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Peacefire Moves Against Content Filtering

By cyberknet in News
Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 07:38:54 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

Peacefire has written and released a utility to circumvent most content filtering software used in libraries, colleges, universities and homes with a single click.

MSNBC is reporting that Peacefire has developed a utility which can disable common software content filters with a single click. The utility is available as a free download from the peacefire website. Content filtering software able to be disabled includes an version of Cyber Patrol, Surfwatch, Cybersitter, X-Stop, PureSight and Cyber Snoop released before 12/17/2000.

Official PR from the companies at this stage do not seem to be worried, however Bruce Taylor from National Law Center for Children and Families was quoted: "The porn industry in this instance really loves (it)," he said. "It's a shame for kids and parents. It's a reason why Congress keeps passing laws."


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What software content filtering does your college, library, or home employ?
o Cyber Patrol 7%
o Surfwatch 1%
o CyberSitter 0%
o X-Stop 1%
o PureSight 0%
o Cyber Snoop 0%
o Other 9%
o None 79%

Votes: 54
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Peacefire
o utility
o reporting
o Peacefire [2]
o download
o Cyber Patrol
o Surfwatch
o Cybersitte r
o X-Stop
o PureSight
o Cyber Snoop
o Also by cyberknet

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Peacefire Moves Against Content Filtering | 19 comments (9 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
What a revealing quote... (4.42 / 7) (#5)
by Miniluv on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 06:15:57 PM EST

The porn industry in this instance really loves (it)," he said. "It's a shame for kids and parents. It's a reason why Congress keeps passing laws."
Wow, what a revealing quote from a blockhead that just doesn't get it. Content filtering is not a viable alternative to parental guidance, nor has it ever been designed to be. It's amazing that a representative of an organisation that, from it's title anyhow, is geared towards promoting families and such is so incredibly clueless on the responsibility of parents in all aspects of their childrens lives.

I'm a collector of pornography, and also not a minor, but when I was a kid my folks were involved in my life and when I was curious about things like pornography they sat down and explained what I could look at, and why. I respected their decisions because they were responsible and intelligent in the way they handled it. I didn't really start checking out porn until I was about 16, and didn't start collecting until after I turned 18.

Content filtering would've offended me, and all I would've done was circumvent it, like I've circumvented every other unintelligent obstacle placed in my way in life. My company doesn't want me surfing to porn sites? All they had to do was tell me so, and I never went to 'em. Put content filtering in at the gateway and you bet your ass I'm getting around it, partly just to prove that I can.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

As a young parent (3.33 / 6) (#7)
by rednecktek on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 06:22:11 PM EST

I mean that as a parent with young children, not that I'm young.

If you don't mind elaborating, I'd be interested in what your parents said. Although my children are, IMO, too young to be left on the internet alone, I have a god-son that is obviously (a recent discovery) getting a gander at the goods. His parents don't seem to have the answer, and I'm not sure I would either. Feel free to respond to email if you're not comfortable posting it here.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
[ Parent ]

My opinion for parents... (4.16 / 6) (#14)
by theboz on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 06:56:01 PM EST

His parents don't seem to have the answer, and I'm not sure I would either.

Well, censorware doesn't work well. It is not only that it is against free speech in a place like a library, but even at home where it would be a good place to install it doesn't work right. Part of the thing is that your god-son would find porn somehow. I know that sounds like a copout, but seriously, didn't you and your friends find playboy magazines or some other form of pornography when you were younger? It happens, and the only real solution is to be honest with kids in their early teens about sex. Also, it is the parents' house, so their rules are the law. If they don't want him looking at pornography, they should watch him on the computer or just come in sometimes while he is using it, and make sure he knows they will drop by unexpectedly. Another option would be to learn a bit about computers, and look at his history files and such. I would even go as far to say that if they find a blank history, then he should be grounded from the computer as well. They can learn a little bit about the technology and from there be able to prevent him from doing what they don't want him to in their house. However, in my opinion the best solution is to be honest. It's probably a whole lot better that he is sitting at the computer whacking off than out getting a girl pregnant and getting herpes too.

[ Parent ]

My folks... (4.00 / 3) (#15)
by Miniluv on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 11:13:29 PM EST

For the most part with my parents it wasn't just "the speech" or any specific thing, so much as the attitude I received from them. They were supportive and understanding of the fact that I was "growing up" and that curiosity came with the territory. I wasn't explicity forbidden from seeking out porn, nor was I exactly encouraged either, but rather was taught to respect the human body in all it's forms, with an emphasis on the fact that the truly attractive thing about women was their minds not their bodies.

The other big thing they emphasized was the ability and desire to reflect on what I saw, be it a movie, a book, a tv show or a smut film. They emphasized maturity, and gave me desire to have that maturity, as essential when doing anything at all in life.

That said, they also did cut me slack when situations arose. Trying to completely remove porn from a kid's life these days is pretty well impossible, and I think the important thing is the spin it gets. Making the point that you can have a lot of fun with a girl in public and fully clothed, as opposed to tacitly reinforcing the need for sexual relations at an early age.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Bess. (4.33 / 3) (#8)
by Dolgan on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 06:27:01 PM EST

What about Bess, the Internet Retriever?

