October 27, 2002

BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE and court decision

Someone needed to know today where my N2H2 censorware report BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE (censorware vs. privacy & anonymity) and similar material had been a factor in the CIPA (Federal censorware law) court decision.

So I dug out exact quotes from the expert witness reports.

Expert Report of Benjamin Edelman

In addition, a variety of services on the Internet provide proxy servers, translation servers, and other methods by which a user might retrieve Internet content via a third party rather than directly from the content provider. The use of such devices may stem from an interest in privacy, since proxy servers can prevent web server operators from gathering a variety of facts about a web user. Proxy servers may also provide other helpful services, such as translation of web content into other languages, addition of links to sources of related content elsewhere on the web, removal of unwanted or potentially- hazardous software code otherwise present in some web pages, or removal of advertisements. However, such servers also provide a possible means of circumventing the restrictions of popular blocking programs. Thus, it has been documented that blocking programs seek to prevent access to these proxy servers even when such blocking is not requested by the administrator of a blocking program and even when such sites are not within the specific descriptions of categories requested for blocking. 27 My testing found multiple examples of blocking of these sites, including translation service tranexp.com and privacy service idzap.com.

27 "BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE." <http://sethf.com/anticensorware/bess/loophole.php>

Expert Rebuttal Report of Benjamin Edelman

Similarly at least one of the programs tested blocked each of privacy service anonymizer.com, the web-based translation service tranexp.com, and online dictionary voycabulary.com. These sites (and the other web-based services referenced in Appendices A and B to my first report) all offer a large amount of valuable content, and research of others indicates that many other similar web-based services are also restricted by blocking software. 10

10 "BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE." <http://www.sethf.com/anticensorware/bess/loophole.php>

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on October 27, 2002 06:55 PM (Infothought permalink)

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage