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ACLU Joins Fray Over Cyber Patrol Censorware 205

Brian Ristuccia writes, "It looks like the ACLU has decided to help Waldo L. Jaquith, Lindsay Haisley and Bennett Haselton, three folks who were running mirror sites of the recently released Cyber Patrol paper and decoding software, respond to the subpoena and confusing e-service messages that have been sent to them via e-mail by Cyber Patrol's law firm."


Text of the ACLU's Press Release:

Friday, March 24, 2000

NEW YORK -- The American Civil Liberties Union will enter a Boston court this Monday to argue that a ban on a program allowing users to decode the Internet blocking software Cyber Patrol constitutes a "classic prior restraint on speech" in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Cyber Patrol controversy is but the latest round in a heated debate over flaws in so-called filtering software that both "overblocks" non-pornographic Web sites on subjects like Super Bowl XXX and fails to block many sites parents may not deem appropriate for their children.

In legal papers filed with the court today, the ACLU said that Cyber Patrol's lawsuit is unnecessary because the company can easily block their customers from accessing any Web site or page on which the decoding program appears, whereas some of the Web sites may be out of the jurisdiction of the court.

Acting on behalf of three U.S. Web site operators who posted "mirror" copies of the decoding program, the ACLU said their free speech rights would be violated if the court granted the company's request for a preliminary injunction against the Swedish and Canadian creators of the program.

"Under Cyber Patrol's logic, I'd be breaking the law if I bought a Ford Mustang and looked under the hood," said Chris Hansen, a senior ACLU staff attorney and lead counsel in the case. "I don't think it is asking too much for Cyber Patrol and other software companies to tell the American public exactly what their software blocks, especially when Congress wants to force both children and adults to use it."

Last Friday, March 17, U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington granted a 10-day temporary restraining order against the creators of the program. Cyber Patrol then sent subpoenas to the ACLU's clients, suggesting that they would be bound by that order and any future court bans.

In addition, at least one American reporter has confirmed receipt of subpoena from Cyber Patrol ordering him to reveal the name of "each and every person who produced, received, viewed, downloaded or accessed" the decoding program from his site.

The Web site operators, Waldo L. Jaquith, Lindsay Haisley and Bennett Haselton, each said that they posted the decoding program as a form of political protest against Cyber Patrol's legal actions and against "censorware" in general. Their Web sites can be found at: (Haselton), (Haisley) and (Jasquith).

"We thought it would be educational for some politicians, who are recommending blocking software for use in every school in the country, to see the mistakes that the codebreakers found in Cyber Patrol's list," said Haselton, 21, operator of, a Web site he founded specifically to defend the free-speech interests of people under 18 on the Internet.

Haselton said that Peacefire recently decrypted the lists of sites blocked by two other programs -- I-Gear and X-Stop -- and found that they had error rates between 68 and 76 percent for blocking pages in the educational ".edu" domain.

Haselton, Jasquith, and Haisley are represented as "nonparties" to the Cyber Patrol lawsuit by Hansen of the national ACLU, Sarah Wunsch, an attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts, David Sobel, general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center based in Washington, and Jessica Littman, a visiting professor of law at New York University.

In 1998, a federal district judge said that forcing adults to use blocking software like Cyber Patrol in public libraries "offends the guarantee of free speech." Last month, a proposal aimed at forcing a Michigan public library to install Web filtering software on computers was defeated by voters.

"With Congress renewing efforts to mandate use of such flawed software in public schools and libraries, the Cyber Patrol battle only serves to emphasize that information on what is blocked must be made available to consumers, let alone libraries and schools," Hansen said.

The hearing in Microsystems Software, Inc. V. Scandinavia Online,, Eddy L.O. Jansson and Matthew Skala, Civil Action No.00-10488-EFH, will take place on Monday, March 27, at 2:00 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The ACLU's opposition to motion for preliminary injunction in the case is online at The motion to quash subpoenas is online at

Cyber Patrol is a subsidiary of toy company giant Mattel Inc., which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

ACLU Joins Fray Over Cyber Patrol Censorware

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's the code for CP Hack

    * cndecode.c
    * By Matthew Skala

    * Utility to decode the Cyber Patrol 4 cyber.not file
    * Usage:
    * cndecode cyber.not dictionary suppdict iplist
    * all arguments except the first are optional
    * "dictionary" is a list (newline separated) of words for the URL-hash attack
    * typically /usr/dict/words or equivalent, or use our ready-made one
    * suppdict is another such list; if it's specified, it will be written to
    * with the list of actual words found (saves time next run)
    * iplist is lines of ip address and domain name, tab separated; it will be
    * written to with any new addresses looked up (if we compile with reverse
    * DNS enabled).

    /*********************************************** ****************************/
    /* System stuff */

    * Compiling notes:
    * This was written under Linux on a PC, but should be portable to any 32-bit
    * little-endian architecture. Since CP4 is PC-specific, that shouldn't be
    * too much of a limitation. This program does require structures bigger than
    * 64K, and so it might be touch-and-go on a 16-bit PC compiler. If you
    * enable reverse DNS with the defines below, you will have to have reasonably
    * Linux-ish (which in turn means reasonably BSD-ish) networking libraries.
    * Reverse queries can take a long time. If you find this annoying, you
    * can set a time limit, and then after that time expires the system will stop
    * attempting reverse lookups. This is a win because the reverse lookups it
    * already did are saved; next time, it'll pick up where it left off. Real
    * Programmers, of course, would run multiple queries at once, but that would
    * mean either splitting into several processes, multithreading, or "fake"
    * multithreading with custom-written resolver routines. This way is a lot
    * less stressful. (I have a perl script that spawns 40 processes to max out
    * my modem, but it's a monstrosity.) The amount of CPU power required for
    * CRC reversal scales exponentially with the number of characters of CRC
    * reversing you choose; that also determines how accurately it'll guess for
    * URL hashes that are not in the dictionary. It's probably smarter to get a
    * bigger dictionary.


    /* Compile-time configuration */

    /* Should we attempt reverse lookups? Requires Net libraries, active
    * connection, and a certain amount of time. */
    #define REVERSE_DNS
    /* After this many seconds, no more reverse DNS queries will be performed.
    * Default one hour, and ignored if you turned reverse DNS off. */
    #define TIME_LIMIT 3600
    /* How many characters of CRC reversal? Five is essentially free, more takes
    * exponentially longer time. */
    #define REVERSE_CRC_LENGTH 8
    /* How many entries in the dictionary hash table? */
    #define DICTHASH_SIZE 32767
    /* How many entries in the IP address hash table? */
    #define IPHASH_SIZE 32767
    /* What's the longest line length we expect to see? */
    #define LINELEN 256

    /* Headers we only need if we're doing reverse DNS */
    #ifdef REVERSE_DNS

    /*********************************************** *****************************/
    /* Reference tables */