My high school here in Seattle uses N2H2's Bess for filtering. It seems to be fairly common, and it's very limiting. My teachers have even complained, noting that sites like "excite.com" are banned due to the word "excite" being contained in the URL. Their excuse for that specific block is that, somehow on their planet, the word "excite" relates to the idea of "sexual excitement," which, again somehow on their planet, is offensive to 14-18 year old students, all of which have experienced sexual excitement on their own and are able to handle.

I don't know much about filtering software. While the software disturbs me, especially in the bigger picture (laws requiring it, etc), it's not enough of a hinderance to me personally to prompt further investigation. When I'm investigating marijuana for a school project (I actually was assigned that project last year) and I am blocked from non-government marijuana sites, I just make a snotty comment and finish my research at home.

But the point is that it seems Bess is undermentioned. Is it not as big of an issue as the other filtering software companies, or what? Maybe I am misunderstanding exactly what filtering software is. Does Bess' purpose differ from CyberPatrol in some way that I'm not aware of?

The flaws of Peacefire and people (4.62 / 8) (#11)
by theboz on Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 06:40:31 PM EST

The real problem is that peacefire is observed from the mainstream media and the "man on the street" who has heard of it as wanting to promote pornography. Most of the barely computer literate people I have talked to that know anything of the situation do think censorware is a good idea. People are not educated as to how unreliable it is, and how much of an infringement it is against free speech. It is my opinion that anyone that supports censorware in public places should have their children taken away because they obviously are too lazy to raise their own children. The library is not a babysitter. I do condone people installing it on their own machines, or businesses installing it to on their own machines, but libraries are a public resource and it should not be a crime to do research on things like breast cancer and abortion. In fact, what I would like to see happen is that the city government in public places that install censorware get sued for blocking this information. Maybe after this stuff is in place, and people can't use the computers for anything useful anymore, they will get mad and do something about it. But until then, the moral minority that pushes this crap on us will win. After all, they lie and say it's about protecting the children from porn...not free speech. Peacefire will get a really bad name from this, and no organization will want to support them because it looks to the public like "a bunch of pimply faced hackers breaking the law to look at porn." While I don't agree with this, my opinion is drowned out by the squealing pigs who want their children to be even worse animals.

I don't see how these people who claim to be of a religion that says a God made everything and gave us free will would want to lie to their children about life. Yes, fucking is part of life. If you try to hide it and make it a thing for "adults only" then of course kids will be more interested in it. I'm not saying to give 5 year olds porn, but when these idiots make a bigger deal out of it than it should be, it looks appealing to the kids. They see it as a big conspiracy to keep something interesting from them. Kids are lied to about many things. No wonder they go to things like porn, alcohol, drugs, and other things the adults tell them is bad. If I was prepubescent again and living in the family of these lazy people, I'd do the exact opposite of what my parents would say. Ever notice how the children of preachers are the worst? It's because they are not taught about life and their parents lie to them constantly. No wonder so many psychos have parents that were obsessive and over protective of them.

Also, in a related note it seems that there is an interesting cartoon on The Parking Lot Is Full related to this subject.



Wow (3.50 / 2) (#16)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 20, 2000 at 12:47:19 AM EST

That was a complete and total rant, but it was the best rant I've ever read. :)

-- The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Rants... (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by theboz on Wed Dec 20, 2000 at 09:58:00 AM EST

Most of my posts are rants. It's more fun that way. :o)

[ Parent ]

National Law Center for Children and Families (none / 0) (#19)
by espo812 on Thu Dec 28, 2000 at 07:14:13 PM EST

This sounds like an interesting organization. Let's see what I can find out about it.

Here's their website: http://www.nationallawcenter.org

Their mission statement:
"Our mission is focused on the protection of children and
families from the harmful effect of illegal pornography by
assisting in law enforcement and law improvement. "

Last I checked there was nothing illegal about most of the pornography that the Internet filters block.

Their "profile":
"The role of the National Law Center for Children and Families, (NLC) is to be a specialized resource to those who enforce state and federal obscenity and child
exploitation laws, to counsel federal, state, and local legislators on the constitutionality and effectiveness of amendments to existing criminal and civil codes; and to
provide a training and information clearinghouse on the specialized issues involved in illegal pornography and First Amendment related cases. NLC also provides
advice and -information to community leaders and concerned cirizens on the laws and their enforcement at the local and national levcls. NLC works to accomplish
its mission through tested legal tools, the filing of "friend of the court" amicus curiae briefs in important cases, law enforcement training seminars, legal and reference
publications, one of the nation's largest specialized law libraries on child exploitation and pornography, video resources and guidance manuals for professionals
involved -in sexual exploitation issues, citizen conferences to build support for law enforcers media appearances to educate the public on the issue, and federal state,
and local legislative assistance- In each of these areas, we have a strong record of accomplishment. "


Censorship is un-American.
Peacefire Moves Against Content Filtering | 19 comments (9 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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