Internet filtering

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There are a number of internet/content filtering companies that have expressed interest in deploying their filters as a client or across a network (via regional servers).

The language of these companies is largely one of fear and a malicious world, which can sometimes be hard to reconcile with openness and unfiltered access to knowledge, but the best offer services that provide transparency and flexibility. This page is a collection of information for use by deployments that require filtering.


DansGuardian is an open-source pure filtering service that matches on words and semantics. Services built on top of this could ideally be shared among countries.


Netsweeper is a commercial content filtering company that has expressed interest in deploying their filters as a client or across a network on servers. They seem to have some open source contributors, but are themselves proprietary.

They work in W.Va, with school children in Great Britain, with some smaller groups in various other countries, and with school boards implementing laptop programs in various north american schools.

Their tools run on Windows and Linux, and include

  • a policy server : applying policy decisions based on rules, with good/bad categories chosen based on rules governed by NS (and a whitelist/blacklist).
  • a client : something deployment on the laptops
  • Telco-level setup, on or off the main network
  • reporting from schools

Random features:

  • Image recognition with a group from U. Waterloo

Support for De, En, Es, Fr, Ja, Pt.
International experience
They have worked in 8 countries, though a primarily English-language company. Re: OLPC, they have been interested in us as a vehicle for their work for over a year, and have been briefly in touch with the Haiti ministry and with Peru. There is some future work ongoing in India.
NS have regional servers in a dozen parts of the world to support updating of categories by matching/nnets. They are mainly interested in network performance and their algorithms for making filtering and updates faster.


Symantec have Internet safety materials for children, among other texts and services.

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