    /* Forward CRC polynomial table */
    unsigned long crctable[256]={
    0x00000000L, 0x77073096L, 0xEE0E612CL, 0x990951BAL,
    0x076DC419L, 0x706AF48FL, 0xE963A535L, 0x9E6495A3L,
    0x0EDB8832L, 0x79DCB8A4L, 0xE0D5E91EL, 0x97D2D988L,
    0x09B64C2BL, 0x7EB17CBDL, 0xE7B82D07L, 0x90BF1D91L,
    0x1DB71064L, 0x6AB020F2L, 0xF3B97148L, 0x84BE41DEL,
    0x1ADAD47DL, 0x6DDDE4EBL, 0xF4D4B551L, 0x83D385C7L,
    0x136C9856L, 0x646BA8C0L, 0xFD62F97AL, 0x8A65C9ECL,
    0x14015C4FL, 0x63066CD9L, 0xFA0F3D63L, 0x8D080DF5L,
    0x3B6E20C8L, 0x4C69105EL, 0xD56041E4L, 0xA2677172L,
    0x3C03E4D1L, 0x4B04D447L, 0xD20D85FDL, 0xA50AB56BL,
    0x35B5A8FAL, 0x42B2986CL, 0xDBBBC9D6L, 0xACBCF940L,
    0x32D86CE3L, 0x45DF5C75L, 0xDCD60DCFL, 0xABD13D59L,
    0x26D930ACL, 0x51DE003AL, 0xC8D75180L, 0xBFD06116L,
    0x21B4F4B5L, 0x56B3C423L, 0xCFBA9599L, 0xB8BDA50FL,
    0x2802B89EL, 0x5F058808L, 0xC60CD9B2L, 0xB10BE924L,
    0x2F6F7C87L, 0x58684C11L, 0xC1611DABL, 0xB6662D3DL,
    0x76DC4190L, 0x01DB7106L, 0x98D220BCL, 0xEFD5102AL,
    0x71B18589L, 0x06B6B51FL, 0x9FBFE4A5L, 0xE8B8D433L,
    0x7807C9A2L, 0x0F00F934L, 0x9609A88EL, 0xE10E9818L,
    0x7F6A0DBBL, 0x086D3D2DL, 0x91646C97L, 0xE6635C01L,
    0x6B6B51F4L, 0x1C6C6162L, 0x856530D8L, 0xF262004EL,
    0x6C0695EDL, 0x1B01A57BL, 0x8208F4C1L, 0xF50FC457L,
    0x65B0D9C6L, 0x12B7E950L, 0x8BBEB8EAL, 0xFCB9887CL,
    0x62DD1DDFL, 0x15DA2D49L, 0x8CD37CF3L, 0xFBD44C65L,
    0x4DB26158L, 0x3AB551CEL, 0xA3BC0074L, 0xD4BB30E2L,
    0x4ADFA541L, 0x3DD895D7L, 0xA4D1C46DL, 0xD3D6F4FBL,
    0x4369E96AL, 0x346ED9FCL, 0xAD678846L, 0xDA60B8D0L,
    0x44042D73L, 0x33031DE5L, 0xAA0A4C5FL, 0xDD0D7CC9L,
    0x5005713CL, 0x270241AAL, 0xBE0B1010L, 0xC90C2086L,
    0x5768B525L, 0x206F85B3L, 0xB966D409L, 0xCE61E49FL,
    0x5EDEF90EL, 0x29D9C998L, 0xB0D09822L, 0xC7D7A8B4L,
    0x59B33D17L, 0x2EB40D81L, 0xB7BD5C3BL, 0xC0BA6CADL,
    0xEDB88320L, 0x9ABFB3B6L, 0x03B6E20CL, 0x74B1D29AL,
    0xEAD54739L, 0x9DD277AFL, 0x04DB2615L, 0x73DC1683L,
    0xE3630B12L, 0x94643B84L, 0x0D6D6A3EL, 0x7A6A5AA8L,
    0xE40ECF0BL, 0x9309FF9DL, 0x0A00AE27L, 0x7D079EB1L,
    0xF00F9344L, 0x8708A3D2L, 0x1E01F268L, 0x6906C2FEL,
    0xF762575DL, 0x806567CBL, 0x196C3671L, 0x6E6B06E7L,
    0xFED41B76L, 0x89D32BE0L, 0x10DA7A5AL, 0x67DD4ACCL,
    0xF9B9DF6FL, 0x8EBEEFF9L, 0x17B7BE43L, 0x60B08ED5L,
    0xD6D6A3E8L, 0xA1D1937EL, 0x38D8C2C4L, 0x4FDFF252L,
    0xD1BB67F1L, 0xA6BC5767L, 0x3FB506DDL, 0x48B2364BL,
    0xD80D2BDAL, 0xAF0A1B4CL, 0x36034AF6L, 0x41047A60L,
    0xDF60EFC3L, 0xA867DF55L, 0x316E8EEFL, 0x4669BE79L,
    0xCB61B38CL, 0xBC66831AL, 0x256FD2A0L, 0x5268E236L,
    0xCC0C7795L, 0xBB0B4703L, 0x220216B9L, 0x5505262FL,
    0xC5BA3BBEL, 0xB2BD0B28L, 0x2BB45A92L, 0x5CB36A04L,
    0xC2D7FFA7L, 0xB5D0CF31L, 0x2CD99E8BL, 0x5BDEAE1DL,
    0x9B64C2B0L, 0xEC63F226L, 0x756AA39CL, 0x026D930AL,
    0x9C0906A9L, 0xEB0E363FL, 0x72076785L, 0x05005713L,
    0x95BF4A82L, 0xE2B87A14L, 0x7BB12BAEL, 0x0CB61B38L,
    0x92D28E9BL, 0xE5D5BE0DL, 0x7CDCEFB7L, 0x0BDBDF21L,
    0x86D3D2D4L, 0xF1D4E242L, 0x68DDB3F8L, 0x1FDA836EL,
    0x81BE16CDL, 0xF6B9265BL, 0x6FB077E1L, 0x18B74777L,
    0x88085AE6L, 0xFF0F6A70L, 0x66063BCAL, 0x11010B5CL,
    0x8F659EFFL, 0xF862AE69L, 0x616BFFD3L, 0x166CCF45L,
    0xA00AE278L, 0xD70DD2EEL, 0x4E048354L, 0x3903B3C2L,
    0xA7672661L, 0xD06016F7L, 0x4969474DL, 0x3E6E77DBL,
    0xAED16A4AL, 0xD9D65ADCL, 0x40DF0B66L, 0x37D83BF0L,
    0xA9BCAE53L, 0xDEBB9EC5L, 0x47B2CF7FL, 0x30B5FFE9L,
    0xBDBDF21CL, 0xCABAC28AL, 0x53B39330L, 0x24B4A3A6L,
    0xBAD03605L, 0xCDD70693L, 0x54DE5729L, 0x23D967BFL,
    0xB3667A2EL, 0xC4614AB8L, 0x5D681B02L, 0x2A6F2B94L,
    0xB40BBE37L, 0xC30C8EA1L, 0x5A05DF1BL, 0x2D02EF8DL

    /* This answers the question: how many freely-chosen bits do I include
    * when I ask for a crc collision with input length (index)? */
    char freebits[12]={0,0,0,0,1,4,10,16,22,28,34,40};

    /* This says where each forced bit goes */
    char bitsforced[32]={0,1,2,3,4,6,

    /* This says where each free bit goes */
    char bitsfree[40]={36,43,44,46,

    /* The portion of the inverted matrix corresponding to the CRC bits */
    unsigned long crcmatrix[32]={

    /* The portion of the inverted matrix corresponding to the free bits */
    unsigned long freematrix[40]={

    /* Matrix columns to take into account the canonicalization */
    unsigned long lengthmatrix[12]={

    /* The Cyber Patrol blocking categories */
    char *category[16]={
    "Violence / Profanity",
    "Partial Nudity",
    "Full Nudity",
    "Sexual Acts / Text",
    "Gross Depictions / Text",
    "Satanic or Cult",
    "Drugs / Drug Culture",
    "Militant / Extremist",
    "Sex Education",
    "Questionable / Illegal & Gambling",
    "Alcohol & Tobacco",
    "Reserved 4",
    "Reserved 3",
    "Reserved 2",
    "Reserved 1"

    /* This indicates the "score" for each possible character value. First
    * 32 entries are for characters 32 to 63, second 32 entries are for
    * characters 96 to 127. The way this works is that unexpected characters
    * get higher scores and so are less likely to be chosen... this gives us
    * that little bit of extra guidance to help find good reverse CRCs.
    * The baseline is that an ordinary alphabet character is 10 points.
    * Illegal characters count 50, ensuring that they're unlikely to ever be
    * chosen. Scores assigned manually, and only semi-systematically.
    unsigned cscore[64]={
    /* SP ! " # $ % & ' */
    /* ( ) * + , - . / */
    /* 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 */
    /* 8 9 : ; ? */
    /* ` a b c d e f g */
    /* h i j k l m n o */
    /* p q r s t u v w */
    /* x y z { | } ~ DEL */

    /*********************************************** ****************************/
    /* Data structures */

    /* Structures for the hash tables */
    typedef struct _DICTHASH_ENT {
    struct _DICTHASH_ENT *next;
    unsigned long hash;
    char *word;
    typedef struct _IPHASH_ENT {
    struct _IPHASH_ENT *next;
    unsigned long ip;
    char *name;

    /* Linked list of blocking masks, for key printing */
    typedef struct _BLOCKING_MASK {
    struct _BLOCKING_MASK *next;
    unsigned short mask;

    /* Global vars */
    char *cyber_not;
    long cyber_not_size;
    DICTHASH_ENT **dicthash;
    IPHASH_ENT **iphash;
    #ifdef REVERSE_DNS
    time_t start_time;

    /*********************************************** **************************/
    /* Utility functions */

    /* Encryption used to conceal the config files, and the deputy password */
    void cpcrypt4(char *data,long length) {
    unsigned char key;
    long i,j;

    key=(unsigned char)(length&0xFF);
    for (i=0;i>1)+(key>8)^crctable[(rval&0xFF)^(input[i]|0 x20)];
    return rval;

    #define GETBIT(p,b) ((((p)[(b)>>3])>>((b)&7))&1)
    #define FLIPBIT(p,b) ((p)[(b)>>3]^=(1>3)>=0) \
    if (tmp && !tmp->word) {
    tmp->word=(char *)malloc(length+1);
    if (!tmp->word) {
    puts("ERROR - out of memory (dicthash entry)");
    return 1;
    } else
    return 0;

    /* clear out the list of blocking masks */
    void clear_blockmask_key(void) {

    while (masks) {

    /* add a mask to the sorted list, if it's not already there. Yes, this
    * is O(n**2), but the list never gets over a few tens of entries, and so
    * doing it with a more sophisticated structure wouldn't be worthwhile. */
    void add_blockmask(unsigned short newmask) {
    BLOCKING_MASK *tmp=NULL,*tmp2;

    /* skip past all the entries less than new */
    while (masks && (masks->masknext;
    /* add new, if appropriate */
    if ((!masks) || (masks->mask!=newmask)) {
    tmp2=(BLOCKING_MASK *)malloc(sizeof(BLOCKING_MASK));
    if (!tmp2) {
    puts("ERROR - out of memory (blocking mask entry)");
    /* replace the skipped entries */
    while (tmp) {

    /* print a key of the masks currently on the list */
    void print_blockmask_key(void) {
    unsigned short tm;
    int print_head,bit;

    for (tmp=masks;tmp;tmp=tmp->next) {
    printf("%04X: ",tmp->mask);
    while (tm>0) {
    if (tm&1) {
    if (print_head+strlen(category[bit])>71) {
    printf("\n ");
    } else {
    putchar(' ');
    if (tm&~1) {

    /* print a pretty IP address, with reverse lookup if we're allowed */
    void print_ip(unsigned long ip) {
    IPHASH_ENT *tmp;
    char *name;

    /* check if it's already in the table */
    for (tmp=iphash[ip%IPHASH_SIZE];
    tmp && (tmp->ip!=ip);
    if (tmp) /* if so, just print that */
    #ifdef REVERSE_DNS
    /* if we're allowed a reverse lookup, take it */
    else if (time(NULL)h_name)+1:16);
    if (!tmp || !name) {
    puts("ERROR - out of memory (IP hash ent)");

    if (he)
    else /* finally, we just print it out numerically */
    printf("%ld.%ld.%ld.%ld",ip&0xFF,(ip>>8)&0xFF,(ip> >16)&0xFF,ip>>24);

    /* reverse a hash and print the results */
    void print_revhash(unsigned long hash) {
    DICTHASH_ENT *tmp;
    char *neww,freeb[6],plaintext[12];
    unsigned score,bestscore=(unsigned)-1;
    int length,i,bflip;

    /* check if it's already in the table */
    for (tmp=dicthash[hash%DICTHASH_SIZE];
    tmp && (tmp->hash!=hash);
    if (!tmp) {
    puts("ERROR - reversing unseen hash (should never happen)");

    if (!tmp->word) { /* if no word, attempt reversal */
    neww=(char *)malloc(12);
    if (neww==NULL) {
    puts("ERROR - out of memory (new word)\n");

    for (length=1;length64?64:32)];
    if (plaintext[0]=='~') /* ~ at start is ignored */

