Officials at British Police Headquarters at Scotland Yard in London have warned UK Internet service providers that if they do not remove obscene and pornographic newsgroups from their servers, police will be forced to take action.
Mike Hoskins, commander of the Metropolitan Police clubs and vice unit, has told the Internet Service Providers Association that members could face prosecution if they do not remove newsgroups which transgress the Obscene Publications Act -- a law that prohibits the publication of child pornography and overtly obscene adult pornography.
The ISPA and Scotland Yard have agreed to draw up a list of some 500 newsgroups that they consider are illegal under the act. Until now UK ISPs have been reluctant to make any judgment on Internet content. Instead, they have maintainted that they should be seen as "common carriers" rather than content publishers.
The ISPA is at http://www.ispa.org.uk/.