Seth Finkelstein - Press


Vanity, vanity. I enjoy seeing my name in the web-papers. I'm nowhere near famous enough to be jaded. Top items:

January 2005: New York Times - CBS News Draws Ire of Bloggers (January 17, 2005) (mirror ) has a mention of me in connection with verifying CBS copy-protected their Dan Rather / 60 Minutes Memos report.

December 2003: Greplaw had an extensive interview with me: Seth Finkelstein on Censorware, Copyright and Blogs

DMCA Google Blogs Legal Censorware Misc

Wired News (October 29, 2003), covered my winning a renewed 2003 DMCA exemption, in New Ways to Skirt DMCA - Legally! . They quote me extensively.

The EFF DMCA exemptions press release (October 28, 2003) credits me.

Additional coverage:

PCWorld (December 06, 2002) has an article Digital Copyright Law Up for Challenge , which discusses my earlier success at helping to win one of two exemptions to that law (DMCA) in 2000, and a DMCA guide I've written.
Also a follow-up (March 07, 2003): Copyright Office considers exemptions to DMCA

The Register (December 12, 2002) also covers this: Deadline nears for DMCA exemptions

And EFF (December 18, 2002) mentions my DMCA comment


My analysis of Google Spam Filtering Gone Bad (October 7, 2003) received extensive coverage:

My report on a UK censorship campaign, Chester's Guide to Molesting Google (February 2003) was covered on the UK site The Register "Google in paedo censorship debacle"
This resulted in a follow-up letter, Molesting Google

Note also quotes in The Register - "Google to fix blog noise problem" (September 7, 2003) : "Or as Seth Finkelstein reminds us, "Google is good, but not God."" and in The Register - "Big Brother nominated for Google Award" (April 7, 2004) about Google and privacy.


EFFector Vol. 17, No. 42 - Nitke v. Ashcroft Trial Highlights Difficulty of Applying "Community Standards" to Online Speech (November 19, 2004): "The two-day trial featured testimony by expert witnesses including UK security expert Ben Laurie and EFF Pioneer Award Winner Seth Finkelstein, both of whom testified that trying to determine the true physical locations of Internet users is both difficult and costly."

See also: The Filter No. 7.01 (Harvard Berkman Center) Defining "Community Standards" for the Internet (January 5, 2005)
NCSF - Sex, Art & Politics Takes on John Ashcroft (September 7, 2004)
NCSF - Expert Witness Reports Submitted in Nitke v. Ashcroft (December 18, 2003)


An IEE Spectrum article, The Net Effect (on The Great Firewall Of China) (June 2005) quoted me extensively
"According to Seth Finkelstein, a Cambridge, Mass., network programmer and an expert on Internet censorship, router-based censorship can and does take place at any point in the network. ... "Our political system is vastly different from China's," Finkelstein says, "but if we had a national panic, if we felt we had to censor the Internet, it's scary how easily it could be done." [and more]

I've had a very nice mention in Slashdot - Belkin Routers Route Users to Censorware Ad (November 7, 2003)
"the Crystal Ball Award goes to Seth Finkelstein who ... asked "What if censorship is in the router?" "

I've been quoted by Associated Press (June 23, 2003) (Seth Finkelstein ... is a leading expert on Internet filters )

I'm profiled in the New York Times of July 19, 2001! See Cracking the Code Of Online Censorship

My top honor:


Ennis, Finkelstein, and Perrin Presented Awards at EFF's Tenth Annual Pioneer Awards Ceremony
Seth Finkelstein - Anti-censorship activist and programmer Seth Finkelstein spent hundreds of unpaid and uncredited hours over several years to decrypt and expose to public scrutiny the secret contents of the most popular censorware blacklists. Seth has been active in raising the level of public awareness about the dangers that Internet content blocking software and rating/labeling schemes pose to freedom of communication. His work has armed many with information of great assistance in the fight against government mandated use of these systems.

The EFF Statement on H.R. 4577 Mandatory Censorware Provisions (Dec. 22, 2000) lauds me as

Seth Finkelstein, the programmer principally responsible for the investigation of X-Stop filtering software and its flaws, vital to the landmark Mainstream Loudoun victory, ...

A New York Times column, Compressed Data: Law Newsletter Has to Sneak Past Filters (April 2, 2001), quoted me:

Seth Finkelstein, a programmer and consultant who has studied filters, is well aware of their limitations. "Ironically," he said, "people are being forced to work around a computer's natural stupidity."

A UK-based report, UK Parliament Mail - The Ministry Of Silly Messages , was mentioned on the UK site Need-To-Know (Feb 7, 2003) and covered in The Inquirer - Man solves un-parliamentary language conundrum

An MSNBC story (July 1, 2002) quoted me about Websense.

In late 2000, my anticensorware work resulted in two stories on the web site

Previously, I was one of the co-Founders of Censorware Project and volunteered my skills as chief programmer (increasing legal risk and lack of needed defense/support for me ended my participation). I was mentioned in press releases criticizing:

Related, I was also quoted in an article on censorship in Rethinking Schools - Summer 1998


The Register -Re62pc of netizens unaware of Pajamahadeen militants (January 5, 2005 ) notes me observing on the collapse of the blog-powered Howard Dean campaign, in terms of the mathematics of the choir preached to itself.

American Libraries - Starting a Bicycle Club: Weblogs Revisited (January 2004) extensively discusses my analogy comparing blogging to bicycling.

The Register = Blogging 'cruelty' allegations rock post-DNC calm (August 6 2004) "Seth Finkelstein sums up ..."


In other articles, I've been quoted in such places as:

I'm quite touched that Christopher Montgomery of Xiphophorus complimented me in an interview, by naming me as a mentor

And has made me an Honorary Teenager .

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