    /* if this is an improvement, use it */
    if (scoreword);

    /*********************************************** ****************************/
    /* Main functional blocks */

    /* Load and decrypt cyber.not */
    void load_cyber_not(char *filename) {
    FILE *datafile;

    if (!datafile) {
    puts("ERROR - can't open cyber.not");
    if ((fseek(datafile,0,SEEK_END)0;length-=4) {
    for (tmp=dicthash[hash%DICTHASH_SIZE];
    tmp && (tmp->hash!=hash);
    tmp=tmp->next); /* does this hash exist already? */
    if (!tmp) { /* if not, add it */
    tmp=(DICTHASH_ENT *)malloc(sizeof(DICTHASH_ENT));
    if (!tmp) {
    puts("ERROR - out of memory");
    i++; /* skip terminating length */
    printf("Scanning cyber.not, found %ld unique hash values\n",hcnt);

    /* load a dictionary file */
    void load_dictionary(char *filename) {
    FILE *datafile;
    char textline[LINELEN+8],x;
    int length,newwords=0,i;

    if (!datafile) {
    /* not an error! the dictionary need not exist */
    printf("Dictionary file %s missing.\n",filename);

    /* First pass: word, ~word, word.htm, word.html */
    while (!feof(datafile) && fgets(textline+1,LINELEN,datafile)) {
    if (strchr(textline+1,'#') || strchr(textline+1,' '))
    for (i=1;inext)
    if (tmp->word)

    /* close */

    void dump_newsgroup_blocks(void) {
    long table3_start,table3_end;
    long i;
    short mask;
    char length;

    puts("*** NEWSGROUP BLOCKS ***\n");

    /* find Table 3 in cyber.not */
    memcpy(&table3_start,cyber_not+0x0024,4); /* Table 3 offset */
    memcpy(&table3_end,cyber_not+0x0028,4); /* Table 3 length */
    table3_start+=2; /* "SD" marker */
    table3_end-=2; /* "ED" marker */

    /* get ready to print a new blocking mask key */

    /* step through the table, looking for newsgroups */
    for (i=table3_start;i0;length--) {

    /* print the key */

    /* Load a file of reverse-lookup hints. Just initializes the table if
    * the filename parameter is null. */
    void load_iphints(char *filename) {
    FILE *datafile;
    char name[LINELEN],*ntmp;
    int i,ipa,ipb,ipc,ipd,count=0;
    unsigned long ip;
    IPHASH_ENT *tmp;

    /* initialize our hash table to empty */
    iphash=(IPHASH_ENT **)malloc(IPHASH_SIZE*sizeof(IPHASH_ENT *));
    if (!iphash) {
    puts("ERROR - can't allocate IP hash");
    for (i=0;inext=iphash[ip%IPHASH_SIZE];

    printf("Found %d IP addresses in %s\n",count,filename);

    /* save reverse-lookup hints file */
    void save_iphints(char *filename) {
    FILE *datafile;
    long i;
    IPHASH_ENT *tmp;

    /* open */
    if (!datafile) {
    /* this error is not fatal */
    printf("ERROR - cannot write IP hints %s (non-fatal)\n",filename);

    /* write */
    for (i=0;inext)
    tmp->ip&0xFF,(tmp->ip>>8)&0xFF,(tmp->ip>>16)&0xFF, tmp->ip>>24,

    /* close */

    /* OK, this is the good part */
    void dump_web_blocks(void) {
    long table1_start,table1_end,table2_start,table2_end;
    long i,j;
    unsigned long ip,hash;
    short mask;
    char length;

    /* find Table 1 in cyber.not */
    memcpy(&table1_start,cyber_not+0x0010,4); /* Table 1 offset */
    memcpy(&table1_end,cyber_not+0x0014,4); /* Table 1 length */
    table1_start+=2; /* "SD" marker */
    table1_end-=2; /* "ED" marker */

    /* find Table 2 in cyber.not */
    memcpy(&table2_start,cyber_not+0x001A,4); /* Table 2 offset */
    memcpy(&table2_end,cyber_not+0x001E,4); /* Table 2 length */
    table2_start+=2; /* "SD" marker */
    table2_end-=2; /* "ED" marker */

    /* step through the table 1, printing out the blocks*/
    for (i=table1_start;i0;length--) {
    putchar(' ');
    } else

    /* print the individual blocks */
    if (mask==0) {
    for (;(length=cyber_not[i]);) { /* yes, this should be assignment */
    i++; /* skip length */
    memcpy(&mask,cyber_not+i,2); /* category mask */
    i+=2; /* skip over mask */
    printf("%04X http://%ld.%ld.%ld.%ld/",mask,
    for (length-=3;length>0;length-=4) {
    i++; /* skip terminating length */
    } else { /* block on entire site */
    puts("ENTIRE SITE:");


    /*********************************************** ***************************/
    /* Main program */

    int main(int argc,char **argv) {
    puts("cndecode - Cyber Patrol 4 cyber.not decoder");
    puts("By Matthew Skala\n");

    #ifdef REVERSE_DNS

    if (argc=4) /* supplemental */
    if (argc>=3) /* main */
    if (argc>=5)


    if (argc>=4)
    if (argc>=5)

    return 0;

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have a feeling that Mattel really is behaving unacceptably in this matter! But what if I'm wrong?

    As a potential Cyber Patrol customer, I am sure that they would be more than happy to entertain an intensive dialogue with me (via phone and e-mail) in order so that I can better understand why it is that I should not know what sites their product will prevent me from seeing and why they are abusing the legal system in an attempt to supress customer-benefiting Consumer Reports-style reviews and analyses of their products.

    During my lunch hour, I will call their Tech. Support dept. so I can get their side of the issue, and express my side. Who knows... I might even have to ask to speak with a "supervisor" (and perhaps even the supervisor's supervisor). If I can think of something to say to them tomorrow that I hadn't thought of today, then I will call them again. And so on.

    Tonight, when I arrive home, I will send the company an e-mail. If and when they reply, I will send them another e-mail, responding to their points and adding any additional ones of my own. (And if they do not reply I will of course e-mail them to enquire as to whether or not they received my original e-mail). And so on. I think that it would mean a lot to them to know that I cared enough about their company and its product to want to get into a long-term e-mail Pen Pal-esque relationship with the company and its employees.

    As as an added convenience -- that is to save them the trouble of having to Xerox(tm) duplicate paper copies of my enquiries for their files, I will send a fax version of each of my e-mails as well.

    I will take advantage, so to speak, of Mattel's open invitation for me to submit recomendations for sites to be blocked via a website application ( ub.asp []) by using this interface to pose press-conference style questions such as: Why does Mattel insult the good faith of its customers by making additions to its ``CyberLISTS'' for purely political reasons?

    I assume that if they had wanted this form interface to strictly support only the transmission of URL's (and not insightful questioning) they would have programmed out the polymorphism that permits the latter.

    Mattel has a corporate interest to serve the customer. And that's why I am sure that they would be most appreciative if YOU, humble Slashdot Reader, were to likewise contact them in order to let them know that you are interested in finding out more about how their software works and to express to them that it not acceptable for them to pad their list of blocked sites merely for the sake of corporate censorship.

    Mattel / Microsystems / The Learning Company ... wants to hear from you! Call them, write to them, e-mail them! Let them know what they can do to better serve you, their (potential) customer!

    They will thank you for it! :)

    --------------------------------From the cyberpatrol website ( []) :

    If you're looking for support on your Cyber Patrol product, please contact:

    Cyber Patrol technical support at (319) 247-3333 Monday thru Friday, 9am to 9pm EST,

    or email, fax 319-395-9600,

    or mail The Learning Company 1700 Progress Drive P.O. Box 100 Hiawatha, IA 52233-0100


    P.S. If using the website interface ( ub.asp []) to pose your questions (instead of URLs)is the only convenient way for you to contact Mattel, I am sure that they will understand. The important thing, as I am sure they would heartily agree, is to get the communications flowing! Let's make contact!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You should look at some of what the ACLU did last year []. It will give you still more reason to join.
  • The ACLU is a fraud. They're not interesting in protecting constitutional liberties. They work for their own leftist agenda, pure and simple. The ACLU has never, never, never, defended gun owners rights in any case sinve the ACLU was founded. Tell me I'm wrong. I'm not, though. I still do not support them for this reason.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    # Cyber Patrol submission script - help these good folks clean up the
    # internet!
    # This script identifies URL's which could be harmful to
    # children and submits them for human review.
    # No URL is automatically blocked.

    # (c) crucini 2000 - released under the GPL

    use LWP::UserAgent;
    use URI::Escape;
    my $requests = 500;
    my $verbose = 1;
    open WORDS, "/usr/dict/words" or die "Can't open words: $!";
    chomp(my @words = );
    close WORDS;

    sub rw {
    @words[int rand @words];

    sub luser_date {
    # funny how you can smell a windows programmer
    # across the internet...
    my @t = localtime(time);
    sprintf("%d/%d/%2.2d", $t[4]+1, $t[3], $t[5]-100);

    for(1..$requests) {
    my %form = (
    'formflag' => 1,
    'formdata.thedate' => luser_date(),
    'formdata.Email' => rw . '@' . rw . '.com',
    'formdata.First+Name' => rw,
    'formdata.Last+Name' => rw,
    'formdata.url' => 'http://' . rw . '.com/',
    '' => 'CyberNot List',
    if($verbose) {
    print " $_ = $form{$_}\n" for keys %form;
    my $ua = new LWP::UserAgent;
    $ua->agent('Mozilla/4.7 [en] (Win95; I)');
    my $req = new HTTP::Request
    'POST', '';
    $req->content_type('application/x-www-form-urlenco ded');
    $req->content(join('&', map("$_=".uri_escape($form{$_}),
    keys %form)));
    my $res = $ua->request($req);
    if($verbose) {
    print $res->is_error() ? "Failed: $res->status_line\n" :
    $res->content !~ /Please enter the URL/ ?
    "Unrecognized page.\n" :
    "Successfully sent.\n";
  • Hey Mattel's (Cyber Patrol's) "Help Us Block, Baby!" websit e interface [] works great! I just plugged in the URL for every Mattel/Learning Company/Microsystems -based site I could find. Turn about is fair play!

