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Blocking Software Reports
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Blocking Software FAQ
When members of
a fundamentalist church failed to convince the local prosecutor
in Santa Clara County, CA to arrest librarians for providing
unfiltered Internet access, they turned to advocating blocking
software instead. At the meeting of the Santa Clara
Joint Powers Authority board in
October 1997, members of "Keep Internet Decent and Safe (KIDS)" recommended
I-Gear to be installed on the county's library terminals.
I-Gear is used in many schools, particularly in Virginia where its manufacturer,
Unified Research Laboratories, is based,
but has not been used by libraries in any high-profile cases.
The KIDS proposal
to install I-Gear was ultimately voted down by the Joint Powers Authority
board. Before they made their decision, Peacefire faxed them a list of sites
that we knew to be blocked by I-Gear, including:
- The STOP AIDS t-shirt
- The Electronic Privacy Information Center's
Challenge to the Communications Decency Act, documenting EPIC's
participation in the successful lawsuit to overturn the law.
- Full text of the
district court ruling against the Communications
Decency Act in ACLU v. Reno.
- "HIV/AIDS: The Global Epidemic"
-- a report published by the U.N.
- The British-based Albert Kennedy Trust
-- "Helping Homeless Gay and Lesbian Teenagers"
- New York Anti-Violence Project
-- combatting violence against lesbians and gays.
- Planned Parenthood
- Hosted on Critical Path AIDS Project site:
our gay family members", from
the organization Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG).
- The British Conservative Party web site
- Information on lesbian
rights from the National Organization
for Women web site. Also blocked: N.O.W.'s
August 1995 press
release on the status of gay marriage.
of some of the testimony given at the
ACLU v. Reno in Philadelphia, the lawsuit to overturn the
Communications Decency Act.
- Industrial Workers of the World statement on
equal rights for gays and lesbians in the workplace.
- Hawaii's Future Today --
the front page of the site advocates the
"preservation of Hawaii's traditional culture"; sub-pages on the site
indicate that the point of the organization is to oppose gay marriages.
- PETA and a
Pornographic Culture" --
An essay critical of a PETA campaign against fur coats; the PETA
campaign featured models
such as Kim Basinger saying "I'd rather go naked than wear fur."
(This site does not feature any images from the campaign.)
on TIME Magazine's "Cyberporn" report -- a negative critique of the
"CYBERPORN" cover story that TIME Magazine ran in June 1995, accusing the
magazine of sensationalism.
-- HIV/AIDS information site.
- One person's list
of AIDS resources on the Web.
- A "response
to the homosexual movement", from the conservative
Institute on Religion and Public Life.
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a worldwide lobbying group
advocating equal rights for gays and lesbians.
- The National Institute of Justice's annual
report on forecasting drug use among teenagers and adults.
Cato policy paper: "FEMINIST JURISPRUDENCE: Equal Rights or Neo-Paternalism?"
- The Bisexual Resource Center,
"a non-profit educational organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA."
- Human Rights Campaign -- U.S.-based
gay rights advocacy organization.
- "Feminist news, August 1996"
from the Feminist Majority Foundation --
This edition features several articles on sexual harassment cases and one
account of a man's conviction for sexual assault.
- Harvard Gay and
- Volunteer page at
the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation web site, through
can contact GLAAD and offer help.
- "Fake Science and
Pornography" -- an essay by British libertarian feminist Avedon Carol,
attacking the use of "social science" to justify censorship.
- Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network --
a national network of teachers, students, and parents opposing
homophobia in schools.
- ANJY (A Network for Jewish Youth)
-- Pen pal site for Jewish teenagers.
- The Wisdom Fund -- Islamic non-profit
organization, whose mission includes disseminating educational materials
about Islam, and opposing anti-Islamic bias in the media.
- From the Ethical Spectacle,
in our Lives" -- index to
a series of essays on pornography, censorship, and feminism.
on Free Expression -- list of required reading for an MIT course that
focused on censorship and the Internet
- Carnegie Mellon University's gender studies page.
- Full text of the novel
We anticipated that many of these sites would be unblocked by
I-Gear after this information was faxed to the Joint Powers Authority board.
To prevent URLabs from claiming that these sites had never been blocked,
we gave this list of sites to Wired reporter Todd
Lappin before publishing them. Mr. Lappin verified that the sites above were
blocked at the time we sent our fax to the JPA.
Some sites were blocked when Peacefire first tested I-Gear, but
were not blocked by the time Mr. Lappin tested the produt:
I-Gear's policy is to locate "bad sites" using a customized Web crawler which certains
for keywords and word patterns, and sites are often added to their list without
being viewed first by a human.
More articles in the news about I-Gear