Press Articles about CPHack

The Register: The Cyber Patrol saga: you have your say
(9 Mar 2001 05:32pm) by Kieren McCarthy
The Register credits Surf Control's reconsideration to queries from its readers.
The Register: Cyber Patrol Unblocks The Register
(9 Mar 2001 12:27pm) by Drew Cullen
Surf Control rescinds its ban.
Plastic: Cyber Patrol Censors The Register
(8 Mar 2001 03:40pm)
News and commentary about Cyber Patrol's censorship of The Register.
The Register: This story is why Cyber Patrol banned The Register
(8 Mar 2001 05:50am) by Drew Cullen
Surfcontrol responds to reader inquiries saying The Register was banned for their earlier news article about Peacefire's program to disable Cyber Patrol.
The Register: Cyber Patrol bans The Register
(5 Mar 2001 09:50pm) by Kieren McCarthy
The Register, source of so many amusing articles about this case, is informed by a reader that they too have been banned.
The Register: Porn-filter disabler unleashed
(19 Dec 2000 05:43pm) by John Leyden
About Peacefire releasing filter-disabling software in responce to the USA Congress passing a bill making library funding conditional on their use of filtering software.
New York Times: Lifting the Curtain on Web Filter Strategies
(16 Nov 2000) by Lisa Guernsey
This spring, the A.C.L.U. defended three Web publishers who linked to a small program that circumvented the locks on CyberPatrol, an Internet filter, to view the list of sites that it blocked.
Slashdot: CPHack Appeal Denied
(30 Sep 2000 05:50am)
The court makes clear that the appellants were NOT affected by the original judgment and hence cannot be considered to be bound by it (or appeal it) - similar reasoning would also be applied in other cases such as the DeCSS suits, so this is a good look at what standing those mass-mailings of MPAA threat letters really have in law.
SF Weekly: Babes in Toyland: Two hackers piss off Mattel and spawn an Internet legal imbroglio
(17 May 2000) by Bernice Yeung
A review of the history of the case.
Boston Globe: Keep copyrights safe on the net
(16 May 2000) by Irwin Schwartz
The Boston Globe should be ashamed for running such a singularly ignorant editorial by one of Mattel's lawyers in the case without identifying his role. The defendants crowed that they were 'youth access' activists ... [However] the Internet is not Sherwood Forest and hackers are not Robin Hood and the merry men ...
Computerworld: Battle brews over reverse engineering
(8 May 2000) by Ann Harrison
Recent court decisions limiting developers' rights to reverse-engineer software products have sparked an outcry by critics who say these actions could severely limit developers and users trying to interoperate or find flaws in commercial software.
Seattle Weekly: No-Tell Mattel
(8 May 2000) by Angela Gunn
Censorware maker slams the censor busters. CyberPatrol, a product offered by the charming people at Mattel (the El Segundo-based home of Barbie and, as Seal Press will tell you, of a pack of nasty lawyers), blocks access not only to naughty pictures and hate sites but also to the quilting club at Carnegie-Mellon University, journalism-related Usenet groups, and information on such hot-button topics as chess and Chinese food. We know this not because Mattel told us so, but because two intrepid hackers unraveled the secrets of CyberPatrol with a program they called 'cphack.'
Wired: ACLU's Filter Appeal Rejected
(13 Apr 2000 03:30pm) by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge in Boston has rejected the ACLU's request to reconsider his ruling in a case over the Cyber Patrol filtering software, setting the stage for a lengthy battle before an appeals court.
APB News: ACLU Fights Decision to Quash Hacking Program
(12 Apr 2000 12:06am) by David Noack
An original article which is a little less biased than the spin APB News parroted earlier.
Register: ACLU appeals Mattel ruling
(6 Apr 2000 12:22am) by Thomas C. Greene
Banned URLs should be revealed to all.
Register: Cyber Patrol ban list published on the Web
(5 Apr 2000 02:51pm) by Thomas C. Greene
Anyone eager to know which Usenet newsgroups and Web URLs are blacklisted by Mattel's Cyber Patrol censorware application, but too lazy to compile and run the cphack utility which decrypts the list, is welcome to visit the Cyber Patrol Block List Web site.
cnet: ACLU lawyers appeal Cyber Patrol copyright ruling
(5 Apr 2000 07:10pm) by Patricia Jacobus
In their ongoing defense of Internet free speech, civil liberties lawyers today lodged another legal attack against a company that filters online pornography.
