are conducting inquiries in connection with that," said spokesman Fritz Dillinger of the Landeskriminalamt Bayern (Bavarian State Criminal Office) Wednesday. He said he could offer no further details.

Napster, Inc. issued the following statement to address media reports about the alleged abuse of Napster to swap image files.

"The Napster service is designed to enable the sharing of music in the form of MP3 or WMA (Windows Media Audio) files, all of which are stored on the computers of individual users. Any exchange of image or film files would violate Napster's terms of service.

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"Under Napster's terms of service, users are responsible for complying with all federal and state laws applicable to shared content. User accounts that violate those terms will be blocked from the service as soon as Napster learns of such violations. Napster has cooperated and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement investigations related to allegations regarding use of the Napster service for criminal activity."

The German online publication "Computer Channel" reported in its Tuesday edition that its searches of the file exchanges turned up, in addition to music files, large amounts of pornographic material and pirated software packages, available for download from users' hard drives.

The article added that Napster Inc. no longer enables downloading of material other than compressed audio files in the MP3 format, though its search engine still turns up such files. Competing services like the loosely-organized Gnutella network and Linux Music LLC's MyNapster still make possible such downloads, however.

Linux Music could not be immediately reached for comment.




RELATED STORIES:
Vigilante group targets child-porn sites
January 11, 2000
UNESCO launches campaign to fight Internet pedophilia
June 15, 1999
White House won't fight anti-porn measures
November 1, 2000
Group claims software disables porn filters
December 20, 2000
Cyberangels watch over kids online
June 16, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
U.S. high court lets stand computer anti-porn law
(The Industry Standard)
Porn filter on e-mail easily tricked
(IDG.net)
Judge stops Virginia Net content law
(IDG.net)
COPA commission issues report to Congress
(IDG.net)
Senate approves Internet filtering amendment
(PCWorld.com)
Law and disorder on the Web
(Computerworld)
Is the Web turning you into a pervert?
(The Industry Standard)
Online porn business booms
(PCWorld.com)

RELATED SITES:
Napster, Inc.
Linux Music LLC

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