    I think everyone who reads slashdot should pick a working URL at random and plug it into their interface.

    Mattel doesn't seem to be too worried about blocking normal, non-pornographic websites, so we might as well help them finish the job.

    Let's feed them the whole fscking Internet!

    Ha, I just told them to look into blocking I wonder if they will take the bait?

    Paybacks are hell Mattel.

    Do us all a favor and go fuck yourself.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the confusing message:

    This letter and the enclosed Word documents and *uni files will place you on notice

    The last time I was given a Word document and told that I must do something with it, I informed the dolt giving it to me that he had clearly made no effort to supply me with a copy since there was nothing but an unreadable file on the disk. When he didn't understand, I spoke s-l-o-w-l-y and explained that I was not a Windows user and didn't have Word.

    His face lit up, he said, "Oh, here," and handed me another disk off his desk.

    I asked him what was on it, to which he replied, "It's a program for viewing Word documents if you don't have Word."

    "And it runs under Windows, doesn't it?"

    It still took him a few seconds to understand.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You are right that a corporation can use a person's power. However, that power is delegated to the corporation. The person can withdraw that delegation whenever the corporation ceases to please them.

    Try that with a government. Your only option is to move into the jurisdiction of a different government. If you don't like Ford, buy a Chrysler, or a Honda. Or don't buy a car at all. But no matter who you vote for, a government always gets elected.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Any lawyers out there who know what a US Judge can do if a subpoena delivered to a foreign citizen located in a foreign country is violated? Clearly, the judge could hold them in contempt, but what could the punishment possibly be (aside from the parties being arrested if they attempted to enter the US)?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's see how soon geocities tries to take this down... p
  • I've talked about starting a project like this before here on Slashdot. You can go to my web page above there, and see some of my blathering about it. This weekend I'll sit down and finish writing a little paper on it. If anyone has any ideas for it, feel free to email me.

    What's driven me to do this isn't about civil liberties or what-not, but accidentally running into the con-porn type sites, you know the ones, or other mispelled words/products, off-topic meta tags, the 40 popups with banners, etc. Also, I've talked with a few parents of young ones that get pissed about them too. ;) If the RBL can do its thing, and do it well, the same can be applied to web surfing.
  • Somehow, we have to turn the code into one of those internet chain letters, like the infamous Neiman Markus cookie recipe or the ever popular Good Time Virus. Imagine - thousands of copies being forwarded everyday - absolutely unstopable.

  • Dumbass.

    For one thing, It's Ku Klux Klan, and for another, if you knew anything about either group, you'd know that they don't get along at all... Aslo, unlike you, the ACLU seems to have A CLU
  • >IANAL, but getting "served" via email can't possibly be legally
    >binding. They have no way of ascertaining whether or not the message
    >was received, or who received it (most email servers let you disable
    >automatic return receipts, don't they?) Best thing to do would be to
    >completely ignore the email, make sure you delete all records of it
    >from logs and backups, and later say "Email? What email?"

    What happens if the email server the message gets sent to is a Hotmail email adress?.

  • text-only...Builds Character!

    Please tell me that this pun was not intended.

    Well, sorta. It wasn't intended when I wrote it, but when I rewrote portions after Previewing, I saw it, and left it in.
  • I find it interesting that people (read: I am probably talking about you) believe that it is okay for libraries to "filter" (i.e., make unavailable, especially to minors) certain books and magazines, yet somehow these same libraries should be disallowed from blocking this exact same material on their computers. There is a double-standard here: you cannot keep libraries from filtering the internet without also telling them to make pornography (in the form of books and magazines) readily available to anyone and everyone.

    I must be missing something; the obvious solution (to me) is to provide no unsupervised access to the computers (in libraries) for minors.

    Don't bother with unreliable and error-prone software. Simply don't provide computers, especially those with connections to the 'Net, in those areas of the libraries where minors can access them without supervision.

    Then give the minors access to the machines so long as an appropriate guardian is keeping a watchful eye on the minor in question. The duty of controlling the minor's exposure to "potentially unsuitable material" then returns to where it belongs: the guardians.

    No censorship necessary. No judgements about what is appropriate and inappropriate. No need for libraries to expend funds on wrongheaded and broken software. It's not the job of librarians to play baby-sitters because the parents/guardians are too lazy to do their job.

    Then again, maybe libraries should provide text-only (VT100! Yeah! Builds Character! Teaches the importance of touch-typing!) terminals and access to Usenet newsgroups. Then the guardians of minors can be provided with a list (well, I guess it would be a book) of newsgroups, and they can choose the ones they don't want their kids to read/participate in.

    If you really must have access to the Web, why, run lynx or links or some other text-based browser. What? Webpage X isn't nearly so useful in text-only mode? Well, send an email to the webmaster, and point this out.

    Hm. That might actually do some good....

  • Actually, IIRC, at least one of Cyperpatrol's competitors (the one whose content is controlled by the Christian Coalition) really did put the ACLU on the banned list. There are any number of people who sincerely believe that groups like the ACLU who fight for civil rights for all groups are evil.
    Scary, really...
  • It's CYBERSitter. [] It blocks, among other things, the ACLU, the National Organization for Women, and Mother Jones. Great stuff.
  • You're missing the point of disallowing censorware. We don't want to make porn availiable but rather to make all constitutionally protected sites (read: all sites not containing porn. Technically schools are also bound by this, making censorware illegal in public schools as well.) availiable. So when you say we want porn to be allowed, you're talking through your dumb ass.
  • Well someone's a bit touchy today (and stupid too). Maybe you should be the one doing some research. I already did. In case you didn't know it, the first ammendment does apply to the states (United States Supreme Court decisions are considered law. Besides, the supremecy clause says that federal law always, and in every case, supercedes state law. Federal law includes USSC decisions and, thus, they apply to the states. As for cities, read on.). Because it applies to states, it also applies to state's entities. City governments are entities of the states, not separate little governments in the eyes of federal law. They maintain the local order since states couldn't possibly check everywhere at once. If you don't remember why they're entities of the states, I'll tell you. The Constition of the US doesn't declare them, the states do in their constitutions. Like the states being entities of the fed, the cities are entities of the states.
  • Orpheus,

    I would have e-mailed this reply, but you don't supply your address on Slashdot. I just want to thank you for being a reasonable and intelligent human being. You could have flamed me silly after my initial post, but didn't, and I think I ended up learning quite a bit from you.


  • Oooh, I'll start! I'm a lousy son of a bitch opportunist whore with a no-good kernel who can't write decent C to save my life.

    Damn, I hit me where it hurts.
  • It's not just that censorware is largely ineffective, but that taxpayers will fund the installation of it. If I'm going to pay for something like that, I want to be sure it's the most economical alternative, and that I can take a look under the hood before I buy it to be sure it does what the salesmen claim.
    I think the best alternative is to place all internet-connected machines in full public view, and only allow use by people who have signed a disclaimer and what-not.

  • But see, the home is one place where a parent can hope to have some control over their kids surroundings... Let them find porn on the streets, if that's what they're looking for... But don't let them innocently reserach some paper on the internet and stumble across a well-meaning pron site. Yeah... There may have been some mistakes in there, but with Peacefire doing such a skewed analysis, i'd just assume forget the whole thing... Part of me would actually like to go buy their software and do a more in depth analysis, in the hopes of showing that they're more well meaning than they're being portrayed around here as being.
  • Well... It is understandable, in that peacefire made claims based on it's understanding of the first 50 sites in the list. That's an absurdly small, unrandom sample size to base assumptions against a multi-million name list. And the way peacefire announced them "76% error rate" in all big letters and then in the body text "among the first 50 .edu sites checked".... There's false advertising, and this is worse... false advertising about someone elses product...

    YES, there were errors in the file... but I'm certain that Peacefire blew it completely out of proportion... IT's not that hard to click a link and go "oh... thats in appropriate... That's not" Peacefire should have, if they wanted to make and intellegent, credible analysis of the list, used a much larger sample size, selected sites at random (including .com's, .nets, .au's, etc...) and presented their findings that ways. The could then hone in on certain subsets of their RANDOM samplings, and say "the greatest magin for error was in the .gr domain, while the least appears to have been in the .com domain".

    Libel. Slander. I'm not sure what it is when you make unfair representations about other peoples products. But it is a crime, hence the reason we see so few tv commercials from brand A about brand B, unless they're taste tests, where anyone can have any taste.
  • I'm sure you're a great guy, and I certainly support you and the ACLU you in this, but your statement makes me cringe:

    "The way I figure it, either you're a supporter of the ACLU, or you're opposed to portions of the US constitution. "

    Is it possible that you really believe that you are privy to the One True Interpretation of the Constitution, and that anyone who disagrees with you is Anti-Constitution?

    If that's true (and I'm sure you simply made an unintended overstatement), then I can guarantee that you don't have a good grip on what the Founding Fathers intended. Too much of the Constitution was deliberately (and skillfully) crafted with the understanding that honorable, educated men of good will would disagree on how it could and should be interpreted.

    Of course, they didn't have to be too insightful to see that. It was happening on every streetcorner during the Constitutional Convention (with enough blindly greedy, self-interested, bad will to throw all the good will into stark relief)

    I don't understand how any reasonable American that supports constitutional rights could ever be opposed to the ACLU.

    Please, please! They are idealistic people who put in hard hours in support of their ideals, but they aren't deities. I would oppose this characterization of anyone -- Linus and RMS (who I knew back in the 70's, when it was an interesting experience and often a privilege, but not some sort of twisted honor) included.

    Do you ever disagree with your sig. other? Heroes? Self? I do. It's called life. It's messy. That's why I like Ideals. They're tidier. I like to think the ACLU would defend my right to disagree.

