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[FYI] (Fwd) CyberPatrol sues programmers who published info on encry

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Wed, 15 Mar 2000 23:10:57 -0500
Send reply to:  	Law & Policy of Computer Communications
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@WIRED.COM>
Subject:        	CyberPatrol sues programmers who published info on encryption



If you want to download the software before the injunction hits:

If anyone sets up a mirror site, please let me know.



>Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 21:11:27 -0500
>From: Ted Bridis <tbridis@ap.org>
>Subject: Cyber Patrol lawsuit
>To: declan@well.com
>Didn't know if you saw this yet.
>Software Co. sues hackers
>AP Technology Writer
>WASHINGTON (AP) -- A company that makes popular software to block
>children from pornographic Internet sites filed an unusual lawsuit
>late Wednesday against two computer experts who developed a method
>for kids to deduce their parents' password and access those Web
>Microsystems Software Inc. of Framingham, Mass., which sells the
>widely used Cyber Patrol, asked U.S. District Judge Edward F.
>Harrington for a temporary restraining order requiring Eddy L. O.
>Jansson and Matthew Skala to stop distributing their ``cphack''
>program immediately.
>Skala, a Canadian graduate student in computer science, and Jansson,
>believed to be living in Sweden, published over the weekend on the
>Internet and in e-mail details about how to circumvent the filter
>technology in Cyber Patrol, which sells for about $30 and is widely
>used in many of the nation's elementary schools and libraries.
>They also offered a small ``cphack'' utility for ``people oppressed
>by Cyber Patrol'' that, when run on a parent's computer, reveals the
>password that blocks questionable Web sites -- and also discloses the
>product's entire list of more than 100,000 Internet sites deemed
>unsuitable for children.
>``I oppose the use of Internet filtering software on philosophical
>grounds,'' Skala said in a telephone interview with The Associated
>Press. ``The issue here was to see what does Cyber Patrol actually
>block. Parents have a right to know what they're getting and without
>our work they wouldn't know.''
>In its legal filings, Microsystems said it suffered ``irreparable
>harm'' from the publication of the bypassing software, which it said
>sought to destroy the market for its product by rendering it
>``The practical effect is that ... children may bypass their parents
>efforts to screen out inappropriate materials on the Internet,'' the
>lawsuit said.
>Skala, a cryptography buff who attends the University of Victoria in
>British Columbia, said he spent about six weeks analyzing Cyber
>Patrol with Jansson's help via e-mail from Sweden.
>``One could well question how much force of law (the legal filings)
>have in Sweden or in Canada,'' Skala said.
>In an unusual legal strategy, Microsystems alleged that Skala and
>Jansson violated U.S. copyright law when they reverse-engineered
>Cyber Patrol to analyze it, which the company said is expressly
>prohibited in its license agreements.
>Skala, who learned about the legal filings in Massachusetts from the
>AP, said he planned to speak with a lawyer but suggested that his
>work may be protected under a ``fair use'' clause of copyright law.
>Microsystems also asked the judge to order the Swedish Internet
>company where the bypass utility is published to turn over records
>identifying everyone who visited the Web site or downloaded the
>The company's lawyer, Irwin Schwartz, said damage to its product is
>``at least at a minimum'' now because relatively few people were
>believed to have downloaded the bypass software.
>On the Net: http://www.cyberpatrol.com
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