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Censorware Project ( history

This is an annotated collection of files related to Slashdot "editor" Michael Sims domain-hijacking the former website of Censorware Project, .

Note this is not a trivial flame-war. Jonathan Wallace, Censorware Project member and attorney, wrote about the false "moral equivalence" :

However, the facts couldn't be starker. Mike volunteered to act as the webmaster for our group. In a fit of anger, he unilaterally shut down our website, posted a notice that the group had closed (which was not true), and refused to send a copy of the content to the rest of us, or to transfer the domain. ... This is not a case of people politely (or vocally) parting company after a policy disagreement. Again, Mike pulled the plug on a healthy, functioning site, wouldn't turn over the content, and bounced mail from journalists and individuals trying to contact us. ...

The implications are profound. Michael Sims received extensive de facto support from his position with the popular and extremely widely-read "news" website Slashdot. He then leaked confidential legal information about my (Seth Finkelstein) censorware decryption work, at the start of a major Federal censorware trial , where a censorware company was taking legal action against experts. The combination of all such factors destroyed much planned work. After years of effort, given these situations, I have since quit censorware investigations .


Why were we down? Another former member, Michael Sims,, angry at a perceived slight from one of us, shut down ... Mike, now that the site is back up, we are renewing our request that you transfer us the domain. You're not using it for anything, and it will continue to confuse people and divert traffic away from this, the rightful Censorware Project site.

Historical account by Jonathan Wallace :

But all the hundreds or thousands of links Censorware Project had build-up over the years still pointed to the old site. In some cases, it was impossible to fix them, since they were from mailing-list archives, old web news pages, in print, or webmasters didn't want to be to be bothered with edits. And anyone who tried to get in touch with us by sending mail to the previous contact address would have their message trashed by Sims. ...

In short, this is a colossal and continuing act of malice by our former webmaster, Michael Sims.

Commentary, regarding Slashdot's de facto support, by Bennett Haselton (

If the EFF webmaster put the domain in his own name and then hi-jacked it from the organization, he'd be branded a traitor and a pariah in the Internet community for the rest of his life, and nobody would ever forget what he did. ...

... nothing [Michael Sims] does [at Slashdot] will ever come close to canceling out the harm he did by shutting down the one-time Censorware Project website.

The only legitimacy that Michael has is through his position as a Slashdot writer; he has just enough writing skills to make his writings sound seductively intelligent to anybody who doesn't know the real story. ... Do you think they're going to let him put the domain in his name? :)

Michael Sims' own public declaration:

"The Censorware Project is now closed." ...

Last, but not least, my (Seth Finkelstein) own personal essay on the matter:

What Happened To The Censorware Project (

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