Foil the Filters

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Janie Wilkins (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 08:40:22 PDT

As a librarian, I am considered to be public enemy #1 by Dr. Laura
because I oppose filtering in public libraries -- see an overview
article at So,
you can imagine my delight when I came across the announcement on the
Digital Freedom Network site announcing that they had winners in their
"Foil the Filters" contest. Ah yes, perfect example of what filters do
unintentionally ... A bit of a long read, but worth it for the laughs...
the winners and some of my favourites are below:

September 28, 2000
DFN media release | Related material
Winners of the Foil the Filters Contest

       Thanks to all who submitted entries in the Foil the Filters
Contest, including the many
       anonymous ones. We hope this contest will help illustrate how
unreliable censorware is and
       provide further examples for those interested in exposing it. And
of these examples, these are
       our favorites....

                                 Grand Prize

       Joe J. reports being prevented from accessing his own high
school's Web site from
       his own high school's library. Carroll High School adopted
filtering software which
       blocked "all questionable material." This included the word


       You wouldn't think someone named Hillary Anne would have
       problems, but all attempts to register
were rejected
       because censorware spotted the hidden word "aryan." Hillary says
"I had to email
       and fight the system like crazy to actually be able to use my
registered nickname

              The Silicon Eye Award
              For finding objectionable content where only a computer
would look


       Tim M. wanted to register an account with Sympatico, but it
wouldn't accept the
       name "Heather," which contains the phrase "eat her."

            The Poetic Justice Award
            For those bitten by their own snake


       An anonymous submitter noticed that the Web site of Richard
"Dick" Armey,
       Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a
staunch defender of
       censorware and strict Internet regulation, is himself a victim of
       Netnanny, Surfwatch, Cybersitter, N2H2, and Wisechoice are among
       "software solutions" which Armey advocates. All of them filter
his site because it
       contains the word "dick."


Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 03 2000 - 08:44:34 PDT