SmartFilter stupidity - school sites as SEX

Anticensorware material by Seth Finkelstein - SmartFilter damage

On September 18 2002, several civil-liberties groups are sponsoring an event focusing on the impact of a Federal censorware law (CIPA) as applied to schools - "Research Reports Thousands of Sites Incorrectly Blocked" . I'm speaking at the Boston-area press conference. So for talking-points, I decided to bring a few more egregious examples to the party. The twist here is that these aren't websites useful in school, but are schools or school-related themselves. And they are all blacklisted as "Sex".

These are from SmartFilter , the censorware program made by Secure Computing. I used that censorware because it's a different program from those examined in the report above, and I had some work handy from the last set of ridiculous censorware examples . Virtually all censorware programs have such problems.

Some school sites banned as "Sex" by SmartFilter, September 17 2002: [My comments in brackets]
Creekside Village School - "... ages 6 weeks through kindergarten"
[Not clear why this was blacklisted, maybe it's a combination of all the mentions of "child", and "free expression" - as in "We encourage active play, free expression ..."]
Dennison Academy, Adult Education, High School Diploma Programs
[Obvious - "Adult Education" "... adults and qualified minors ..."]
Homeschooling at The Trent Schools
[This is an odd one - maybe too many references to "child"]
Kirshner Driving School
[Bingo, a killer keyword: "... teen driving, teen drivers ...". ]
[I can't read a word of it, but it's obviously not a porn site. One day I'll figure out exactly why these sorts of sites show up on censorware blacklists. My current theory is that the oriental characters just happen to form some byte-sequence which has something along the lines of "XXX" in English characters. Again, that's just a theory.]
New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition
[While one might be tempted to think SmartFilter has something against Homeschooling, I suspect the answer is less obvious. But I don't know what it is. Maybe because the pages link to a tracking system called "". SmartFilter tends not to like the word "Extreme" ]

Verification screen shot 1
Verification screen shot 2

Update: Around October 14 2002, they had all finally been changed from "Sex".

Update Monday September 23 2002: See also:
SmartFilter stupidity - book sites as SEX

Older material:
SmartFilter - I've Got A Little List
SmartFilter's Greatest Evils

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