Yahoo has agreed to shut down Internet chat rooms designed to promote sex between adults and children.
The agreement with the attorneys general of New York and Nebraska is the first to institute systemwide controls over chat rooms likely to be frequented by child predators.
7 letter of agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Yahoo General Counsel Michael Callahan acknowledged that "certain individuals, interested in engaging in sexual conduct with minors, have at times entered or even created chat rooms for such purposes.
Yahoo is committed to continue to work with (the) law enforcement community, to minimize, target and take action against such behavior." The agreement is "an affirmative step for Yahoo," Spitzer said at a news conference.
In the late '70s and early '80s, several small bulletin board communities incorporated chat and IM into their networks.
But the Compu Serve CB simulator is widely regarded as the first real-time chat room.
When I challenged him, he was embarrassed and then defensive saying it was just harmless flirting and that he had not gone over any line.
"Because of this agreement, Yahoo chat rooms are a safer place today," Jon Bruning, Nebraska's attorney general, said in a statement.
I feel a bit betrayed and worry about whether I can trust him.