Anticensorware - SmartFilter damage

[ Verified - blacklisted as "Sex" ]

[Summary - SmartFilter blacklisted a web digital library devoted to "NIPS", that is, "Neural Information Processing Systems", as 'Sex'. The reason should be obvious, but if not, take a look at the (surprisingly, unblacklisted) site

Of course, after this is publicized, SmartFilter'll eventually change it, and the censorware blacklist will be assumed perfect once again ...

My previous reports on SmartFilter:
SmartFilter's Greatest Evils
SmartFilter - I've Got A Little List

From: Yann LeCun
To: Seth Finkelstein
Subject: SmartFilter blocks computer science library
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 13:42:12 -0500


I thought you might be amused to know that the NIPS Online web site ( ) is currently being blocked by SmartFilter. This may be a good example of the "collateral damage" caused by censorware. NIPS Online is a free digital library that provides access to the proceedings of a yearly computer science conference called Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS).

I am the creator and maintainer of NIPS Online, and I am not sure why my site is being blocked (the content is as innocuous as can be), though I suspect the acronym NIPS may have something to do with it.

What I know is that prominent scientists at some industry research labs are being denied access to important scientific publications because their employer uses bad censorware (not that there is such a thing as good censorware).


-- Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun Fellow, Computer Science Division
NEC Research Institute tel:+1(609)951-2614 fax:(609)951-2482
4 Independence Way yann[at]research[dot]nj[dot]nec[dot]com
Princeton, NJ 08540-6634, USA.

Update Mar 14, 2002 : After being publicized, NIPS was unblacklisted in the blacklist update around March 12, 2002.
As I say, "Alacrity varies directly with publicity".
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