This means, for example, that if you have Cyber Patrol set to block "Full Nudity", you might think you're blocking pictures of nude human beings, but you're actually banning criticism of Mattel and the homepages of people Mattel is suing even if the decryption utility and essay aren't hosted there, such as Matthew Skala's homepage. Feel free to download the demo version of Cyber Patrol, update the filter list to the newest one, and check this out -- or just type it into their search engine, though that won't tell you it's banned under every category. Does Skala's page contain full nudity? No? Then you're seeing an example of a company purposefully and deliberately lying about the content of a page in order to serve their own agenda.
Same thing if you chose Violence/Profanity, or Partial Nudity, or Sexual Acts, Gross Depictions, Intolerance, or Satanic/Cult, or Drugs/Drug Culture, Militant/Extremist, or Sex Education, or Gambling, or Alcohol and Tobacco -- guess what? "All categories" also include "or criticism of our company or product."
Welcome to America in the new millennium, where a corporation just made the decision to ban several documents from the World Wide Web. They did it unilaterally, without court review, without any notice to the public whatsoever, yet their decisions are now being carried out (the Cyber Patrol product automatically updates its list of banned sites on a daily or weekly basis) in public schools and libraries and companies across the country, for children and adults. (Cyber Patrol uses the same list for the "corporate firewall" versions of its products.)
A list of mirrors is still available. Get it while you can. Declan McCullagh, a journalist for Wired, has started an archive of case-related documents; -- he too has received the legal threats, despite never hosting the banned essay. (The .uni files are actually TIFF images of the documents.)
And just as I was finishing up this story, I've received an e-mail in my capacity as censorware.org webmaster. A woman wrote:
The link to the essay you mentioned on your page [our homepage] date 3/16/00 must not be correct. Could you e-mail me the essay? I am a high school librarian and am trying to find out more about what Cyber Patrol filters. Thank you.
I wrote back, among other things:
In fact the link was correct, but Mattel (the maker of Cyber Patrol) has filed suit against the authors of that essay and made legal threats to that ISP which caused them to delete the page. So, the page existed on Friday, but does not today.
I certainly understand your desire to find out what Cyber Patrol blocks, but they are going to great lengths to stop you from finding out.