Gun Activists Have A Stake Against Filtering Software [Censorware]

From: Matthew Gaylor (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 00:58:09 MST

Both the American Civil Liberties Union and The American Library
Association filed suit 3-20-2001 in Federal court to stop the
Children's Internet Protection Act (CHIPA). This is the act that
forces libraries and schools to use filtering software (censorware).
You can read both complaints here:



Filtering software has been pushed as the solution to stopping
children from viewing inappropriate materials, like pornography, on
the Internet. However, the software has numerous flaws, the most
basic being that it doesn't stop all of the pornography. More
ominously, and more of a threat to our long term liberty is the fact
that the software in many cases "blacklists" political and other
material incorrectly. Seth Finkelstein, who just won the Electronic
Freedom Foundation's Pioneer Award, details a few gun related sites
that are blacklisted. If a school or library had the SmartFilter
program installed, students would be blocked from viewing those
sites. As a point of information- which is
listed as "extreme" is the site run by the noted Police firearm's
Instructor Massad Ayoob. The site is His Lethal Force Institute,
which trains qualified citizens and police in armed self defense
techniques. The other sites, are listed under the category of
criminal skills. is the site for
Springfield Armory an American producer of fine firearms. My
recommendation is that everyone enter their favorite site's url at: and see if
their site or company is blocked. Then I'd take whatever action,
including the courts to have the incorrect designation removed.

Regards, Matthew Gaylor-

[Please post this to other RKBA forums and elsewhere if relevant.]

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 01:25:52 -0500 (EST)
From: Seth Finkelstein <>
To: Matthew Gaylor <>
Subject: Gun activists have a stake against censorware

[Feel free to forward to your list]

        As you know, the groups ACLU/ALA/PFAW will be filing a
lawsuit against the Federal censorware law (CIPA). It's important to
understand that the reach of censorware extends to far more than sex.
Anyone who can be the target of a secret blacklist has a stake. As a
small illustration, a quick check shows the censorware program
SmartFilter blacklists many gun-related sites under the category of
"Criminal Skills":

And is considered "Extreme" (that's akin to obscene)

        These can be verified by testing the URLs using the web-form at
[It would be a good idea to do such a check before you send out this
message, because the blacklist may be changed after this is publicized]

Seth Finkelstein Consulting Programmer
EFF Pioneer:
Anticensorware Investigations:

Subscribe to Freematt's Alerts: Pro-Individual Rights Issues
Send a blank message to: with the words subscribe FA
on the subject line. List is private and moderated (7-30 messages per week)
Matthew Gaylor, 2175 Bayfield Drive, Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 313-5722 ICQ: 106212065 Archived at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:42 MDT