Feeds

Hardcore porn ads sneak past Excite filters

Oh dear

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Excite is under scrutiny from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after it was revealed that filtering software used on its Magellan search engine does not block children’s access to pornographic material. The loophole in Excite’s advertising policy -- uncovered following an investigation by The Register -- is so serious that the online family group, CyberAngels, has reported it to the FTC in Washington DC. "This is a consumer fraud issue," said Parry Aftab executive director of CyberAngels. "Whether it is intentional or inadvertent, there is a fraud there." A spokesperson for the FTC confirmed that a complaint had been received on Wednesday morning (US time) and that it will now consider what action to take. Magellan's "Green Light" feature sifts out "unsuitable" material when a search is carried out on the Web and is intended for use by concerned parents. If a user searches on sex-related keywords using Magellan's search engine with the Green Light function switched on it lists a string of non-pornographic Web sites. Yet the banner ad accompanying the results page will lead to sites more suited to a red light. In one case it led to a page entitled: Porno deluxe XXX Hardcore -- in your face!. The ad itself displayed gratuitous, animated scenes which should certainly not have been given the green light. Aftab said that people are being duped into using the site on the premise that the content will be family-oriented if the Green Light is employed. Yet there is no guarantee that they would not regularly be faced with such pornographic banner ads. "Parents everywhere need to know about this," she said. Replying to the allegations, Melissa Walia, director of corporate communications at Excite, said: "The term Green Light Sites refers to the sites that are presented in response to the user's query." She declined to comment further on this or say why pornographic banner ads accompanied material that was meant to have been given Green Light clearance. Attempts to speak to other representatives at Excite today have been less successful. Excite is currently facing legal action for keyword-related trademark infringements from Estee Lauder and Playboy. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.