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Cyber Patrol sues codebreakers (the AP story is *wrong*)

[ Thanks to [email protected] Bennett of
Peacefire.org for this report. ]

Cyber Patrol has asked a judge for a restraining order to force
the “Cyber Patrol codebreakers” — Eddy L O Jansson in Sweden and
Matthew Skala in Canada — to stop distributing their program that
can decrypt the list of sites blocked by Cyber Patrol.

(Unfortunately, the Associated Press completely botched the
story about this incident, so if you’ve read about it on the AP
wire, please see below to clear up any confusion.)

WHAT HAPPENED: Jansson and Skala released a program that can
decrypt the list of sites blocked by Cyber Patrol. (This is
basically the same thing that Peacefire did for X-Stop and I-Gear
in the last few weeks, when we were also releasing reports about
what percentage of sites blocked by these programs were obvious
mistakes.) Jansson and Skala’s program can be downloaded from:

http://hem.passagen.se/eddy1/reveng/cp4/cp4break.html

The authors stated that they wrote this program in order to give
customers the ability to see what sites Cyber Patrol blocks, so
they can make an informed decision about whether to use Cyber
Patrol or whether to recommend it.

WHAT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STORY SAID: The AP wire story, which
is at:

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1574168.html

claimed that Jansson and Skala’s program was just a tool for
decoding the parental control password and hacking around Cyber
Patrol. This is *not* what the program does, and it’s not why Cyber
Patrol is suing them. The primary purpose of the program is to
decode the list, not turn Cyber Patrol off. (Peacefire has already
had information on our site about how to turn Cyber Patrol off for
over a year and a half, and Cyber Patrol never sued us.)

The confusion has arisen because Cyber Patrol knows it would
look bad for them, if people read that they were suing to stop
parents and other customers of their product from finding out what
Cyber Patrol really blocks. For that reason, they have been trying
to spin this as a case of their company trying to stop two hackers
from showing kids how to disable Cyber Patrol. Please note that
that is *not* what the case is about. (If you think this sounds
cynical, you can go to the original URL of the report at http://hem.passagen.se/eddy1/reveng/cp4/cp4break.html
and see for yourself 🙂 )

In response to threats of legal censorship from Cyber Patrol
against the authors of the original codebreaker, we have mirrored
their essay and their codebreaking program on our Web site.

-Bennett

[email protected]
http://www.peacefire.org
(425) 649 9024

Related Story:
SJ Mercury/AP:
Software filter firm sues hackers
(Mar 16, 2000)