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trueman letter

AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION
Washington, D.C. Office

April 12, 2001

Attorney General John Ashcroft
U.S. Department of Justice 5th Floor
10th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear General Ashcroft:

I am writing to urge you to investigate and prosecute Yahoo! Inc. for its direct involvement in the sale and distribution of obscene material and child 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. 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.

I also urge you to investigate Yahoo! for 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." Child pornography is instantly available through this service. Because the material is available on its servers, and categorized for the convenience of its users, Yahoo! is quite well aware of its involvement in this illicit trade. Profiting from the sexual exploitation of children and women by Yahoo! and its executives is not only degrading to all children and women but it is patently illegal.

Your personal and immediate attention to these matters is needed and greatly appreciated.

Most sincerely,

[signed]

Patrick A. Trueman
Director of Governmental Affairs
227 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.,
Suite 100-A
Washington, D.C. 20002

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