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EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 30 - Help Stop CIPA's School Internet Blocking Provisions!


EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 30 - Help Stop CIPA's School Internet Blocking Provisions!

EFFector     Vol. 15, No. 30      September 27, 2002 

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation	   ISSN 1062-9424 

In the 229th Issue of EFFector: 

*	Action Alert: Help Stop CIPA's School Internet Blocking Provisions!
*	Internet Filtering Software Wrongly Blocks Many Sites
*	Digital Bookmobile Tour Gives Free Internet Books to Kids
*	Deep Links: Inside Operation Candyman, the FBI's crusade to sweep 
the Net clean of child abuse.
*	Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts: 

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* Action Alert: Help Stop CIPA's School Internet Blocking Provisions!

The Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 (CIPA) requires all 
public schools and libraries receiving certain federal funds or 
discounts to install controversial Internet blocking or "filtering" 
software. This software is supposed to prevent children from viewing 
material considered "harmful to minors." Unfortunately, no filter can 
identify these illegal materials or distinguish them from valuable 
web content of all kinds.

Letter to your legislators:

Letter to your school board if you live in CA, MA, NC, or NY:

- end -


* Internet Filtering Software Wrongly Blocks Many Sites

Damages Educational Opportunities for Public School Students

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the 
Online Policy Group (OPG) last week released preliminary results of 
research on Internet blocking or filtering in schools.

The research examined the effects of N2H2's Bess and SurfControl, two 
of the most commonly used Internet blocking software products, on 
Internet searches of all topics from the state-mandated curriculums 
of California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.

Examining nearly a million web pages, the researchers found the 

* Schools that implement Internet blocking software with the least 
restrictive settings will block tens of thousands of web pages 
inappropriately, either because the web pages are miscategorized or 
because the web pages, while correctly categorized, do not merit 

* A large proportion of blocked sites are miscategorized-- probably 
about half of the sites blocked.

* Although curriculum topic categories more often blocked by N2H2's 
Bess product in an East Coast high school include such topics as the 
Klan (36% blocked), firearms (50%), drunk driving, slavery, genocide, 
and perjury (33%), they also contain topics such as pogo-stick (46%), 
comedy (42%), personal care (32%), likes and dislikes (32%), blend 
sounds to make words (24%), write or dictate short poems (32%), and 
"examine the effect of political programs and activities of 
Populists" (100%).

* Schools that implement Internet blocking software with the least 
restrictive settings will block between 1/2% and 5% of search results 
based on state-mandated curriculum topics.

* Schools that implement Internet blocking software with the most 
restrictive settings will block up to 70% of search results based on 
state-mandated curriculum topics.

The final research report will be available in mid-October.


Flash animation of students facing Internet blocking in schools. Pass 
the URL along to friends and especially students!:

For this advisory and location of final report:

Media release on press conferences related to Internet blocking in 

Action alert for Congressional repeal of CIPA:

Action alert for school boards:

AP article mentioning schools refusing Internet filtering in Eugene, 

- end -


* Digital Bookmobile Tour Gives Free Internet Books to Kids

Goal Is One Million Public Domain Books Online
Internet Archive Media Advisory For Immediate Release 

San Francisco - On September 30, the Internet Archive's (IA) Digital 
Bookmobile will embark on a cross-country journey to deliver free 
digital books to children nationwide.

The Bookmobile will stop at public schools, libraries, universities, 
mobile home parks, retirement homes, a Bookmobile conference, Hewlett 
Packard Digital Village schools, and the Inventors Hall of Fame, 
printing free copies of public domain books along the way.

The Bookmobile will park and print books at the United States Supreme 
Court building where, on October 9, the Justices will hear arguments 
in Eldred v. Ashcroft, a landmark case that will decide how many 
books can be part of the Bookmobile's digital library and all other 
digital libraries in the U.S. The case will determine if the 
government can extend copyright by another 20 years, effectively 
removing millions of books from the public domain.

"A healthy public domain means more books for more children," said IA 
Founder Brewster Kahle. "It's tragic that 98% of all books controlled 
by copyright are out of print, and therefore not available through 
the Internet."

Kahle and his eight-year-old son Caslon will pilot the Bookmobile on 
its cross-country trip. Caslon says, "Bookmobiles rule!"

To celebrate the public domain and the launch of the Bookmobile, the 
Archive is hosting a "going-away party" at the Archive from 4:30-
7:30pm PDT on Friday, September 27. IA invites anyone who loves books 
to join us in wishing the Bookmobile a safe and fun-filled journey.


For directions to the Internet Archive party:

For this advisory:

Bookmobile conference:

Inventors Hall of Fame:

Hewlett-Packard Digital Village Program:

About the Bookmobile:
The Bookmobile is a rolling digital library capable of downloading 
public domain books from the Internet via satellite and printing them 
anytime, anywhere, for anyone. Just as the bookmobiles of the past 
brought wonderful books to people in towns across America, this 
century's bookmobile will bring an entire digital library to their 

The Bookmobile is a Ford Aerostar with a satellite dish mounted on 
top, and a card table, chairs, and laptops in the trunk. It is packed 
with a high-speed printer, book cutter, and book binder, donated by 
Hewlett Packard and the Computer History Museum. At each stop, using 
the laptops hooked up to the Internet via satellite, a user will be 
able to access the library of public domain works at 
and choose a book, which will then be downloaded, printed, and bound.

For more information and pictures of the Bookmobile suitable for 
publication, see:

About Internet Archive:
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 to 
provide "universal access to human knowledge." Located in the 
Presidio of San Francisco, IA is building a digital library of 
Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a 
paper library, the Archive provides free access to researchers, 
historians, scholars, and the general public.

For more information on the Internet archive, see:

About Eldred v. Ashcroft:
Eldred v. Ashcroft is a challenge to the Sony Bono Copyright 
Extension Act, which extended copyright by 20 years both for existing 
copyrights and for future copyrights. Under this law, copyright 
owners control their work for their lifetime plus 70 years. That 
means for 20 years, not one new book will enter the public domain, 
and this is just the most recent extension. Copyright has been 
extended 11 times in the last 40 years. Since works have been 
repeatedly and retroactively kept under copyright control, the 
concept of a Public Domain must now be considered by the Supreme 

The Internet Archive submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court 
explaining that if Congress is allowed to keep on extending the 
copyright term, it will take works even longer to enter the public 
domain. This will stifle the vibrancy of digital libraries that 
depend on new technologies to distribute works to people the 
publishers tend to forget.

For more information on the Eldred v. Ashcroft, see:

- end -


* Deep Links
Deep Links features noteworthy news items, victories, and threats 
from around the Internet. 

~ Caught in the Kid Porn Crusade
Wired's Steve Silberman on the those incorrectly implicated in the 
FBI's latest attempt to cleanse the Internet. Check it out at:

~ Don't Blame CD Sales Woes on the Internet
Rolling Stone on the difference between p2p technology and acts of 
piracy (and there _is_ a difference). Read it here:

~ Study Faults Media Focus on Copyright Piracy
New study from KPMG on the content industry's misguided obsession 
with piracy and the damage it is causing. Check it out here:

~ Plugging the Analog Hole: Intercepted Signals are Latest Front in 
Copy-Protection Wars
Article on the next battle between copyright bullies and technology 
companies. Available here:

- end -


* Administrivia

EFFector is published by: 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax) 

Ren Bucholz, Activist 

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