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[FYI] What's the Worst &*#% Filter?

3:00 a.m. Sep. 21, 2000 PDT 

Fed up with such filtering programs and other so-called Internet 
"censorware," the Digital Freedom Network has launched its Foil the 
Filters contest. 

Web users are encouraged to submit examples of foolish Web filters 
through Sept. 25. DFN hopes the contest will draw attention to filtering
software, which DFN Internet Development Director Alan Brown calls 
"ineffective at best." 

"Censorware like CYBERsitter, Net Nanny, whatever, it not only doesn't
work well -- it doesn't work at all," Brown said. "If your interest is
in making sure whoever is on your computer doesn't get to porn or bomb
recipes or whatever, it's no challenge for anyone with a little bit of
savvy to get to whatever they want." 


DFN has already received entries from a Navy recruit studying for 
an A+ exam who couldn't access www.aplusexam.com because the
Navy's firewalls wouldn't allow the word "sex" contained in the URL.
A citizen of Scunthorpe, England, wrote in about his email being
blocked due to objectionable letters in his town's name, and a Canadian
teacher's student couldn't get genetic information about cucumbers
through school filters. 

The failings of censorware have certainly gotten plenty of press over
the years, but that hasn't stopped its implementation or the continuing
public debate over the issue of free Net speech.