    They support constitutional rights, fairly, every time. Even when they do something that I don't like, which is a good chunk of the time, I'm entirely in favour of it.

    Now that's downright silly. I understand you're going through a lot, and you probably tired. Lord knows that there have been times when I've been under life-altering attack for no other reason than that I was painfully clearly right; and I'd probably have built an altar and performed human sacrifices (well almost) to the ACLU if they'd rescued me (they might have, if I'd brought it to their attention. My issues had that kind of scope)

    But I am never in favor of people doing anything I don't like. (I try to keep my definition of 'like' in line with that -- to do otherwise is to risk hypocracy and other self-deceptive evils) At best, I am glad that I live in a world where they can and do oppose me on a relatively level playing field -- because I know I'm not always right, and because I know what it's like to play on an uneven playing field.

    To tell me that you are always in favor of them when they oppose you is a total abdication and abnegation of your own reason.

    They're welcome to convince me (and they sometimes have) but as long as I disagree, I disagree. I hope that's what they stand for,

    I am grateful to this organization (and others like it) for existing. I have also been grateful, on a few occasions, that they were opposed. i can take this position because we monkey-descendants and our self-concocted ideals are not even close to being a complete and comprehensive description of a reality that exceeds our grasp, existed before we did, and will exist after we are either gone or hopelessly mocked by descendants who have come to implicitly see the errors we never could.

    But I can't blindly support anyone even when they oppose me. that would be intellectualy dishonest. Or so I grok -- and I've studied the subject seriously for over 20 years.

    My apologies for correcting the "Subject:" spelling. i just couldn't look at it anymore.

    My new .sig: Join AMSAT []
  • I'm pleased you replied. You confirm my initial impression that you are a reasonable person

    Do I feel that the ACLU behaved in a manner that I would have? Hell no. The KKK can go bugger themselves, and I don't think that there's anything and I don't think that there's anything wrong with plowing a church's parking lot,if that's where 1/2 the town goes the morning that it snows. \

    I actually like to think the ACLU *did* behave in the manner I would have, though I am by no means a flaming liberal.

    For clarification: I was born in Georgia, and while I am not black, I am of an asian ethnicity that was uncommin in Georgia in the 60's and 70's and don't pass the 'paper bag' test in GA or Boston (where there were race riots when I moved here in 1975.)

    I, too, think the KK can go bugger itself (but not necessarily in Georgia ;-> I believe the Supreme court ruled on GA's blanket prohibition on sodomy even within the bounds of marriage) However, I do not see that defending a specific right is the same as defending every act or belief of the defendant. just because I'd prosecute a murder or assault on a KKK member, doesn't mean I support all other opinions he might hold.

    However, if 1/2 the town went to the cockfights or brothel on Sunday morning, I wouldn't necessarily agree that they are entitled to full town services (as opposed to prosecution)

    I do not agree with their positions on a moral level. But I aboslutely support their right to do this, and I think that the ACLU has single-handledly reshaped the manner in which our country applies our Constitution to every day life.

    I treat the ACLU's right to take a stand on the same level as the KKK's right to take a stand. But the right to expression is independent of the view or whether I happen to hold it -- e.g. I'm dead straight heterosexual, but I support treating homosexuals as humans, and respecting their choices that don't impose on others (and they rarely do)

    Incidentally, just because they dramatically shaped our interpretation of the constituion doesn't suggest I should support them. There was a flip side to each of those debates, and that side had an equal effect: the ACLU doesn't always win.

    But if I don't support a specific view, especially on moral grounds, then whether KKK or ACLU, I don't support it. Period. With no 'halo effect' judgement of whether they are usually 'good guys' or 'bad guys'

    I believe that Aristotle pointed out that even the world'd greatest fool isn't always wrong, nor the world's wisest man always right. (Some days I'm not sure which side Aristotle fell on)

    My new .sig: Join AMSAT []
  • what about the fact that this has NOTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER with linux?

    Oh. I'm sorry.

    Without my glasses, the banner looks like "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Not "All Linux, all the time -- and nothing but."

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

    My new .sig: Join AMSAT []
  • While I sometimes find the positions of the ACLU to be a bit extreme, I agree with them 102% on issues such as this.

    Yup. 102% is pretty much the definition of 'a bit extreme'. I guess if you find them 'a bit extreme' you'd have to agree 102%

    Sorry. Couldn't resist

    My new .sig: Join AMSAT []
  • I for one am adding to my sendmail filters with the message "500 Electronic legalese filter: REJECT"

  • text-only...Builds Character!

    Please tell me that this pun was not intended.

  • Re: attached word document

    Your honor, they attached this, "word document" or whatever it is, but it's a gibberish inside. I tried to patch it up with vi, but it was totally hopeless.
  • Even the LAWYER is lying to hide the facts. Quoting from the SJ Mercury:

    The company's lawyer, Irwin Schwartz, said damage to its product is "at least at a minimum" now because relatively few people were believed to have downloaded the bypass software

    That's obviously a pile of it in some attempt to recover from the majorly bad publicity they have been getting. Of course he also forgets to mention the real reason the loss is so low in the first place .... the product was a piece of crap to start with.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 )
    You've been 404'd by Geocities?
  • Make the defining factor be whatever arms you can CARRY ... if you can CARRY it, you have a right to defend yourself with it.
  • Hey, the system wakes up and takes notice, finally. I'd say that about fifty percent of the time I think that the cases that the ACLU files are a valueless waste of time and paper. The other fifty percent (like this one), are why I haven't utterly given up hope in the lawyer dominated system.

    So reverse engineering the proprietary information inside censorware, filing blanket sub-poenas, legal threatening, etc. are what it takes to get the ACLU involved?

    Fine, then why haven't they caught a clue and started a brush fire against UCITA and the DCMA? Maybe we at /. can find a way to smack the ACLU upside the head with a giant cluestick so that they will get involved -- so that we in the so-called "geek" community have a legal voice besides the EFF that can make the judges and legislators notice that we are trying to defend some of our basic rights (as expressed on the web) here.

  • Yes, and in my insufficiently humble opinion that should not be the case without an amendment to the Constitution. So much the worse for the courts that some of 'em seem to disagree with me. :-)

    The Supreme Court has, to my knowledge, ruled specifically on the Second Amendment only once, in US v. Miller. That was a long time ago, too, and there's considerable disagreement about what it says about the 2ndam. Various lower-level courts have ruled on the 2nd, some favoring the individual-rights interpretation, some the collective-rights. So... who knows. :-p

  • Like serving a printed restraining order to a blind person, I'm sure there are laws against it.
    On an off-topic note, how do you serve a court order to a blind person, anyway? Does the process server have to read it aloud? Does it have to be delivered in Braille?
  • What exactly does being part of a well-regulated militia mean, anyway? None of the answers I've seen, from either side of the issue, strike me as being entirely satisfactory.
  • The fact that the ACLU doesn't happen to value the right of individuals to possess the means of deadly force as much as you or I do, doesn't mean that they don't value the rest of the Constitution. I belong to the NRA to defend my 2nd Amendment rights, and the ACLU to defend the rest of my rights. I see no contradiction in this.
  • In addition to decrypting the blocking list, CPHACK.EXE also decrypts the account passwords on the software, allowing CyberPatrol to be disabled. It's an interesting but unanswered question whether Mattel would be so avid to abolish CPHACK if it didn't have that feature - I personally suspect they would, but I can't read the minds of Mattel's higher-ups, so I don't know.
  • Yes, it is. Therefore the right to bear nuclear weapons "shall not be infringed". That said, I for one would wholeheartedly support an amendment to ban or heavily restrict anything from bazookas on up, or at least specify that they are not to be considered as "arms" under the Second Amendment. I don't think that private citizens should own weapons of mass destruction. But you don't ignore the Constitution, you change it, by the amendment process that was built in by the authors.
  • I've spoken with Mathew once on the phone while talking about things not related to this. He won't have any representation at the hearing because apparently if he _does_ have any representation then that might stretch the jurisdiction or him to suddenly be under the jurisdiction of american law. I don't know how this exactly works. But hey. I'm rooting for Mathew. Great coder, really nice person and he's getting screwed over. Not only that but mattel has(had it's gone now) a chance to make it's corporate image really shine.
  • My mirror is up at
  • LOL - I had never thought of it that way... and it would've worked, 50 years ago, but with suitcase nukes, we need to be a bit more selective now :)
  • Actually, last time I checked into it, it was illegal (except for certain very special circumstances) for a private individual to own anything larger than a 50 caliber weapon, except for muzzle loading historic arms... Which is why you never see a gun store with artillery for sale.
  • I didn't actually download the software, so I can't say for sure, but the original article said that the cphack program simply decoded the blocklists, not the passwords. So, assuming the article was correct (and there doesn't seem much reason to disbelieve it), your assertion is incorrect . . .
    Which would kind of screw up the case, don't you think?

    They did post some code to demonstrate the hash used for the passwords, but I don't think there was anything to crack them - of course, anyone with more than about a third of a brain could probably work out a crack themselves, if the article's analysis was good . . .


  • What happens if the email server the message gets sent to is a Hotmail email adress?.

    "You sent email to my Hotmail account? You mean the one that my entire bowling team has the password to? I dunno, maybe someone thought it was spam and deleted it."

  • Libel. Slander. I'm not sure what it is when you make unfair representations about other peoples products. But it is a crime

    No, libel and slander are torts, not crimes. I do think it's rather amusing that in a post accusing Peacefire of not doing enough research before making accusations you don't bother to find out whether your claims that they've behaved criminally can be substantiated.

    The work of checking hundreds (thousands? I've no idea how many you want) of web sites in detail would be rather more than all the effort of looking "slander" and "libel" up, which I take it was just too much effort for you.

    In case this isn't staggeringly obvious, the reason that there are so many errors is because Mattel attempted to use an automated checking process precisely because vetting web sites on that scale is an enormous amount of effort. Peacefire can't just glance at a web site and say it looks okay, they have to read it in its entirety for any potential issues, otherwise they'd be as negligent as Mattel.
  • Congres shall make no law. Not the states, not the city of Los Angeles, California. Congress. The Constitution literally only applies to the federal govermnet.

