I'm honored. In March 2001,
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
named me a
Pioneer of The Electronic Frontier
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF) PIONEER AWARDS HONOR INTERNET LUMINARIES
I was profiled in the New York Times of July 19, 2001! See
Cracking the Code Of Online Censorship
(discussing my decryption work and anticensorware investigations
Ennis, Finkelstein, and Perrin Presented Awards at EFF's Tenth Annual
Pioneer Awards Ceremony
Seth Finkelstein - Anti-censorship activist and
programmer Seth Finkelstein spent hundreds of unpaid and uncredited
hours over several years to decrypt and expose to public scrutiny the
secret contents of the most popular censorware blacklists. Seth has
been active in raising the level of public awareness about the dangers
that Internet content blocking software and rating/labeling schemes
pose to freedom of communication. His work has armed many with
information of great assistance in the fight against government
mandated use of these systems.
Here's the fine nominations which made this all possible:
- James S. Tyre's revelations to the Censorware Project about my work
- "Why has Seth been so secretive? He can explain better than I, but in
a nutshell, think about how he's been flamed by Brock [Meeks] and Declan
the years, despite what they knew. And yes, think even more about
how brutal [Mike] Godwin has been on Seth, and then know that Godwin has
known this little secret from day one, ...
... [Censorware Project] never would have existed without Seth's
- James S. Tyre
- "This is something into which Seth has
invested hundreds, more likely thousands of hours of his time, working in
the background, when he just as easily could have been using his
considerable skills for more lucrative ventures. ... Seth was the first to get inside of censorware, and most of what we now
know about it is directly traceable to his efforts."
- Robert Chatelle and James D'Entremont (Boston Coalition for
Freedom of Expression)
- "Thus we were delighted to find that Seth not only recognized
the dangers of such schemes ... but could explain these dangers more
intelligently and persuasively than anyone we had previously
- Bennett Haselton (Peacefire
- "It is not an exaggeration to say that the vast body of evidence
blocking software, simply would not be the same without Seth's work. It is
a minor miracle when someone with Seth's earning potential gives so much of
his time to a necessary cause for free, especially considering that he had
to remain anonymous while others such as Declan McCullagh and Brock Meeks
(not to mention Peacefire) took the bulk of the credit."
- Irene Graham (libertus.net
- "In summary, Seth has not only raised the level of public awareness about
the dangers of censorware and rating/labelling schemes to freedom of
communication via his own work, he has also armed other free speech
activists with relevant knowledge and information. Seth was one of the
first, probably the first, to start doing so, often in the face of
considerable criticism from people who apparently did not share his
knowledge and vision."
- Jamie McCarthy
- "Seth even contributed the lion's share of this work - the cracking of
encrypted blacklists - anonymously. Unknown even to most of us who
worked side-by-side with him in the Censorware Project, he had been
the source who had made most of our work possible."
- Eric Grimm
- "If the criterion for selection of EFF Pioneer Award winners is the
extent to which nominees have worked tirelessly and voluntarily to
"[make] a substantial contribution to the health, growth,
accessibility, [and] freedom of computer-based communications," then I
can think of no person more deserving of this year's award than Seth
- Carl Kadie (Computers and Academic Freedom
- "What many have come to learn, however, is that this theory and practice
are miles apart. How did we learn this? From the pioneering work of Seth
- Jonathan Wallace (Ethical Spectacle
- "... he did all the work and I got the glory for writing it up.
... Seth did tireless and brilliant work after
that to determine what censorware products really blocked. Seth is one
of the heroes of Internet free speech; one of those rare people who do
the work despite the fact that they know they will receive no credit."
- Peter Junger (law professor, Case Western Reserve University
- "And I was also aware of how unfairly he was
attacked by some of those who were challenging the CDA and resented
any attention being paid to other, equally important issues.
But I was not aware ... of all the technical expertise and effort that
Seth brought to the task of exposing the fraudulent claims that are
made for such filtering programs. "
- Chris Hansen
- "... I did not know the
extent of Mr. Finkelstein's personal involvement in this process. I did
know that the information we received from the Project was consistently
reliable and extremely helpful. Now that I have learned the specifics of
Mr. Finkelstein's work, I think an award to him for that work, and his long
resistance to internet censorship, is well deserved."
- Andrew Greenberg
- "From the trenches, Seth himself
provided the bulk of evidence and information that was necessary to
push back such automated government censorship."
- Michael Sims (later he
it after he
destroyed the old website of Censorware Project - search for "shut down"
, but here for
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