After the Temple News ran two columns regarding pedophilia newsgroups available to students through university-sponsored e-mail, Temple University’s legal counsel team advised Computer Services to pull those newsgroups.
Director of Academic Computer Services Sherri Strahler said that the University Counsel makes decisions regarding the addition and removal of features to Computer Services, then Computer Services follows the decision.
The “news” feature, added to students’ e-mail accounts in the beginning of the semester, allowed students to subscribe to any number of newsgroups directly from the Web Mailbox account page. It was brought to the attention of the Temple News staff that pedophilia and bestiality newsgroups, among others were included in the list of options.
Two columns by Jeremy Smith ran in the Opinion section of the Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 issues of the Temple News. The University never responded to the columns. Then sometime between Oct. 4 and 21, University Counsel made the decision to have the newsgroups dealing with pedophilia removed. Computer Services pulled them from the list.
Computer Services was unable to supply the exact date when the newsgroups in question were removed, because Strahler said, newsgroups are pulled and new ones are added on a regular basis.
Thomas Mahoney, part of University Counsel who deals with computer and information technology, ultimately made the decision, but was away on conference and could not be reached for comment.
Newsgroups have been available to Temple students for nearly 10 years and 9,500 are currently posted, Strahler said. Any of the pedophilia newsgroups may have been available for that entire 10-year span.