How To Disable Internet Filtering Software Programs
Info on disabling CYBERsitter,
Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny and other censorware
1. If your school or office blocks a good portion of the web for "productivity's" sake, just plug a site into Google Translate to view it. Just copy and paste the URL of the page you want to view into Google Translate.
On the left side, click on any language as long as it isn't "Detect Language," then translate it into English. You should be able to view the page (possibly with a few quirks, but otherwise intact) through Google Translate.
2. Peacefire.org The world's largest distribution network for proxy sites to circumvent Internet censorship How to install the Circumventor program, which gets around all Web-blocking software. NOTE: By installing this software, you will be joining an interconnected Web of Circumventor machines, so just as you can surf the Web via other people's machines, at times other users will be surfing the Web through your machine. However, they will not have access to any files or programs on your machine.
3. Windows NT/2000/XP Utilities by Luis Carlos Castro Skertchly. Install VMware ESXi 5.1 from a USB flash memory translate into english!
4. Use Google as a Proxy Server to Bypass Paywalls, Download Files
This operates just like a proxy and routes your traffic to wherever you want to go. It's a pretty easy way to get around blocks without doing much work. Head over to Digital Inspiration for a few more example, as well as bookmarklets so you can get quick access.
K-12 FILTERS USED IN LIBRARIES and SCHOOLS
22 Jul 2008 COPA Decision.
The court issued a unanimous opinion in ACLU v. Mukasey affirming the District Court and holding that the Child Online Protection Act is unconstitutional. The court held that COPA is vague and overbroad, and that it does not constitute the least restrictive means of protecting children. In reaching these conclusions, the court also confirmed that COPA does not apply to websites outside the U.S. COPA is the successor statute to the Communications Decency Act, which attempted to extend indecency rules to the Internet.
District court findings of fact: The District Court then found that: [o]ne of the features of filtering programs that adds to their effectiveness is that they have built-in mechanisms to prevent children from bypassing or circumventing the filters, including password protection and other devices to prevent children from uninstalling the product or changing the settings. Some products even have a tamper detection feature, by which they can detect when someone is trying to uninstall or disable the product, and then cut off Internet access altogether until it has been properly reconfigured. Filtering companies actively take steps to make sure that children are not able to come up with ways to circumvent their filters.
Filtering companies monitor the Web to identify any methods for circumventing filters, and when such methods are found, the filtering companies respond by putting in extra protections in an attempt to make sure that those methods do not succeed with their products. Id. at 795 (citations omitted).
The court also found that ³[i]t is difficult for children to circumvent filters because of the technical ability and expertise necessary to do so . . . .² Id.
From the third circuit itself - your students do not have the technical ability or expertise to bypass your filters. Fortunately not the only basis upon which the court determined COPA to be unconstitutional.
BTW, the reason the ACLU has not been at all aggressive against some of the concerns related to filtering - like one filtering company that has close relations with a conservative religious organization, is that they have been the ones who have argued that filtering is a less restrictive alternative to this stupid criminal law.
Art Wolinsky ~ Filtering would most likely be a function of district policy. While access to sites that are blocked is restricted by the filter provider, because the lists are considered proprietary, key word lists are often open and managed by the district system administrator.
With that said, I would venture a guess that few if any school districts publish that list for two distinct reasons.
1) The district might be adding keywords that block on a religious, social, cultural, or political agenda. All of which are at the very least, "hot potatoes".
2) The nature of the list would be such that George Carlin would blush at it, and if it fell into the hands of a student, it would become the teen user guide to creative profanity.The best one might hope for is to make an appointment with the district system administrator to view the list online.
Censorware vs. privacy & anonymity | Filters Cyber Patrol , Net Nanny, blacklisted, gator
Six leading filtering products that are used in U.S. public schools, SmartFilter, 8e6, Websense, CyberPatrol, Symantec, and N2H2/Bess, along with AOL Parental Controls.
It is easy to Get Around Filters in Schools
Censorship: Filters in K-12 Schools and Libraries are used to censor information. Below you will find the names of the companies that censor knowledge.
Under CIPA you only need to block pornographic material
We will NOT be able to effectively prepare students for their education, career, and civic responsibilities in the 21st Century if the technical services directors in schools throughout this country continue their heavy handed filtering. It is essential to shift how the Internet is being managed from a primary reliance on filtering to more effective monitoring - in an environment where education - not social - use of the Internet is expected, and supported with effective professional and curriculum development. Heavy-handed filtering is a very major part of the problem.
I-Safe curriculum and associated material reviewed - Its very bad.
XP comes stock with Remote Desktop.
All the student needs to know is the IP Address of their home computer and can remote right into their machine at home. While this is a feature that can be locked down for the most part its not -- and with the rights most student users have they can unlock the feature even if it is locked.
Unblock8e6 is here to protect your anonymity online!
Browse the web through our server to get past pesky url or ip based filters!
Guy Durrant ~ "Filtering in Utah is done by a statewide subscription to N2H2/Bess. We are not required to use N2H2, but I suspect most districts use this as it is available to them at no additional cost. The state picks up the tab. The state filters the "Translate this page" option which comes up with some search results. The reason for this is that students could search for sites which the N2H2 filter will block, click on Translate this page, and if the original page was in English, it was "translated" and displayed, filter notwithstanding. It is unfortunate, because the translation feature was quite a boon to ESL and foreign language teachers. The images part of Google http://images.google.com is not blocked in Utah, but many of the sites it presents are.
Free Linux Filter software for schools
Linux combination of Squid and SquidGuard. They are both free, come with extensive "blacklist" updates and are fully customizable to allow or deny sites that are not correctly filtered in the pre-configured blacklists.
Teachers and Substitute Teachers should know computer basics before they are allowed to walk into the classrom.
Whose responsibility is it to make sure substitute teachers are properly informed about what do to if p0rn suddenly pops up on the computer screen? Whose responsibility is it to make sure computers are as secure as possible? Whose responsibility is it to review the logs to determine if the sites appeared in a random manner (indicating a porn trap) or a "linked" manner (indicating intentional access) and to review the computer to determining the presence of any malware?
What does a teacher do when p0rn spontaneouly erupts on the screen? Turn off the computer? Suppose the teacher doesn't know how and / or does not know the difference between the button to turn off the monitor and the buttons on the computer -- a true computer beginner. Beginners are very afraid that if they do something wrong, they will break the computer or erase everything on the machine.
Advice to substitute teachers: use the blackboard not a computer.
Would you turn the screen away from the students and try to get rid of the images by clicking off the sites as they appeared on the monitor? Run to the faculty room and ask for help? What if no one comes to help? Tell the assistant principal after school? Could any of this happen in real life?
We have filtered or blocked all peer-to-peer applications. It becomes a technical arms race for sure, but it is a winnable one. Simply blocking all outgoing ports other than port 80 and then forcing that through a proxy server that logs username and destination. The next step of blocking such sites as anonymizers and remote proxiesreduces even more the chances of unwanted usage. To answer your question, yes I think it is succeeding. It all depends where your priorities lie as far as technical usage. ~ anon
Director of Media and Technology,
Mankato Area Public Schools ~
One of the best articles on filtering I've read for awhile is "Just Give It to Me Straight: A Case Against Filtering the Internet." T. Callister and N. Burbules. Phi Delta Kappan, May 2004. (Available from ProQuest in full text.) They lay out 4 good reasons not use filters. In response to that article, I send the following (published) letter to Kappan:
Using Filters in the Public Library. CIPA Requirements
Dear Sirs and Madams:
While I find little with which to disagree in the fine article Just Give It to Me Straight: A Case Against Filtering the Internet, May 2004 Kappan, Callister and Burbules ignore a sad reality: the horse is already out of the barn on the filtering issue for practically all public schools.
Most school districts were coerced into installing an Internet filter during the 2001 school year in order to comply with the Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA) guidelines, and so remain eligible for eRate and other federal funds.
The question then is not whether to have filters, but how to use them as wisely as possible to prevent many of the harms Callister and Burbules point out.
Internet filters have a wide range of restrictiveness. Depending on the product, the products settings, and the ability to override the filter to permit access to individual sites, filters can either block a high percentage of the Internet resources (specific websites, email, chat rooms, etc.) or a relatively small number of sites.
As proponents of intellectual freedom, educators should:
* Base the choice of filters not on cost or convenience, but on features and customizability.
* Strongly advocate for the least restrictive settings of installed filters.
* Keep the decisions about how and what is filtered at a local a level as possible, discouraging state or regional filtering.
* Generously use the override lists in our Internet filters, allowing any site deemed educationally relevant by any professional educator to be automatically included in the override lists. (This should not be a decision left to IT personnel.)
* Configure at least one machine that is completely unblocked in every library media center so that questionably blocked sites can be reviewed and immediately accessed by staff and students if found to be useful.
* Continue to help develop and teach the values students need to be self-regulating Internet users.
* Continue to educate and inform parents and the public about school Internet uses and issues.
* Continue to create learning environments that promote the use of the Internet for positive purposes.
* (I would now add to that list that any request to block additional sites by any staff member, student or parent should be treated the same way as any other challenged material in the district - usually through a reconsideration process committee that makes a recommendation to the board.)
I believe schools can use a limited filtering system that keeps the little ones from accidentally accessing inappropriate or even dangerous websites, but still allows a generous degree of intellectual freedom.
(End of letter)
CIPA was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001. CIPA requires all schools receiving funding through the E-rate program and technology funding through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to comply with certain requirements.An excellent source for information on CIPA, including copies of the legislation is the American Library Association Requirements of CIPA vary with funding program, but generally are:
1. Adopt an Internet Safety Plan that addresses the following elements:
- a. Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.
- b. Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
- c. Unauthorized online access by minors, including "hacking" and other unlawful activities.
- d. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
- e. Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.
2. A district administrator must also certify that enforcement of the Internet safety policy includes monitoring the online activities of minors. The term "monitoring" is not defined by the statute. General use of the term implies either supervision or technical monitoring.
3. Install a technology protection measure, which is defined by the statute as: "a specific technology that blocks or filters access to visual depictions that are obscene,... child pornography,... or harmful to minors. (There are specific definitions in the statute regarding obscene materials, child pornogrpahy, and material that is harmful to minors. The statute provides no guidance regarding how to address the fact that no technology protection measure currently on the market effectively blocks or filters in accord with the statutory requirements. CIPA does *not* require that you use the technology protection measure to block access to "inappropriate matter" other than the 3 statutory categories.)
4. Hold a public hearing regarding the Internet Safety Plan and the technology protection measure.
The Federal Communication Commission Order addressing CIAP requirements.
When encouraged to address concerns about effectiveness of the technology protection measures, the FCC stated:
"We presume Congress did not intend to penalize recipients that act in good faith and in a reasonable manner to implement available technology protection measures. Moreover, this proceeding is not the forum to determine whether such measures are fully effective."
July 1, 2001 -- Applicant must take some "step" that moves the district forward in addressing CIPA. This step can be as simple as a memo announcing that the district will establish a CIPA Internet Safety Plan Committee in the fall.
October 28, 2001 -- Applicant must certify to the FCC on Form 486 that they are undertaking necessary steps to be in compliance with CIPA. (You can also certify that you are in compliance, but my recommendation is that you take the period of time to assess all aspects on your approach to addressing the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students.)
July 1, 2002 -- Applicant must meet requirements of CIPA, including installation of technology protection measure (but if your state has more extensive procurement procedures, this deadline can be extended).
October 28, 2002 -- Applicant must certify to FCC on Form 486 that it is in compliance.
Nancy Willard, Project Director, Responsible Netizen, Center for Advanced Technology in Education, College of Education, 5214 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-5214. Phone: 541-346-2895 (office) 541-346-6226 (fax) Web Page: http://netizen.uoregon.edu E-mail: email@example.com
Nancy Willard JD published an analysis of the constitutionality of the use of commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software in US public schools. This analysis is based on the recent ruling in the case the ALA brought challenging the filtering requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act. The analysis also takes into account the findings and recommendations of the recently published NRC report, Youth, Pornography and the Internet.
My opinion in brief: It is unconstitutional for US public schools to use commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software because the use of such software blocks access to material that is constitutionally protected and requires local school officials to delegate (abdicate) responsibility for making decisions regarding the appropriateness of material for students to third party companies that are not held
publicly accountable. These companies are not blocking based on local community standards and protect all information about their criteria, processes, keywords, database of blocked sites, and corporate relationships with other clients who might be influencing decision-making as confidential, proprietary trade secrets. The fact that school officials can override the system does not resolve the concerns because such overriding frequently does not occur, is not timely, and forces students who are seeking sensitive material in a position of having to request such access.
In accord with the findings of the NRC, the use of such technology denies access to large amounts of perfectly appropriate material. Further, the chair of the committee, Dick Thornberg, noted that the report would disappoint those expecting a technological quick fix to resolving this problem and would disappoint school officials who are seeking surrogates for the more important responsibilities of education and supervision.
It should be noted that the ALA decision did not directly impact the CIPA requirements for schools. I believe it is possible to comply with CIPA without using commercial proprietary-protected technology protection measures.
An analysis is now available related to the recent ruling in the ALA challenge to CIPA and the implications for schools:
Who Defines Evil?
Statement Regarding the Kaiser Family Foundation Study on How Filtering Affects Access to Health Information
This analysis includes a checklist for districts to assess the manner in which they are supporting the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students. I really do hope that school administrators will take a close look at how they are addressing these issues in schools. I will be publishing a guide on how to address these issues in a comprehensive manner, including guidance from the NRC report, next fall.
One disturbing finding in the NRC report is that nobody is teaching kids how to avoid getting to the wrong kinds of sites and what to do if they accidently get to these sites. Kids are being left on their own to figure this out -- because schools have "protected them" by installing filtering software. The other disturbing finding was that when asked by the NRC committee, educators universally indicated that the use of filtering was to protect the school -- from liability and bad press -- not to protect kids.
Most filtering works by blocking certain categories of information. This information can be found on the company's web site -- but sometimes it is difficult to locate. What is blocked within these categories is a protected trade-secret.
Some filtering systems also have a real-time blocking process that works based on key-words. These key-words are protected by the companies as trade-secrets.
Sometimes tech directors will tell educators what categories are being blocked. Sometimes it is difficult to get these answers.
Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Director, Responsible Netizen
Center for Advanced Technology in Education
5214 University of Oregon, College of Education
Eugene, Oregon 97405
Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats
Responding to the Challenge of Online Social Aggression, Threats, and Distress $34.95
Nancy E. Willard