AR-Online logo 



Posted Sunday, December 13, 1998


More on Cyber Patrol

William Thoreau has created this Dossier on the Insidious  Cyber Thought Police












Related Links

Electronic Frontier Foundation Homepage
Technical Law Journal
Computer Professionals/Social Responsibility
Teens Fighting Censorship-Peacefire
Privacy and Cyber Liberties-EPIC
Internet Freedom- I.F.E.A.
Ethical Spactacle Homepage


As a free speech advocate, I want to alert as many netizens as possible to the alarming increase in censorship on the Internet. Just as Hollywood and the Media restrict their messages to satisfy the taste of the politically correct, without regard for the majority, now a similar elitist mindset is working overtime to accomplish the same thing in Cyberspace. The means for silencing this time is not controlling airtime, but rather filtering software programs such as CyberPatrol, CyberSitter, and Surfwatch, along with "terms of service" policies from ISPs like those recently imposed on subscribers of America Online. Censorship is a warning of the coming politically correct New World Order.


Recently I upgraded my computer system with more memory and a new 56k modem. One of the free software packages that came with the modem was something called "CyberPatrol." I knew very little about this software, except that it was suppose to protect children from pronography on the Internet.

Unlike most people, I've learned not to take things at face value, but instead ask questions before deciding anything. This approach has saved me many tears. Users of filtering devices that limit Internet access should be fully aware of their limitations before they use them. If they are not, they cannot legitimately participate as informed consumers. So before installing CyberPatrol on my computer, I wanted to know just what I was being protected from if I installed it!

I went to the homepage of the company that puts out this filtering software, The Learning Company at Cambridge, Mass., and clicked the CyberPatrol icon, which was in the shape of a police shield. After writing an e-mail request for a list of all the websites they are blocking (read censoring), I was basically told that their "CyberNot" list was not for public consumption.


The "CyborNot" list is a list of all the websites that are censored by the "CyberNot Oversight Committee" who decides what sites get censored based on a set of criteria they deem appropriate. To my dismay, many sites that have been censored have more to do with political, social, or religious speech than with pronography!

I asked the thought police at CyberPatrol to provide me with a complete list of every website and newsgroup that was being blocked regardless of their content or category and here is their reply:

I'm sorry but i can not (sic) give you that proprietary information.
Please visit for more information.
Hope this helps.


This e-mail only helped to raise my curiousity as to what this outfit was up to? Any above board company would not hesitate to disclose information the public has a right to know. And I had a right to know what websites I would be prevented from interacting with if I install their software.

If the committee wanted to stop people from visiting these websites, they would be happy to inform anyone what sites they were trying to discourage. So there is an obvious contradiction between what they say (don't visit these dangerous sites), and what they are doing (keeping these sites secret). The CyberNot Oversight Committee wants to select the censored websites, but want to keep that secret. My guess is, they think they know what is best for you and your children , but they want to keep that a secret too.


After surfing around I was amazed at the number and variety of sites that were or have been censored by CyberPatrol and other censoring outfits. Among these were: The American Family Association, a group of southern fundamentalist churches; The SPOTLIGHT, a populist national subcription newspaper that has been in existence for over twenty years; Glide United Methodist Church; some of the Quakers webpages, also known as The Society of Friends; David Duke homepage, who is a Christian Republican officeholder from Louisiana; and Zero Population Growth website.

According to the Ethical Spectacle site which appears to be libertarian, CyberPatrol blocks the premier Usenet archive and search engine, Deja News. Censorware Project which can be viewed on the same site, also says CyberPatrol blocks a great many sites that do not deserve to be.

Another page fighting censorship is which appears to be on the left. It states that the following sites have been censored at one time or another by CyberPatrol, which is the leading censorer of Internet sites, but gets a lot of company from Cybersitter:The Electronic Frontier Foundation; Animal Rights Resource site at Environlink; Queer Resources Directory, a homosexual publication; AIDS Authority and HIV/AIDS Info Center, both dissiminate health information; Planned Parenthood; NOW; and M.I.T. Student Association for Freedom of Expression. Actually, the list of censored sites must be quite extensive, but only full disclosure will tell us how pervasive censorship really is.

This list includes left-wing, libertarian, populist, militias and pro-gun advocates, foundamentalist, and the right-wing, which is hit hardest. But the point is, regardless of their ideology, these individuals and groups have nothing to do with pronography and should not be censored just because some politically correct czar thinks so.

What may not be obvious to those on the right is that those on the left can be politically INcorrect too. The politically correct thought police want to form the minds of our young people to be neither left nor right. It wants `dumbed-down' humanoids for the twenty-first century who fit into a very narrow mentality where conflect does not exit, but neither does `the educated man', individual or group identity, nor spiritual expression. The elitist thought police, who are still in the process of defining what will be acceptable or objectionable, want to prevent any intellectual stimulation or original thinking that will be disruptive to the creeds they are devising for the New World Order under the guise of political correctness. So the censoring - of newsgroups and websites that stray too far to the left or to the right of the narrow p.c. theology - becomes a form of behavior modification. By accepting their censorship you are being conditioned in accordance with their thinking.

