September 10, 2003

Anti-spam versus censorware, once again

Matthew Skala, one of the programmers of CyberPatrol lawsuit (in?:-))fame, had a recent blog entry playing off the just-granted Websense patent, but using that to discuss censorware versus anti-spam programs. This issue, of using computers against spam or for censorware, comes up often. I've been replying to it for many years.

If I thought anyone much would care, I'd write up a FAQ on the topic. But that entry got thousands of readers as part of a Slashdot article, and, sigh, I hate to sound whiny, but I don't expect Slashdot coverage. Anyway, I wrote Matthew, and he kindly noted my point in a follow-up blog entry.

When putting together something now, I found I'd written long entries on this be fore:

" porn, spam, "filtering", and magic"

" More on censorware, spam-killing, and "magic""

No point in rewriting them. There's also an extensive discussion of the differences in the Reply to Copyright Office DMCA 1201 Censorware Exemption Question, and some in my DMCA testimony.

In a sentence, fighting spam concerns something you don't want to read, the sender wants to force on you. Censorware is about something you want to read, and an authority wants to prohibit you. These are thus very different situations.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , spam | on September 10, 2003 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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