Wired: ACLU Appeals Mattel Ruling
(5 Apr 2000 07:00pm)
The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday it is appealing a Boston judge's order, in a lawsuit brought by Mattel against the 'cphack' authors, prohibiting the distribution of the program that reveals Cyber Patrol's blacklisted sites.
Slashdot: 'Battling Censorware'
(4 Apr 2000)
Lawrence Lessig has written a short and sweet essay, Battling Censorware, explaining why the DMCA allows Mattel to claim the rights to CPHack.
Wired: Mattel learns its lesson
(3 Apr 2000 01:20pm)
If Mattel has learned anything from its year-long ownership of the Learning Co. software business, it's that you cut your losses and move on.
Industry Standard: Battling Censorware
(3 Apr 2000) by Lawrence Lessig
Copyright law is limited by the Constitution. But when there are conflicts with the First Amendment, some courts lean the other way.
TBTF: The long, sad tale of cphack
(31 Mar 2000) by Keith Dawson
Account and calendar of events in the case.
TopGold: CPHack Appeal Denied
(31 Mar 2000)
Register: Bizarre language in Mattel ruling
(30 Mar 2000 05:25am) by Thomas C. Greene
'Slavery' and 'genocidal slaughter' cited in copyright case. Starts out with the marvelous quote, The Register is more than a little concerned with the mental health of US District Judge Edward Harrington ...
CNN: Order bans mirror sites that skirt Cyber Patrol, or does it?
(30 Mar 2000 03:17am) by Richard Stenger
Attorneys disagreed Wednesday as to whether a new court order applies to mirror sites that post a utility to bypass a popular Internet filter. Includes interesting tidbit about the case spurring the new coinage spampoena.
The Martlet: U of Victoria hacker settles dispute with Mattel
(30 Mar 2000) by Patti Edgar
Story in Matthew Skala's campus newspaper A computer science student has avoided a costly legal battle with one of the world's largest toy makers.
Reuters: Cyber Patrol ruling confuses 'mirror sites'
(29 Mar 2000 11:16am)
Judge's decision banning 'cphack' program may -- or may not -- apply to sites that link to the offending code.
Slashdot: Cphack, the GPL, and So Much More
(29 Mar 2000 10:32am)
Strong criticism of the previous Wired article. Several posters think the reporter does not understand the GPL. Some discussion on the validity of shrink-wrap and click-wrap licenses.
Wired: Mattel Ruling Confuses Hackers
(29 Mar 2000 06:00am) by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge's vague ruling in a case over a program that reveals Cyberpatrol's secret blacklist has left the Net's hacking community thoroughly confused. The Mockery of Mattel
(29 Mar 2000 12:45am) by Matt Michie
Boston Herald: Judge to hackers: You've been banned
(29 Mar 2000) by Tim McLaughlin
The most biased crock of PR I've seen yet. A federal judge in Boston yesterday struck a blow for parents yesterday when he blasted two international hackers who wrote a software program that allowed children to view smut on the Internet.
Industry Standard: Judge Sides With Cyber Patrol
(28 Mar 2000 10:59pm) by Elinor Abreu
But questions linger on whether Web sites may post copies of a controversial program that decodes the filtering software.
cnet: Judge sides with Net filtering firm in copyright case
(28 Mar 2000 08:30pm) by Patricia Jacobus
A federal judge in Boston today clamped down on three young Web operators who posted a program allowing children to get around Internet sites blocked by filtering firm Cyber Patrol.
Register: Mattel buys copyrights to Cyber Patrol crack
(28 Mar 2000 05:13am) by Thomas C. Greene
Slick PR move in Boston courtroom.
Reuters: Judge files injunction against software hackers
(28 Mar 2000)
A U.S. District judge in Boston on Tuesday forbade two computer hackers from posting source code that could lead others to the list of Web sites banned by the Cyber Patrol Internet filtering software, which is sold by a unit of toymaker Mattel Inc.