This censorship is not unrelated to the punishment of thought and speech, which gave birth to "hate crimes." Let's say you punch someone in the face. That is a behavior that is called "assult" and is punishable. The law punishes behavior only. The thought you had or the words you said when you punched the other person should,according to the thought police, determine if this action be punished as prescribed by law or recieve even greater punishment. It all depends on whether or not they dislike what you said.They want to separate speech from action and punish it as a crime in itself. When a society punishes its citizens for their speech, instead of behavior, it imitates a totalitarian state.


It is unfortunate that good folk like the fundamentalist Christians who think they are trying to do the right thing, cannot see through the bait and switch deception of the thought police. The bait being offered is a promise to protect their kids from indecencies on the Internet. For the past several years the religious right, as their media friends call them, and other parents have opposed the low level of morality, the high level of violence, the glorification of drugs and alcohol, and the promotion of sexual promiscuity. All of these run counter to their beliefs. Dispite political and grass roots efforts, little has changed. The pat answer the media always gives to any complaint is, "If you don't like what you see, turn the channel."

The filtering programs must have seemed like the answer to their prayers. Out of a frustration with trying to raise their children properly in the midst of the contradictory `popular culture,' these trusting souls were lead to believe censorship was a solution, if they called it "blocking" or "editing". Little did they realize that their own allies' websites, (like The American Family Association, The Society of Friends, and pro-life groups) were being censored by these same filters. By niavely accepting censorship as their solution, they become, in effect, their own enemy. The `religious right' should stop and think before calling for censorship on various forms of "immorality" because there are forces that will be happy to accommodate them for their own cynical reasons. The thought police weren't after pronography nearly as much as speech that does not pass their litmus test of political correctness.


In reviewing the long list of criteria CyberPatrol uses for censoring websites and newsgroups, many indicate a authoritarian mindset. For example, under Intolerance category, Cyber Patrol wants to prevent ethnic groups from taking pride in their heritage by imposing the non-senseical and invasive criterium that says if a website shows a picture or text as more favorable to one group over another group, that website should be censored!

Applied to the real world this shows that truth and reason do not stand in the way of the thought police. Of course members of any group celebrating its identity will communicate in some way their preference for their own kin. That is only natural. What group who celebrates its culture and heritage is going to say that they are lower than everyone else? And if they say they are `equal' to all other groups, then the group would not have a basis for celebrating itself. Even government agencies have diversity days for employees in which different groups take turns celebrating their groups identity and history, with the possible exception of White males who are not always given this same opportunity.

But if we allow CyberPatrol to impose this absurd criterium on these diversity celebrations that are encouraged by government and corporations alike, they would not be allowed on the Internet. So perhaps we will not be able to see St.Patrick's Day parade or read about it on the Internet because of this criterium. Nor will Jews be allowed to display pictures or text that claim they suffered more than other groups during World War II. According to this criterium, holocaust museums are unfit for Internet consumption. The Black Muslims would also have a hard time surviving on the Internet if censorship were executed across the board based on this criterium.


The CyberPatrol software in your computer functions as a means to silence an assortment of free expression without disclosing what websites you are losing access to. This does not seem to be very American. In fact, it is probably an infringement on the right of free speech guaranteed to all Americans.

Recently the Supreme Court held that a content-based Internet regulation intended to prevent the transmission of material harmful to minors was unconstitutional because it suppressed speech adults were constitutionally entitled to send and receive. The court said:" is true that we have repeatedlly recognized the government interest in protecting children from harmful materials. But that interest does not justify an unnecessarily broad suppression of speech addressed to adults." (ACLU v Reno) This would include political and religious speech. And a Virginia district court ruled that,"...(a) library may not selectively restrict certain categories of Internet speech because it disfavors their content."(see Mainstream Loudoun v Loudoun County Libraries.) Both cases can be found at www.techlawjournal. com/censorship.

It appears this is exactly what the thought police at AOL, CyberPatrol and other places are doing. They are selectively censoring religious and political speech because they disfavor their content. To make matters worst, politicians like Sen.McCain (R-Az) have just succeeded in passing a law that REQUIRES censorship by public institutions in order to receive certain Federal funds (see The Communications Decency Act.1998). When politicians like McCain disregard our constituional rights we should waste no time in booting them out of office. But the above laws do not apply to corporations. They can make any policies they like just so long as they are not directly in violation of existing law. For corporations the only solution is a boycott of all of their products.



While most censorship has been imposed on the political right, many sites from the left have been also. While I expected "", the flagship of White Nationalism, to be promptly punished with censorship by the thought police, I did not expect to find homosexual and feminist sites censored, since CyberPatrol claimed to have these groups represented on their CyberNot Oversight Committee. This presented a paradox that I was obliged to unraval.

