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EFF Archive: Censorware

(Internet content blocking, filtering, labelling & ratings systems)

EFF Home | Archive Top | Censorship | Censorware

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 Featured Materials

EFF Press Release: CHIPA Protests Indicate Public Opposition to Library Censorware -
Spirited groups of activists opposed to Internet blocking protested, some of them chanting in pouring rain, against implementation of congressionally-mandated Internet blocking in schools and libraries. The protests, organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Online Policy Group and the American Civil Liberties Union, took place in Pleasanton, California, and Long Island, New York, as well as in "blackouts" of websites supportive of the protest action. Participants included a college professor and COPA Commission member, and a Berkeley city councilor. (Apr. 20, 2001)
20010420_eff_chipa_protest_pr.html

EFF CHIPA Protest Photos & Video - Photos and video clips from the Pleasanton, CA, and Long Island, NY,demonstrations against the so-called "Children's Online Protection Act", an Internet censorship law that essentially mandates the use of Internet content blocking software in public libraries and schools. (Apr. 20, 2001)
20010420_chipa_protest_pics.html


Multnomah County Library v. US -
Directory of information on an EFF, ACLU, et al.-supported case by the Multnomah Co. [OR] Library against the mandatory Internet content blocking law "Children's Internet Protection Act" (CHIPA or CIPA), and "Neighborhood Internet Children's Protection Act" (NCIPA), in the Eastern District of PA federal US court, challenging the statutes on First Amendment grounds. See also ALA v. US.
Multnomah_Library_v_US/

American Library Association v. US -
Directory of information on an American Library Association (ALA) case against mandatory Internet content blocking law "Children's Internet Protection Act" (CHIPA or CIPA), and "Neighborhood Internet Children's Protection Act" (NCIPA), in the Eastern District of PA federal US court, challenging the statutes on First Amendment grounds. See also Multnomah Library v. US
ALA_v_US/

EFF NRC Censorware Paper #1 - Electronic Frontier Foundation whitepaper for National Research Council Internet content blocking study: "Blacklisting Bytes", co-authors: Seth Finkelstein, Consulting Programmer; Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, EFF. EFF's thesis is simple: The quest for a technical solution to the alleged problem of minors' access to "harmful" material on the Internet is both misguided and dangerous to civil liberties. (Mar. 6, 2001)
20010306_eff_nrc_paper1.html

EFF NRC Censorware Paper #1 - Electronic Frontier Foundation whitepaper for National Research Council Internet content blocking study: "The 'vexing' question of the state's interest in preventing minors' access to 'harmful to minors' material", author, Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, EFF. In this White Paper, EFF argues that the state interest in regulation of non-obscene non-indecent materials is much narrower than it appears at first glance. EFF does not here challenge the proposition that the government has a legitimate interest of some sort, but we believe that such arguments are specious. In particular, EFF believes that the government has failed to establish that there exists a problem to be solved, as distinguished from a vague fear. (Mar. 6, 2001)
20010306_eff_nrc_paper2.html

Joint Statement Against Censorware -
Joint statement of Online Policy Group, Electronic Frontier Foundation and many other groups and individuals against government-imposed Internet content blocking software in federally funded schools and libraries. Includes media references, links to supporting documents, and clear reasons why censorware in libraries (and schools) does more harm than good. Statement issued in response to the passage of the so-called Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA or CHIPA), and the closely related Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act" (NCIPA), two disingenously-named censorship laws that restrict the freedom to read of adults as well as minors, and which will lead to the blocking of access to content that is constitutionally protected EVEN FOR MINORS. (Issued Jan. 17, 2001).
20010117_joint_censorware_statement.html


EFF "Censorship: Rating, Filtering, Labelling & Blocking of Online Content - Censorware" Archive Index of: http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Ratings_filters_labelling/

EFF Media Release: EFF Calls for Nationwide CHIPA Protests - The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a call to action for nationwide protests on Friday, April 20, 2001, opposing implementation of Congressionally-mandated Internet blocking in schools and libraries. The protests will take place at Federal Communications Commission offices, other federal offices, libraries, and Internet blocking companies, as well as in "blackouts" of websites in support of the protest. (Apr. 2, 2001)
20010402_eff_chipa_protest_pr.html

EFF Board Member Responds to Internet Rating System Proposed by Bertelsmann Foundation -
EFF statement (by boardmember Esther Dyson) critical of Bertelsmann Foundation global Internet content ratings proposal, launched at the Munich Internet Content Summit (Sept. 10, 1999)
19990910_dyson_ratings_comments.html

