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[FYI] (Fwd) DFN Announces "Foil the Filters" Contest

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 7 Sep 2000 15:32:30 -0400
From:           	"Bobson Wong" <bwong@dfn.org>
Subject:        	DFN Announces "Foil the Filters" Contest
To:             	<gilc-plan@gilc.org>
Send reply to:  	gilc-plan@gilc.org

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release
Contact: Bobson Wong (1-201-928-4378, bwong@dfn.org) or Alan Brown
(1-201-928-4365, abrown@dfn.org)

Contest Challenges Net Users Worldwide to Find Flaws in Filtering

NEWARK, N.J., September 7, 2000 - The Digital Freedom Network's "Foil
The Filters" contest is under way, and entrants are encouraged to
search high and low - sometimes very low - to trip up Internet

"The purpose of the contest is to have a little more fun with
something whose greatest accomplishment is as an object of ridicule.
It's the Corvair of programming," said DFN Internet Development
Director Alan Brown of censorware. Different types of filtering
software are used across the Internet in attempts to regulate content,
but its failure is typical and often hilarious.

"Filtering software is a poor substitute for human judgment.
Fortunately, totalitarian governments like China's haven't figured
that out yet," said DFN Executive Director Bobson Wong.

DFN was alerted to one instance where a person's online comments were
blocked because of the phrase "who reports." Censorware was to blame:
it had detected the word "whore" in the first letters and blocked the

This contest, open to all, encourages Web surfers to take to the
Internet and test sites, chat communities, and bulletin boards to
uncover the most ridiculous examples of censorware failure. DFN is
looking for examples both of phrases (including names) which pass
through filtering software but shouldn't and of phrases which the
filtering software would like to stop but can't.

Sherril Babcock's case is a classic example. One Web site's filtering
software prevented the Los Angeles attorney from entering the site
last month with her real name because it detected the word "cock"; but
the censorware did nothing when she successfully registered as
"Babpenis" days later.

"Foil the Filters" entries can either be e-mailed to contest@dfn.org
or submitted via a Web form at http://dfn.org/Alerts/censorware.htm .
The contest ends September 25, 2000.

Memorable entries will be posted on the DFN Web site and winners will
be awarded prizes, including souvenirs from towns with names banned by
blocking software, like Scunthorpe, and works by censorware-banned
writers, including Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings. Many censorship
snafus will be posted on the DFN Web site as the contest progresses,
with winners announced during Banned Books Week at the end of

The Digital Freedom Network (DFN) promotes human rights around the
world by developing new methods of activism with Internet technology
and by providing an online voice to those attacked simply for
expressing themselves. DFN creates Internet applications to fight
censorship, acquires technology tools for other activists, launches
Internet-based campaigns on behalf of human rights, and serves as a
technical resource for activists worldwide. DFN's Web site is

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