CNN: Cyber Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar
(28 Mar 2000 02:37pm) by Richard Stenger
...But whether the company succeeds in shutting down mirror sites that have posted the utility depends on a spirited and perhaps groundbreaking legal battle involving copyright laws for open source software.
ZDNet: Smut Blockers: Cure Worse Than the Disease?
(28 Mar 2000) by Jesse Berst
Jesse Berst editorial about censorware. Too bad they gave in. This issue needs to be debated. Filtering companies should publish the criteria they use for blocking Web content.
Industry Standard: CPHack Programmers Throw in the Towel
(28 Mar 2000) by Keith Dawson
Two cryptography buffs, a Canadian and a Swede, figured out the secrets that protect the Internet filtering program Cyber Patrol.
Boston Globe: Maker of Cyber Patrol settles with hackers who spilled secrets
(28 Mar 2000) by Hiawatha Bray
But ACLU argues deal couldn't bar others.
Wired: Mattel Can Go After Mirrors
(28 Mar 2000 03:55pm) by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge in Boston has invited Mattel to start contempt of court proceedings to shut down mirror sites in a suit over its Cyberpatrol filtering software.
Slashdot: GPL To Be Tested by Mattel?
(28 Mar 2000 08:34am)
Discussions about the Wired article and the differences between copyrights and licenses.
AP/Canoe: Anti-porn software company ends lawsuit
(28 Mar 2000)
Adds statements by Chris Hansen, ACLU lawyer to the end of the earlier AP article. Hansen said the ACLU jumped into the case because it was engaged in a continuing battle to make the list of banned sites in such products public. The broadest principle is that people who use these products ought to know what they block and what they don't block, he said. This list ought to be public.
AP/APB News: Programmers: We Won't Hack Anti-Porn Software
(28 Mar 2000 06:36am)
'Cyber Patrol' Aims to Keep Kids From Adult, Violent Sites. Another newswire smear job, with the child-at-keyboard graphic again.
Wired: Mattel Suit Takes GNU Twist
(28 Mar 2000 06:00am) by Declan McCullagh
Declan McCullagh writes about CPHack being released under the GPL.
AP: Internet Filter Maker Wins Agreement
(27 Mar 2000 11:04pm) by Martin Finucane
Martin Finucane spins, Microsystems Software said Monday that two software experts it was suing had agreed not to tamper with their Internet filtering product, Cyber Patrol, and to sign over a program they wrote that would allow children to bypass it. Four paragraphs later, he mentions that CPHack also discloses the list of sites that the product blocks users from viewing.
cnet: Filtering firm, hackers settle copyright case
(27 Mar 2000 06:45pm) by Patricia Jacobus
From the muddled language of this article, it seems like Patricia Jacobus doesn't understand what she's writing about. Cyber Patrol, a Net content filtering firm, today settled its copyright lawsuit against two computer experts who cracked into the company's software.
Wired: Mattel Stays on the Offensive
(27 Mar 2000 05:45pm) by Declan McCullagh
Upping the stakes in a battle over a utility that reveals Cyberpatrol's list of off-limits websites, Mattel threatened mirror sites with contempt charges during a court hearing Monday afternoon.
Slashdot: CyberPatrol Update - Mattel Wins?
(27 Mar 2000 05:40pm)
According to ZDNet, Eddy L.O. Jansson of Sweden and Matthew Skala of Canada have settled with Microsystems when they 'agreed Monday to abide by permanent injunctions preventing them from distributing their software, which allows users to bypass the filters. They also agreed to turn over rights to their software to Microsystems.'
CNN: Cyber Patrol settles with hackers, goes after mirror sites
(27 Mar 2000 04:25pm) by Richard Stenger
Mattel Inc. settled a civil case Monday against two hackers who created a program to bypass the company's popular Internet filter. But the giant toymaker pressed ahead against mirror sites that have posted the code, threatening them with contempt charges, according to court sources.
Industry Standard: Hackers Settle in Cyber Patrol Case
(27 Mar 2000 08:19pm) by Elinor Abreu
The defendants agree to sign over rights to a program that shows sites blocked by the filtering software.
ZDNet: Hackers settle Cyber Patrol suit
(27 Mar 2000 05:11pm)
ACLU attorney 'surprised' as programmers surrender rights to their hack of Cyber Patrol filter and agree to permanent injunction.