    However Mattel is conducting their action under US Federal law. Indeed if they were suing a Canadian and a Swedes under the law of "The State of California" or "The City of The Angels" then the situation would be even dafter than it is already.
  • Hey, the system wakes up and takes notice, finally. I'd say that about fifty percent of the time I think that the cases that the ACLU files are a valueless waste of time and paper. The other fifty percent (like this one), are why I haven't utterly given up hope in the lawyer dominated system.

    This may simply mean that they are doing a good job of being evenhanded and impartial :)
  • The second amendment gives states the right to operate militias, and therefore is not within the mandate of the ACLU.

    Actually it says the people, one of the things the founders of the US feared was opressive government.
  • That said, I for one would wholeheartedly support an amendment to ban or heavily restrict anything from bazookas on up, or at least specify that they are not to be considered as "arms" under the Second Amendment. I don't think that private citizens should own weapons of mass destruction. But you don't ignore the Constitution, you change it, by the amendment process that was built in by the authors.

    In that case you'd either need two ammendments or to repeal the fourteenth(IIRC) assuming you wanted to still allow the military to have such weapons
    Anyway there is already the restriction of their being part of a "well regulated militia"
  • I think real life and school is far more dangerous.

    I forgot to say, "and arguably less educational, for many computer geeks."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ever since the thing happened with that AOL .mp3 napster thingy. ( I can't rember what it was ) I have decied that when ever I run into things like the cyber patrol crack, DVD "crack". I am going to download a copy of it and store it away. This way, if some bs happens. Copys would suddenly "come out of the wood work" I am sure I am not the only one to do this. But, I encorage everyone else too. If there are 5 web sites that have it. Its pretty simple to have shutdown. but, when there are 50,000+ thats a differant story.
  • Anyone really interested in an examination of the matter of militia and the people mentioned in the 2nd Amendment in a historicalc context should visit here: urnals/gun_control_hardhist.html []
  • From []:

    We [the ACLU] believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government.

    Note the phrase "the right of the states".

    Now here's the 2nd amendment of the US constitution. It's very short. One sentence:

    A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

    Note the phrase "the right of the people".

    That's a whopping revisionist statement by the ACLU there. Still think their mission is to defend the rights of individuals. Think again.

    The best weapon is the one provided to you by your opponent.

  • by waldoj ( 8229 )
    I'm maintaining a news site for the cphack situation right now at []. Good way to stay updated, IMHO.

    See, this post had some content. Yay, me.

  • To tell me that you are always in favor of them when they oppose you is a total abdication and abnegation of your own reason.

    I want to start off by saying that I agree with most everything that you said. Anytime that I over-simplify something, I open myself up to criticism. But I hope that this one response will clear things up a bit.

    Remember when the ACLU defended the KKK a few years back? I think that the KKK wanted to hold a parade or something. Anyhow, the ACLU backed them. (And the lawyer that the provided was black. :) The KKK got to march.

    Remember the ACLU case against a town, because they were plowing the town church's parking lot? The town, if I recall correctly, had to agree to stop helping people get to church on snowy Sunday mornings.

    Do I feel that the ACLU behaved in a manner that I would have? Hell no. The KKK can go bugger themselves, and I don't think that there's anything wrong with plowing a church's parking lot, if that's where 1/2 the town goes the morning that it snows.

    But I believe that the ACLU *ought* to pursue cases like this, and I'm extremely thankful that they do. I do not agree with their positions on a moral level. But I aboslutely support their right to do this, and I think that the ACLU has single-handledly reshaped the manner in which our country applies our Constitution to every day life.

    Think Palmer raids, Scopes monkey trial, James Joyce's "Ulysses," Japanese concentration camps and Brown v. Board of Education. The ACLU was part of all of those. Not because they were trendy causes, or because you and I would support them. But because people in a morally unpopular position needed legal defense.

    I don't think that it's a matter of blind support. I think that the vision is very clear. As long as the ACLU continues to support cases that assist in refining our interpretations of the US Constitution, no matter what those interpretations may end up looking like, they will remain an important organisation that I feel it essential that we all support.

    We may not always like their positions on a gut level. But can't we like them on a patriotic one?

  • I don't understand how any reasonable American that supports constitutional rights could ever be opposed to the ACLU. They support constitutional rights, fairly, every time. Even when they do something that I don't like, which is a good chunk of the time, I'm entirely in favour of it.

    The way I figure it, either you're a supporter of the ACLU, or you're opposed to portions of the US constitution.

  • I do believe that the issue is addressed in the MGLA (Massachusetts General Laws Annotated) which would have significant (but not comprehensive) application in this case.

    Among the many (scattered) relevant passages are:

    Chapter 223: Section 31. Summons; leaving at last known address, etc.

    Section 31. In an action brought in the district court, if service is made at the last and usual place of abode, the officer making service shall forthwith mail first class a copy of the summons to such last and usual place of abode. The date of mailing and the address to which the summons was sent shall be set forth as required by section thirty-five in the officer's return.

    Chapter 223: Section 34. Further notice to absent defendant.

    Section 34. If the defendant is out of the commonwealth, or if his residence is not known to the officer, and no personal service is made on him or on his agent appointed under section five of chapter two hundred and twenty-seven, he shall, in addition to the service herein prescribed, be entitled to further notice of the action as provided in said chapter.

    Though, in my experience, arguing improper service doesn't always get too far, since judges tend to feel 'you know you did something wrong" unless your lawyer is very diligent about arguing that this is a far cry from knowing you were actually required to appear in a certain place at a certain tim. [that asssumption makes a judges life much easier - though I'd blame the court clerk for not at least trying to confirm proper service)

    BTW, Ch 227 sect 5, cited above. seems to apply only to those doing business in Massachusetts, but even entities doing business in Mass are entitled to more than e-service. To wit:

    Chapter 227: Section 5. Agents for service of process; duty to appoint by certain individuals; penalty.

    Section 5. Every individual not an inhabitant of the commonwealth and every partnership composed of persons not such inhabitants, having a usual place of business in the commonwealth, temporarily or permanently, or engaged here, temporarily or permanently, and with or without a usual place of business here, in the construction, erection, alteration or repair of a building, bridge, railroad, railway, or structure of any kind, shall, before doing business in the commonwealth, appoint in writing a person who is a citizen and resident thereof to be his or its true and lawful attorney upon whom all lawful processes against such individual or partnership may be served with like effect as if served on such person or partnership; and said writing or power of attorney shall contain an agreement on the part of the maker that the service of any lawful process on said attorney shall be of the same force and validity as service on such individual or partnership. The power of attorney shall be filed in the office of the state secretary, and copies certified by him shall be taken as sufficient evidence thereof. Such agency shall be continued so long as such individual or partnership does business as aforesaid in the commonwealth, and the power of attorney shall not be revoked until a similar power is given to another citizen and resident of the commonwealth and filed as aforesaid. If such individual or partnership fails to appoint an agent and does business in this commonwealth, service of process, in duplicate, may be made upon the state secretary. The secretary shall, upon a payment of a fee of five dollars by the plaintiff, give notice to the defendant of said action by mailing by registered mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the legal process to the defendant's last known address which shall be furnished to the secretary by the plaintiff or his attorney.

    My new .sig: Join AMSAT []
  • Why in hell doesn't you (parents) all realize that if a kid is grown up and educated enought to actually _search_ for porn, they are grown up enought not to be harmed by it... School kids talks about sex alot. And no one is screaming for teachers listening to all the kids says...
    --The knowledge that you are an idiot, is what distinguishes you from one.
  • Its probably the nick.. I would guess :)
  • Although oddly enough, Barbie Benson's homepage [] advertises that it is registered with Cyber Patrol.
  • As someone who used to teach the medical management of CBR (Chemical Biological Radiological) casualties, I can tell you for a fact that with that amount of Anthrax bacillus, you could wipe out the entire world, several times over. Anthrax is NASTY NASTY NASTY stuff.

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • This, and the argument that the second half of the amendment is a subordanant clause are patently false. The second amendment does NOT say, 'A well regulated militia being necessary, the right of the STATE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' It says '... the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear...'

    What part of "... The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." did you fail to understand the first time?

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • Part of me would actually like to go buy their software and do a more in depth analysis, in the hopes of showing that they're more well meaning than they're being portrayed around here as being.

    I agree that people who write blocker software can be well-meaning. But sueing people for trying to show how well your product works? Or would you interpret the law suit as being about something else?

  • I'm amused by the Linux Communities turn around here. [...] As soon as they're [the ACLU] willing to help out in something the Linux Community, suddenly everything turns around and they're hailed as heroes.

    Excuse me, but I don't see anyone here hailing the ALCU as heroes. Not the front page story and not any of the posts (at the time of writing). Even the ACLU press release didn't exactly hail the ALCU as heroes.

    Besides, it is possible to agree with one act someone does, but disagree with another. That's not hypocrisy, that's just having an opinion.

  • I suppose this is a troll, but I'll reply anyway.

    The Libertarians and Objectivists are properly classified as a non-religious right wing utopian movement. These philosophies are fundamentally flawed just like their left wing cousins (but it will probable take a while for these people to notice). You should check out the Critiques of Libertarianism page. []

    There are some pretty funny contradictions libertarianism, like supporting school vouchers, i.e. we don't like public funding of the schools via taxes, so lets publicly fund even more with taxes. It never crosses their minds to just require schools allow students to mix and match classes from diffrent public and private schools. The ideal outcome of the libertarian's proposed solution (school vouchers): more competitive education system where taxes pay for everything. The ideal outcome of my alternative libertarian proposal: an even more competitive education system where parents pay for everyhitng. Gee, I wonder which would be the more libertarian solution?

    All this having been said, I'd be pretty surprised if the libertarians had much beef with the ACLU. I have heard argumentes from very concervative people [] that there is really no contraiction between being right wing and supporting the ACLU. I would be curious to read any specific account you can find about a conflict. Maybe the libertarians were just pissed about the ACLU actually getting the job done.. while they just lose ellections.

