FC: "Secret Censors," from the Boston Globe (3/13/97)
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 23:41:25 +1000
On Mon, 17 Mar 1997 16:32:58 +1100, Roger Clarke <Roger.Clarke@anu.edu.au>
>Has the Boston Globe got a reporter on link? The imagery is highly
>reminiscent of things I've heard here! (It also has little echoes of
>'Fahrenheit 451' ...).
Probably not, but certainly a couple of BG's journalists are on the
fight-censorship discussion list where the Boston Library matter has been
discussed at length.
The article doesn't go near far enough with regard to what CyberPatrol
blocks. For example, if a site like:
is blocked for whatever reason, so will be every other branch on that
domain which starts with the two characters /~ha. In other words if you are
unfortunate enough to have a name starting with the same two characters as
someone whose site they decide to block, yours will be too even if they've
never looked at your site.
The Netly News put up a page in February which enables one to check whether
a particular URL is blocked by CyberPatrol:
About a week later Microsystems/CyberPatrol decided to provide a similar
search engine (it wasn't coincidence that they decided to at that time):
The first one advises which category/s (usually multiple ones) a site is
blocked under, the second one just tells you it's blocked.
It's quite amazing what is blocked, eg:
Blocked under: Militant/Extreme Violence/Profanity FullNude SexActs Druggy
Hunter Valley Tourism
Blocked under: SexEd Booze/Cigs SexActs Druggy
I could go on, but I won't.
Let us hope that we don't live in a country which will ever attempt to
implement a refused accessed list, let alone one using blocking software
(CyberPatrol comes in a web server version).