GILC statement on international ratings & filters -
EFF & other GILC members submit comments to Munich Internet Content Summit, raising serious concerns with Bertelsmann Foundation's plans for an international rating & filtering system. (Sept. 7, 1999)
19990907_gilc_intl_ratings_statement.html

Godwin & Abelson Criticism of Volokh Article on Censorware -
EFF's Mike Godwin, and Hal Abelson of MIT, respond to UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh article in Slate, on Internet filters and CDA constitutional issues. Related material: http://www.slate.com/Feature1/96-07-18/Feature1.asp (Volokh article), and http://www.slate.com/Email/Current/Email.asp (debate with Slate readers). July 30, 1996 (ASCII text version) [Though co-written by an attorney then with EFF, this critique does not reflect an official EFF policy position.]
960730_godwin_abelson_filter.letter

Godwin & Abelson Criticism of Volokh Article on Censorware -EFF's Mike Godwin, and Hal Abelson of MIT, respond to UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh article in Slate, on Internet filters and CDA constitutional issues. Related material: http://www.slate.com/Feature1/96-07-18/Feature1.asp (Volokh article), and http://www.slate.com/Email/Current/Email.asp (debate with Slate readers). July 30, 1996 (HTML version) [Though co-written by an attorney then with EFF, this critique does not reflect an official EFF policy position.]
960730_godwin_abelson_filter_letter.html

CPSR's Filtering FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Content Filtering, Rating and Labelling -
An in-depth but introductory look at the issues raised. (HTML version)
filtering_faq.html

CPSR's Filtering FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Content Filtering, Rating and Labelling -
An in-depth but introductory look at the issues raised. (ASCII text version)
filtering.faq

Summary of "Video Game Rating Act of 1994" bill, H.R. 3785 -
Feb 1994 "Video Game Rating Act" legislation sponsored by Congressman Lantos to provide for the establishment of an Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission to label video games with content-based ratings, like movies.
game_ratings_hr3785.summary

Filter Out the Naughty Bits: Net Nanny software -
A short Josh Quittner article from Time (reposted with permission) about SurfWatch, one of the first and largest Net filtration schemes. July 3, 1995 - foreshadowing a debate that still rages more than 6 years later.
surfwatch.article


Multnomah County Library v. US -
Directory of information on an EFF, ACLU, et al.-supported case by the Multnomah Co. [OR] Library against the mandatory Internet content blocking law "Children's Internet Protection Act" (CHIPA or CIPA), and "Neighborhood Internet Children's Protection Act" (NCIPA), in the Eastern District of PA federal US court, challenging the statutes on First Amendment grounds. See also ALA v. US.
Multnomah_Library_v_US/

American Library Association v. US -
Directory of information on an American Library Association (ALA) case against mandatory Internet content blocking law "Children's Internet Protection Act" (CHIPA or CIPA), and "Neighborhood Internet Children's Protection Act" (NCIPA), in the Eastern District of PA federal US court, challenging the statutes on First Amendment grounds. See also Multnomah Library v. US
ALA_v_US/

Microsystems v. Scandinavia Online -
The Cyber Patrol case - Microsystems (and Mattel) sue two foreign ISPs and two Web site authors under bogus copyright and trade secret claims in an attempt to silence critics who have decrypted the Cyber Patrol censorware's blacklist to show that it wrongly blocks out non-prographic material.
Microsystems_v_Scandinavia_Online/

Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library -
Directory of info on the Mainstream Loudoun coalition's lawsuit to end censorship via Internet content filtering software in in the Loudoun Co., VA, public library.

 Links

Related On-Site Resources

The Online Free Expression Campaign -
(The Blue Ribbon Campaign)

EFF Archive: Internet Censorship Bills

Related Off-Site Resources

The Censorware Project -
The premiere resource on the dangers of Internet content blocking and labelling

Censorship, Freedom of Speech, and Child Safety Index -
Evan Hansen, CNET News.com (Mar. 9, 2001)

MIT-SAFE's Rating & Labelling Schemes info pages -
From the 1954 Comics Code to modern Internet content labelling proposals

A Parent's Guide to Supervising a Child's Online and Internet Experience -
"A short guide to how the Internet works and what parents can do to guide their childrens' online experiences", by attorney Robert Cannon

More off-site links...

Media Coverage

Lawsuits slam Net filtering efforts -
Lisa M. Bowman, CNET News.com (Mar. 20, 2001)

Court won't force library to filter Net content -
Evan Hansen, CNET News.com (Mar. 9, 2001)

More headlines...



 

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