    Actually, I'm pretty shure I know where the convlict lies. One of the things which makes the libertarian philosophy a failed utopian philosophy is it's idea that "only government can take away your rights," i.e. whatever the corperations want to do is fine so long as they do not hire gunmen. The ACLU takes the more realistic approach that corperations can abuse your rights too.

    BTW> see who the ACLU has helped this year. []
  • Nah.. a piece of crap can be useful, ask any farmer. Pieces of crap regularly get used in constructive ways: Dump lots of pieces of crap in a forest and watch it grow. On behalf of all pieces of crap: please don't insult them by linking pieces of crap tosomething unconstructive as mattel

  • BTW, that's Courtroom #19, 7th floor. Here are directions to the courthouse [].
  • Waldo is letting all this attention go to his head!!!!

    Quick, Quick... someone Troll him... Flamebait him! Bring him to his senses...
  • To:

    Hey, guys! Guess what? Yep, I have copies of "" AND "cphack.exe" on my web site! As do dozens of my buddies! Matter of fact, we even have a mailing list to distribute these packages as wide and as far as we possibly can .. in the US and overseas as well!

    Aren't you going to have fun finding them all?

    Please, PLEASE send me a subpoena too! I'd like ever so much to have one of my very own.

    Because I don't own squat.

    Why don't you jerks wake up and tell your employers (those morons at Microsystems Software, Inc. and Mattel, Inc.) to FIX the problem instead of trying to hide it!

    Oh .. tell those idiots to be SURE to put my web page on their banned list. That'll really make me feel bad, yes it will.

    Hell, in these days it'll be an HONOR!

    Oh .. and you can bite me too. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

  • (well, goodby karma points...)

    Typicaly, I side with the ACLU. (really I do) However, on this one, they are either uninformed about certain facts, or just plain ignoring facts about CPHACK.EXE, the program that they are defending.

    You see, the only people that are blocked from seeing the pages that CP blocks are those that are using a computer that someone relatively "in charge" installed the censorware software. Therefore, they are either fully aware that they will have limited access to the internet, or they are most likely children of "responsible" adults (wether or not they *are* responsible is besides the point) that have installed the censorware software. Therefore, the only people that a site is being "injured" from (no access granted) has implicitly requested that access be blocked. I just don't see any standing. (IANAL)

    Let's put Standing aside for a minute.

    It's common user interface design to put the "most important" or "most often used feature" on the default tab on a multi tabbed user interface (not that a multi tabbe dinterface is all that great to begin with)
    When anyone downloads the win32 binary CPHACK.EXE and runs it, (as I have) they will see a multi tabbed user interface, with the default tab listing the user accounts and thier passwords. Among the user accounts will be the "administrator" account.

    Assume that user A is the administrator, and controls to what level the filters are set. User B is a common user, and is being restricted by the settings of user A, the "administrator" of the computer. If you like, assume that A is a parent, and B is a child below the age of majority. (it makes this so much easier if you picture it this way) User A (the parent) purchased CP with the expectation that it will block sites with certain charecteristics from other users, including user B. (the child)
    Now, someone comes up with a program that easily allows user B to obtain user A's password. Since it's the job of CP to block certain material from user B, it is not even a small stretch of the scope of it's list of items to block to include this program, wherever it may be. This is exactly what CP is intended to do. In fact, user A would have every right to expect that user B be blocked from sites that would allow him to bypass CP's protections.

    The fact that this program also provides information on exactly what web sites and newsgroups are blocked is completely beside the point. Once the software provided the passwords, it's going to be blocked. It would not matter if it contained information on how to cheaply produce cold fusion, it would still be blocked. (I use cold fusion as a fictional example of something that would be of value to anyone)

    If the situation was changed, and the program did not provide the passwords, and it was blocked by CP, then I would be right behind the ACLU on this one. It's a shame that the authors weren't content with making fools aut of CP's "not" list (the list of blocked sites), and chose instead to include password information as well. (Sometimes it is best to write a utility that does *one* thing very well. In this case, the authors of CPHACK.EXE should have weitten 2 utilities, one that provides the "not" list, and one that decrypts the passwords.

    But, since I'm voicing an opinion contrary to the majority of /. postings, I'm sure to lose some karma over this one. I think that the most you can lose on a single post is 5 points, right?


  • While I sometimes find the positions of the ACLU to be a bit extreme, I agree with them 102% on issues such as this. My parents used to use

    Cyber Patrol (on "maximum protection", of course... we wouldn't want the fragile little darlings to see anything provocative, would we?). The result? It really didn't shield me from the big bad corrupting influences (i.e. porn, hate groups), which I wasn't interested in anyway.

    It did cause some problems with my world history report on the Celts, however ("Pagan religions? Not on my watch!"). And humor sites like The Onion? Forget it.

  • While I agree that offensive stuff is readily available on the net, I don't think that software, or the government should be the babysitter.

    If the net has things that are unsuitable for children, then maybe they shouldn't be using it unsupervised.

    Or another perspective: the Internet is simply a view of the world, seen through your monitor. Most folks wouldn't let their children roam unsupervised through the real world, for fear that they might get harmed or go to the wrong places. But since the net removes that fear of physical harm, people let their kids go gangbusters.

    Then parents find their kids viewing stuff that is morally objectionable to them. So rather than supervising, they scream for filtering and more government regulation of the net. Sounds a little goofy to me.

    Best regards,

  • IANAL, but getting "served" via email can't possibly be legally binding. They have no way of ascertaining whether or not the message was received, or who received it (most email servers let you disable automatic return receipts, don't they?) Best thing to do would be to completely ignore the email, make sure you delete all records of it from logs and backups, and later say "Email? What email?"

    Now, when they shell out the bucks to send a process server to your location, or if you actually sign for a certified letter, THEN I'd think about doing what they ask -- but only after consulting a lawyer first.

  • My old school currently uses CyberPatrol and I was looking for an open source replacement that would let me set up a caching proxy as well. I found: []

    I don't know how good it is, from reading over the buliten board it sounded like it has a way to go. Aparently they openned sourced it after their programmer went to work for a customer.

    If you wanted to make an open source filter this one seems like a good place to start though.

    I'm probably going to try setting it up at the school I mentioned over the summer.

  • Holy shit, I live about 30-40 minutes away from waldo!
  • The chance of accidently bumping into offensive stuff is not as low as most would like to beleive out here.

    The real problem isn't people accidentally bumping into it... it's people "accidentally" bumping into the stuff. The kids go there willingly, then when they get caught, they say 'oops! it was an accident!!'

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Mattel is not used to playing on a level playing field!

    In my case [] Mattel gave in on their saw they were going to lose against me. Not long before trial, they took a rule 68 judgment against them instead of risking a jury. At the summary judgment hearing (after opposing summary judgment) they moved to dismiss, then risk a ruling against them.

    Mattel have threatened college students who put up Barbie jokes. Mattel has threatened a stripper named Barbie Benson [] for her website because she used her name in it.

  • Where is Waldo?

  • Most of the losses on this came from Mattel's own actions!

    Mattel's actions generated much of this publicity. If they just silently blocked the sites of the blocked lists and updated the softeware, noone would have notices.

    There had been (for quite a while) published ways to bypass CyberPatrol. But I had not heard much of it until, they filed a lawsuit over CPHack. Very few people heard about my lawsuit [] until the counterclaim.

    What most people didn't mention is that CyberPatrol can also block programs from being executed (including programs named CPHack.exe).

  • I'll have to talk to Barbie Benson about her CyberPatrol mention on her home page.

    Maybe she does not realize the link between Mattel and Cyber Patrol.

  • by Jepk ( 167253 )
    Apparently CyberPatrol & Mattel suffered great losses when the recipe for hacking Cyberpatrol was mirrored on the net. So great losses, in fact, they think they will never recover - hence:

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    If it's broken beyond repair, kill the messenger. []
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @09:09PM (#1174407)

    I find it interesting that people (read: I am probably talking about you) believe that it is okay for libraries to "filter" (i.e., make unavailable, especially to minors) certain books and magazines, yet somehow these same libraries should be disallowed from blocking this exact same material on their computers.

    I (and many others here too I've noticed) don't have a problem with libraries filtering access to certain books/magazines for children. It's usually done accurately and is appropriate given the fact that the librarians are not supposed to provide access to books/magazines that would likely be deemed innappropriate for a child. If a parent wants the child to have access to such a book, the parent can get it for the child or perhaps make a special arrangement with the library. So that isn't a real issue.

    The problem with Internet filtering is that it just plain doesn't work. You say they "are not 100% effective", but it's much worse than that. There were many many sites in the various lists that were incorrectly blocked or blocked for reasons that aren't disclosed to the consumer (i.e. sites that post lists of blocked sites or criticize the software). Not to mention the fact that parents (and even the libraries) don't get to see what sites are being blocked. These companies have deceived their customers and cannot be trusted. Then there's the problem of filtering access for adults, which should not be permitted. Adults know what they're doing and should not need to be protected.

    As far as the Supreme Court's decision goes, they can decide that obscenity shouldn't be allowed, but people's definitions of obscenity will probably continue to change over time, just as they always have. Hell, Baywatch would have been considered obscene 40 or 50 years ago. (I still think it's obscene, but not because of the lack of clothing :)

  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <> on Saturday March 25, 2000 @07:11AM (#1174408) Homepage Journal
    There is a double-standard here: you cannot keep libraries from filtering the internet without also telling them to make pornography (in the form of books and magazines) readily available to anyone and everyone.
    Installing filtering software is a deliberate act. Acquiring hard core porn and putting it on the shelf is a deliberate act. I think the libraries should do neither. It is reasonable to ask libraries to provide access to the entire internet, because it is easy for them to do. Asking them to provide access to every book and magazine ever published is unreasonable, because it is impossible. Anyway, most libraries do have adult material, but it is not on public display, you have to provide proof of age to get at it. If porn filtering were installed in a library, there should be a bypassing system available.
  • by lee ( 17524 ) <> on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:27PM (#1174409) Homepage
    I am glad that the ACLU is in the fray. At least this issue will not be lost because the people who care can't afford lawyers.