The answer lies in any of three possibilities or a combination of them. First, the banning of both right and left-wing sites fits into the New World Order theory with its narrow strip of politcal correct thought that must not be violated, as discribed above. Secondly, because there were so many right-wing sites censored it was encumbered upon the thought police to censor some sites on the left in an attempt to appear objective and fairminded.

Finally, and somewhat intriguingly, a report by Bruce Meeks and Declan McCullagh, which I found near the end of my research, indicates that the CyberNot Committee with its left-wing bias membership was not doing most of the censoring at the time of the report. According to "Keys to the Kingdom", although there were homosexuals and feminist on the committee, they were not privy to all the censored sites. It seems the oversight committee meets every few weeks but "the oversight group never actually sees the previously top-secret `CyberNot' list. They don't know what's *really* banned." So essentially the committee is there for appearances, while the real censorers do their dirty deeds in secret behind closed doors..

The insidious thought police at CyberPatrol and A.O.L. are in full gear because they do not sense much opposition. Their deception to protect children while they attack freedom is working. The faster they move now the greater hold they will have - until Americans wake up to what is going on. Since we passively accepted the take-over of our television sets and classrooms, they assume we are still asleep and we will let it happen again. Once the thought police gain control they will never let go, and we will have ourselves to blame for the suppression of speech that will also be the burden of our progeny.


Here are some of the things you can do right now as a concerned netizen.

BOYCOTT AMERICA ONLINE. If you subscribe to AOL, cancel your subscription and join another ISP who does not censor. The thought police at AOL are very opposed to equal time for Whites. Recently after purging many webpages belonging to White males, they refused to remove one that belonged to an anti-White radical Mexican group, dispite repeated requests to exercise fairness. So if you are White and Proud don't give you dollars to AOL. There are many good ISP like Mindspring that do not censor and some even charge less. Check around. (see AOLsucks newsgroup for war stories on AOL

DELETE CYBERPATROL or any other filtering software that does not let you choose the sites to block or that adds to the list of blocked sites without your knowledge. While you're at it, send them e-mail letting them know you oppose their lack of honesty by not disclosing what the people have a right to know.

E-MAIL ANY WEBSITE that has been blocked and let them know you are in solidarity with them against the forces of censorship. They will surely be pleased to hear from you. Hopefully they will contack each other and explore the possibility of a class action suit for violation of thier civil liberties.

GET ON NEWSGROUPS dealing with social, cultural, political and religious issues and awake others to this censorship. Tell them about the big bait & switch and who the real targets are.

WRITE, E-MAIL, fax, or call the corporate headquarters of CyberPatrol's sponcers to let them know that you are disappointed they lent their good name for questionable purposes. A T & T, GTE, and IBM allow their logos to be used on the CyberPatrol page. Many other companies have also endorsed CyberPatrol. Make no mistake about it, The Learning Company and its CyberPatrol division are slick. Their software is appealing. They were undoubtedly skillful in getting people at these corporations to support their "humanitarian" objectives. These corporations were taken in, just as many of us were. Now they must be awaken too - by you.



Finally, a word to those who do not want to support censorship but still feel that they must do something to prevent their children from some of the smutty sites on the Internet. First, preventing access to smut on the Internet will not do much to eliminate its presence. It is readily available in and around schools, newsstands, and on television. Secondly, it has been shown that these filters really do not work as well as some claim. (Please see for more details.)

Thirdly, and most importantly, the best defense against outside corruption is to teach your child good character. The folks at, which is a teen website fighting censorship says it nicely: " other human being except you knows best what is and isn't appropriate for them. (your children) By learning to use the Internet with your can instill in them the values that you want them to use..." in any situation when you are not present.

This would be far more effective than shifting this responsibility to the thought police at CyberPatrol or AOL. Technology cannot substitute for your guidance, particularly when those who produce that technology tend toward a totalitarian mindset. They do not care about your children, I promise you. They care about what they want to achieve, which is a society that is not better but, in fact, much worst for your children than what we have now.

Until they make a filtering program that you can totally control and one that no one can add to without your knowledge, your children's welfare is your responsibility. This goes beyond using stop-gap measures that wind up working against you instead of for you. If you draw the line, then you know the limits. If you let some stranger take this responsibility from you, then you are at their mercy. All things considered, there is too much at stake to let this happen.

© W.Thoreau; September 1998


The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

[ Go back to AR Online Index | Index to AR.#14 | Go to Main Action Report Index ]

Order books | Auschwitz Index | Irving Index | Irving Page | Irving Book-List | Other FP Authors
Buchladen | Auschwitz | Irving-Verzeichnis | -Hauptseite | -Bücher | Weitere FP-Autoren
© Focal Point 1998 [e-mail] write to David Irving