Winners of the Foil the Filters Contest
Censorship9/28/2000; 7:35:03 PM This page is funny enough to be catagorized in Humor/Amusing, but the more you think about it, the less funny it gets. This is only a sample:
We hope this contest will help illustrate how unreliable censorware is and provide further examples for those interested in exposing it. And of these examples, these are our favorites....Grand PrizeJoe J. reports being prevented from accessing his own high schools Web site from his own high schools library. Carroll High School adopted filtering software which blocked "all questionable material." This included the word "high."...The Twilight Zone AwardAnd this has to be considered the final word on censorware:
For blocking which humans don't even understandWinnerScott, a high school student in Australia, couldnt get past his schools censorware to complete a report on the Fibonacci sequence (the mathematical sequence in which each number in the series is the sum of the previous two). He suspects the word was blocked because the mathematical sequence is relevant to "the pattern of rabbit-breeding," but we dont buy it.
The Inspiration Award
For reminding us what its all aboutWinnerAttributed to EPICs Marc Rotenberg, and though we arent sure if it its a real case or not, it says it all and we couldnt pass it up. Thanks, Marc."Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of sXXXch, or the right of the people peaceably to XXXemble, and to peXXXion the government for a redress of grievances."
Amazon.com Apologizes, Microsoft Changes Outlook Express
9/28/2000; 7:25:29 PM Two follow-ups on stories run previously: Amazon.com has apologized for the variable-pricing experiments and has issued full refunds to those who paid more then the minimum.
Microsoft has re-written the promotional ad stuck on the end of the e-mail message they offer to send out for you, but some are still concerned that the e-mail is going out at all, as it still may look like spam.
Carnivore Review Team Exposed!
Surveillance and Privacy from Government9/27/2000; 9:18:49 PM Wow, is this ever a screw-up on the part of the Justice Department!'Now it turns out that an embarrassing oversight by the Justice Department has revealed confidential information about the team of researchers hired to conduct the review. 'On Tuesday, the Justice Department placed the 51-page PDF file online, with project information such as names, phone numbers, and government security clearances erased with thick black bars....'Cryptome.org, operated by online archivist John Young, placed the unaltered version of the document online on Wednesday.'You may recall a similar event occurred with the New York Times attempting to obscure data in a PDF. It's actually kind of funny, because what they are doing is just what they do with physical documents: Black out the sensitive parts. It's just that with PDFs, just because you put a big black box over something doesn't mean it's gone. It's a lot like this white text: -->If you highlight this, you can see it.<-- highlight this and you can still see it, because the data is still there. 'The previously hidden information reveals that the members of the review team at the IIT Research Institute, affiliated with the Illinois Institute of Technology, enjoy a close relationship with the federal government in general, and the Clinton administration in particular.... It also shows that all the reviewers listed either worked on large-scale government projects or currently hold active security clearances. Those clearances include a top secret rating from the National Security Agency, a top secret rating from the Department of Defense and other ratings from the Treasury Department.'This almost ruins the whole review. Its whole purpose is to make us feel better, and I don't think it can do that anymore.
Are digital signatures a threat?
Misc.9/27/2000; 4:03:50 PM 'Digital signatures provide an Internet user with a unique identity document protected by encryption keys which serves to assure a third party that a document, a message or a transaction comes from who it says it does. The technology may help to soothe consumer fears about the dangers posed by computer hackers and the risks of using credit cards online or sending messages securely. 'Although digital signatures may appear to solve many consumer worries, Brands believes that they raise equally pressing questions over liberties. Brands warned that digital signatures could lead to a future where the online movements of citizens can be traced by governments.'So, are digital signitures a threat? In a nutshell, no. The threat outlined in this article is simply the unique identifier threat, which is a more general problem that could not be solved by simply, say, banning digital signitures, because digital signitures are just a small part of that problem.This article is a puff piece; I just wanted to go on record as saying that.
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