    That said, i think will finally give some money to the ACLU. It is about time really. They helped me out when I got married. I wanted to keep my name and my husband wanted to take my last name. The county clerk said that we could not do that just by getting married but would have to fill out lots of forms and pay lots of money. The ACLU told us our rights and gave us the information to tell the clerk. When she found out we knew our rights, she stopped fighting.
  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:25PM (#1174410) Homepage
    The chance of accidentally bumping into offensive stuff is not as low as most would like to beleive out here.

    I agree you can come across dodgy stuff on the Internet, but I think you're much more likely to come across dodgy stuff at school. Schoolkids talk graphically about sex all the time. They can get pornographic magazines from newsagents. And you experience far more violence in the average playground than it's possible to experience through a computer screen. So I think real life and school is far more dangerous.
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @08:30PM (#1174411) Homepage Journal
    Our Canadian provincials and global regional offices are connected, via dialup, to an ISP in lieu of an actual connection to the corporate intranet. Most of them have Cyber Patrol installed after a porno hungry secretary in Hong Kong got in trouble with the local authorities. During one visit to the Urbana, Illinois office, the software denied me access to '', '', and to my own website at Most of Purdue University (including the job-relevant pages about PAPERS/AFAPI, a clustering API) was unavailable to me, as were most of the University of Michigan websites on a similar subject.

    But these are just the unfair blocks. It failed to block '' a porn site, as well as '', whose intent is obvious. I was consistantly able to access porno!!!

    I confirmed (with the admin pass I used to finally make it through to FM) that the software was indeed set to 'sex'. Why the hell is this product still on the market? That was six months ago, and I bet I could still make it through to 'hard-core' porn in thirty seconds! So my review is this: It doesn't fucking work. Their blocked list is and has been wrong, C'mon! Freshmeat is going to corrupt me? What, I'm going to feel the power of the source? Is AFAPI really the anal fucking API? The U of M is going to turn me into a boozing sex fiend? I'm going to corrupt myself? CP is just shit. (My employer has realized this; We're switching the regionals over to mandatory VPN, travelling through the 'good' blacklist of the local firewall.)
  • by SEAL ( 88488 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:59PM (#1174412)
    I'm sure CyberPatrol will swiftly add ACLU and affiliated websites to the following block categories:

    Violence / Profanity
    Partial Nudity
    Full Nudity
    Sexual Acts / Text
    Gross Depictions / Text
    Satanic or Cult
    Drugs / Drug Culture
    Militant / Extremist
    Sex Education
    Questionable / Illegal & Gambling
    Alcohol & Tobacco
    Reserved 4
    Reserved 3
    Reserved 2
    Reserved 1

    We wouldn't want to expose our children to the evils of the ACLU now, would we ;)

    Best Regards,

  • ...and they don't fix potholes or rescue cats from trees, either.

    The ACLU defends *individual* liberties. The second amendment gives states the right to operate militias, and therefore is not within the mandate of the ACLU.

    The ACLU is one of the most important organizations in the history of political freedom. They chose their mission, and IMHO they do a damn fine job of it.

    For more info on their position see [].

  • by bons ( 119581 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @06:54PM (#1174414) Homepage Journal
    I belive that censorware could be a good thing. The problem is not the censorware, the problem is the list. Afterall, many of us use the the Proxomitron [] and love it. Isn't that censorware of a sort?

    What we hate is a list that someone else runs, wont reveal, and expects us to use. I want the freedom to turn off my own channels. I don't need someone else to do it for me.

    Imagine this:
    What if everyone had the ability to create and maintain their own censorware list. What if we had the ability to let it reference other lists dynamicly? What if it was a common standard, like HTML, and supported by open source censorware? What could we do?
    Well, let's consider the following commands: (HTML's <> have been changed to [] in order to make typing easier)

    • blk would block out anything where the destination address contained the text in question.
      • [a blk=""]badporn[/a] - blocks all html from
      • [a blk=""]Cracks[/a] - blocks ftp (but not hypertext) from (but not it's subdomains).
      • [a blk=""]Doubleclick[/a] - blocks anything containing "" - note that the ".com" is important or files such as "doubleclick.htm" would also be blocked. This means no ftp, no html, no subdomains. Nothing gets through.
    • alw would always allow sites containing a string to be put through.
      • [a alw="slashdot"]Slashdot[/a] - even would get through your filter. Hmmm. We need a better filter. Maybe I should put a [a blk="nakedhemos"]EEK![/a] just in case...
      • [a alw=".edu"]Compus Crusade for Cthulhu[/a] - unblock all edu sites.
    • lnk would include another file in your blocking. Anything blocked by that file or by a file called by that file would be blocked.
      • [a lnk=" "]Ken's list of annoying popups[/a]
    The order of operations is easy. No rule overrules a previous rule. i.e. The top rule can never be broken. Rules at the bottom can be overturned repeatedly. The last alw or blk (working from bottom to top) that applies wins.

    Think about it.


  • by ( 142825 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @08:50PM (#1174415) Homepage
    Their 800# is 1-800-828-2608.

    Do it on their dime! That's what they have the number for

  • by ( 142825 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @08:53PM (#1174416) Homepage
    Get a good cluestick and beat yourself silly!

    They can block the CPHack.exe program from being executed.

    There has been several 'hacks' to bypass/disable CyberPatrol that has been published for some time. now.

  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo&jaquith,org> on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:02PM (#1174417) Homepage Journal
    Holy shit, my name is on the front page of Slashdot.

    Yet my karma stays at 81. Quick, make like I'm Bruce Perens and make this a 5!

  • by FarHat ( 96381 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:14PM (#1174418)
    No wonder Cyber Patrol doesn't want you to look "under the hood", given how broad the are about restricting things. To be fair, it is not easy at all to make any kind of filtering software. I experienced this at during my undergraduate when my univ tried to block inappropriate sites and failed miserably by blocking a lot of sites that shouldn't have been blocked or not blocking those that could have been. BTW, I am from India, so a lot of this civil liberties stuff doesn't wash there. Anyway, the idea that I have is, don't flame me if you don't like it ;), how about an open source blocking software. The banned urls or the criteria by which sites are blocked would be completely public. There could be a central server on which people could add url's they found offensive and others could have a look and there could be some sort of a slashdot style moderation to determine whether it really should be banned or not. Responsible adult sites might like to add themselves voluntarily to this database.

    I am not for censorship at all. But given the net and the fact that a parent cannot be expected to supervise all the time a kid is on the net some measures can be expected. The chance of accidently bumping into offensive stuff is not as low as most would like to beleive out here. Just my 2 cents. Farhat. ** Life is a sexually transmitted disease.

  • by P_Simm ( 97858 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:10PM (#1174419)
    Sure, the article points out that CyberPatrol could simply block out all access to the decoding software. This should keep their system just as secure as before, and little Timmy shouldn't be able to get at that porn.

    But whoops, it also says that CyberPatrol only has about a 67% success rate at correctly blocking offending sites ...

    Guess about 1/3 of the little cyberTimmies will be finding their way past CyberPatrol on the first try! DOH!

  • by Magic Snail ( 123426 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:57PM (#1174420)

    More argument about censorship... how much time have we officially wasted now?

    If everybody is really worried about censorship, protesting against CyberPatrol and SurfWatch is the wrong place to start. I suggest the FCC. After all, this is the same government agency that "filters" your TV -- indeed, they have placed restructions on almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum! I find it interesting that people (read: I am probably talking about you) believe that it is okay for libraries to "filter" (i.e., make unavailable, especially to minors) certain books and magazines, yet somehow these same libraries should be disallowed from blocking this exact same material on their computers. There is a double-standard here: you cannot keep libraries from filtering the internet without also telling them to make pornography (in the form of books and magazines) readily available to anyone and everyone.

    Right now, this entire campaign just smells like one big geekfest ("liberate our computers!") instead of a true free speech movement. If you're really worried about a perceived violation of your Constitutional rights, I suggest you get your priorities in line. Remember, however, that the Supreme Court has ruled that obscenity is not covered under the 1st Amendment. It has also ruled that government agencies such as the FCC are not unconstitutional either, even though the Constitution makes no mention of them. The reality is, pornography filtration is here to stay no matter what you try to do.

    Thus I say to you, Good luck trying to get the FCC to lift its restrictions. Better yet, try going to your average American suburb or small town and tell them they are wrong for having city zoning laws that keep adult bookstores away from the middle of their neighborhoods. This is just pure craziness.

    Part of the arguments I see here is that since software filters are not 100% effective, they shouldn't be used at all. Where is this logic coming from? This does not make sense. "People are trying to fix the problem, but are only human and are not 100% effective; therefore, we should eliminate all efforts to keep young children from being accidentally expose to pornography." That's the key: these libraries are not trying to keep every Joe Schmoe from being able to access pornography; they are only trying to keep kids from accidentally running across it (and don't give me that "you can't find pornography unless you go out and look for it" crap). Until a government agency does a study, we are not going to get true objective results as to the accuracy of the software filters, and even if/when one is completed, I'm still not certain that will matter; obviously the concensus up to this point has been, "something is better than nothing." Thus my prediction: pornography filters on library computers are here, and are going to be here, for a long time. Quit being puppets to liberalism and use a little common sense: software filtration is not illegal/unconstitutional, and if a community wants to have filters, let'em have'em, and go download your pr0n on the free computers at your nearest college library.

    Well, there goes my precious karma...

    Ryan Kirk []

  • by Jim Tyre ( 100017 ) on Friday March 24, 2000 @05:09PM (#1174421) Homepage
    ... is this Monday, 3/27, 2:00 p.m., Federal Court in Boston, courtroom of Judge Edward Harrington. As always, court is open to the public, on the off chance that any slashdotters in the area feel like dropping in.

    Be polite if you do.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell