June 17, 1999: The House of Representatives passed legislation requiring content filtration of internet information entering Department of Education supported networks. As of November, 1999, no action has yet been taken by the Senate. The lack of definitions, and fundamentally erroneous idea that credible experts are monitoring the entire internet should be questioned by every thinking person. The public tax money being spent on this vague suppression is an affront to freedom of information. According to this crude filter, all "hackers" are criminals (this is not true, let me assure you), and information about "alternative religions," "drug culture," "war," and "missiles" (most produced by U.S. companies!) is taboo. Not only does this impoverish the informational value of the internet, it also creates a terrible situation in which not even teachers using these networks know what they are not allowed to see, and in what ways the real internet is at variance with the sanitized and illusory one that is being created for them by a dozen moral police at Websense Corporation.

[The Source of the following perniciously idiotic rhetoric]

Web Content Filtering

Access to certain inappropriate areas of the World Wide Web and other Internet resources are blocked from the Department of Education network. We are blocking access to Internet sites with the following content.

The Web Content Filtering vendor (NetPartners) uses category definitions to assign each site to the appropriate category.

According to Websense, in case of uncertainty, a collaborative decision is made as to whether a site is included and in what category it is placed. Additionally, the Master Database is continually checked for accuracy and quality. Net Partners does not make value judgments with regards to the categories or sites with the WebSENSE Master Database. The categories have been selected based on feedback from the business and education communities regarding what would be deemed unacceptable, inappropriate, or undesirable in a business or school setting with regard to employee productivity, student safety, or threat of legal action.

Requirements for school-site filtering. By installing a NT server to run Websense on their LAN, schools can choose to further restrict access to additional Internet content categories. We have purchased a site license for the Websense software, schools can use the software at not cost to the school. All DOE schools must block access to the following categories: Adult Entertainment/Sex, Gambling, Hacking, and Weapons.

[The Source of the following perniciously idiotic rhetoric]

Filtered Categories

Adult Entertainment/Sex Full or partial nudity of individuals. This might include strip clubs, lingerie, adult-oriented chat rooms, erotica, sex toys, light adult humor and literature, escort services, password-verification sites, prostitution, and so forth. Sexually explicit language describing acts that would fit into this category are also categorized here. Heterosexual acts involving more than two people, homosexual and bisexual acts, orgies, swinging, bestiality, sadism/masochism, child pornography, fetishes, and related hard-core adult humor and literature.

Cult/New Age Promoting or containing information on witchcraft, black arts, voodoo, spirituality, horoscope, alternative religions, cults, UFO's.

Drugs Promotion of illegal drugs and/or drug culture information, or drug-related contraband.

Gambling Any site that promotes gambling or allows online gambling.

Hacking Any site promoting questionable or illegal use of equipment and/or software to hack passwords, create viruses, gain access to other computers, and so on. Does not include security information sites.

Illegal Promotion or information describing how to commit nonviolent, illegal activity such as drunk driving, mail fraud, picking locks, white or blue collar crime of a non-technical nature.

Militancy Any site promoting or containing information on militia operations, terrorist activity, war, riots, rebellion groups. Advocates of violence to overthrow government.

Racism/Hate Ethnic impropriety, hate speech, anti-Semitism, racial clubs/conflicts.

Tasteless Hard-to-stomach sites, including offensive, worthless or useless sites, grotesque depictions.

Violence Any site promoting or containing information on violent acts, murder, rape, violent criminal activity, gangs, gross depictions caused by acts of man, excess profanity.

Weapons Any site promoting/containing information on guns, knives, missiles, bombs, or other weapons.

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