ZDNet: ACLU slams Cyber Patrol tactics
(27 Mar 2000 07:19pm)
The American Civil Liberties Union criticized Internet filtering software maker Microsystems Software Inc. and its parent company Mattel Inc. on Friday, accusing them of attempting to limit free speech on the Internet.
Reuters: Two hackers turn over code in Cyber Patrol flap
(27 Mar 2000 06:37pm)
Two computer hackers who had published a way to access the scrambled list of Web sites, banned by the Cyber Patrol filtering software, have turned over their computer code to the unit of toymaker Mattel Inc. that sells the program, Cyber Patrol officials said on Monday.
Wired: Mattel's Filter Fiasco to Court
(27 Mar 2000 06:00am) by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge in Boston will hear arguments on Monday over whether a program that reveals Cyberpatrol's secret blacklist should be banned from the Internet.
c-est-tout: Mattel contre les méchants pirates [Mattel vs. the wicked pirates]
(27 Mar 2000 12:29pm)
Lu sur Wired : le fabriquant de jouets Mattel a poursuivi en justice deux cryptologues qui ont developpé un programme pour voir la liste des sites Web interdits par Cyberpatrol, une filiale de Mattel. [Translate with Babelfish]
Boston Globe: Cyber censorship
(27 Mar 2000)
Editorial. Last sentence: Injunctions should not be used to stifle speech unless absolutely necessary.
CBC4Kids: Cyber Censorship?
(25 Mar 2000 03:11pm)
The previous day's CBC story, rewritten in grade school English! The software is supposed to block things like pornography. But Skala found out that it also blocks anti-nuclear sites, some journalism sites, news sites, sites about atheism (people who do not believe in God) and even the CBC. Mattel even made sure its site blocked out sites that criticized the company.
CBC: Hacker causes headache for Mattel's Cyber Patrol
(25 Mar 2000 03:11pm)
Skala wanted to know how Mattel chooses which sites go onto the program's internal list of 'bad' Web sites. Mattel won't say how it chooses its sites, and it sued Skala for publishing what he found on the list.
ZDNet: You've got a subpoena!
(24 Mar 2000 09:03pm) by Lisa M. Bowman
Call it legal spam. Lawyers in the Cyber Patrol legal battle have created an e-precedent -- sending subpoenas by e-mail.
Industry Standard: Cyber Patrol Sues Hackers
(24 Mar 2000 08:52pm) by Elinor Abreu
The company files suit over a program that lets people see which sites its filtering software blocks.
AP: Judge Allows Delivery by E-Mail
(24 Mar 2000 02:48am) by Ted Bridis
Ted Bridis continues to spin CPHack as a method to thwart the popular 'Cyber Patrol' software, which blocks children from Internet pornography, while touting the innovation of sending subpoenas by e-mail.
cnet: Filtering firm employs copyright law against Webmasters
(23 Mar 2000 08:35pm) by Patricia Jacobus
What began as a rallying cry for free speech has turned into a legal migraine for three young Webmasters who publicized decoded material belonging to an Internet firm that filters smut from children's computers.
Messaging Online: Peacefire vs. the Cyber Patrol, The Movie
(22 Mar 2000)
Humorous treatment for a screenplay based on the case, casting Leonardo Di Caprio as Eddy Jansson and Adam Sandler as Irwin Schwartz.
CNN: Cyber Patrol decoding brawl gets ugly and international
(21 Mar 2000 04:50pm) by Richard Stenger
A legal dispute between a U.S. toymaker that produces a popular Internet pornography filter and two programmers that decoded the software could heat up into a messy international brawl.
Newsbytes: Restraining Order Imposed Against Hackers
(20 Mar 2000) by Sherman Fridman
Slashdot: Mattel/Cyber Patrol Censors Critics Again
(20 Mar 2000 10:45am)
Mattel is updating the Cyber Patrol blacklists for all of their customers to include the homepages of the authors and all of the mirrors, blocked under every blocking category the product has.
USA Today: Judge helps Mattel zap effort to undermine filter
(20 Mar 2000 10:19am) by Janet Kornblum
In addition to the misleading headline, Janet Kornblum's news brief for McPaper uncritically quotes a statement from Mattel's attorney that the restraining order applies to mirror sites.
Register: Mattel sues hackers, wins injunction
(20 Mar 2000 01:45am) by Thomas C. Greene
Mattel wants the logs of all those who have downloaded cphack in order to track the identities and addresses of all persons who accessed the bypass code. While it's inconceivable that any judge in his right mind would grant such an outrageous request, the mere fact of asking is so decidedly creepy that The Register wonders if the welfare of children really ought to be trusted to these people.
Industry Standard: A Small Defeat for CyberPatrol Hackers
(20 Mar 2000) by Michelle Goldberg
As the AP reported Friday, a federal judge in Boston granted Mattel an injunction against the two creators of cphack, which allows users to bypass CyberPatrol and reveals its list of off-limits sites. It's this second part that makes CyberPatrol look so bad.
Linux Today: Judge orders CP codebreaker site shut down
(18 Mar 2000 10:46pm)
Peacefire's announcement about them setting up a mirror site network.
AP/APB News: Programmers: Judge Bars Program That Lets Kids Get Porn
(17 Mar 2000 10:31pm)
'CPHack' Can Bypass Parents' Internet Safeguards. Yesterday's AP story Judge shuts down anti-filter software, dressed up with a graphic of a child in front of a computer.
Wired: CyberPatrol Hackers Lose Round
(17 Mar 2000 05:20pm) by Declan McCullagh
A federal judge in Boston has tried to ban the distribution of a computer program that reveals CyberPatrol's secret list of sex sites.
AP: Judge issues injunction against 'cphack'
(17 Mar 2000 01:33pm) by Martin Finucane
Martin Finucane deletes the comments by the ACLU lawyer, and adds material from interviews with Irwin Schwartz, Matt Skala, and ACLU spokesperson Sydney Rubin. Still emphasizes the company line, though.
AP/MSNBC: Judge shuts down anti-filter software
(17 Mar 2000 05:56pm) by Martin Finucane
Program lets kids bypass anti-porn software via Internet. Martin Finucane slants toward the corporate line, but at least gives free speech arguments equal time at the end of the article. A federal judge Friday ordered a halt to the distribution of a computer program that allows children to bypass software designed to keep them away from Internet pornography.
AP/ABC News: Unfiltering the Internet
(17 Mar 2000) by Martin Finucane
'Cyber Patrol' Maker Criticized by Free Speech Advocates. Martin gets the other side of the story.
Linux Today: Cyber Patrol sues codebreakers (the AP story is *wrong*)
(17 Mar 2000 02:17am)
Wired: Mattel Sues Over Blocking Hack
(16 Mar 2000 11:25am) by Declan McCullagh
Toy-maker Mattel has sued two programmers who revealed how to circumvent its CyberPatrol blocking software.
AP: Software company files lawsuit against 'hackers'
(16 Mar 2000 10:53am)
Amends the previous day's AP release by adding:

Early today, activists copied the utility and details of the effort and began distributing them across the Internet on nearly two dozen Web sites that duplicated Jansson and Skala's original work. Those efforts apparently were coordinated on technology Web site, where the lawsuit was roundly condemned.

  • AP/cnet: Hackers crack online porn filters (16 Mar 2000 12:30pm)
  • AP/CNN: Software company files lawsuit against hackers (16 Mar 2000 3:07pm)
Slashdot: Mattel dislikes being embarrassed
(16 Mar 2000 12:29am)
In addition to demanding the removal of the decryption utility, Mattel is also seeking the logfiles of the Swedish ISP that hosts the decryption utility, to identify everyone who has downloaded it to date. Today's news was filled with Mattel's PR lies about their suit.
AP/SJ Mercury News: Software Co. Sues Hackers
(15 Mar 2000 08:01pm) by Ted Bridis
Ted Bridis smears the decryption program as a tool to let children view pornography. A company that makes popular software to block children from Internet pornography is suing two computer experts for distributing a method for kids to deduce their parents' password and access those forbidden Web sites.
Slashdot: The Breaking of Cyber Patrol 4
(11 Mar 2000 10:42am)
The 'encryption' used by another major brand of software, Cyber Patrol, (produced by a company repugnant enough to advertise the increase in sales after Australia passed national censorship legislation), has also been broken.