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Porn up for grabs as Excite turns off Green Light

Kiddie-safe filter exposed as a failure

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Excite@Home has ditched its child-friendly Green Light filtering software system on its Magellan search engine after The Register exposed it as little more than a worthless sham. The filtering mechanism was supposed to prevent searches from turning up unsuitable adult material. A Register investigation last week revealed that the system simply didn't work. A search on the word "sex" - which should have filtered out all adult material and left users with educational results instead, for example - generated a catalogue of XXX links. This included a link to the "NASTIEST Sex sites on the Net". From "BARELY-LEGAL TEENS" to the "Ultimate in HARDCORE sex !!!", "Slut World - Full of Sex" and "1 on 1 Lesbians". The results also displayed a banner ad asking if people would like to see "giant nipples". It has taken Excite@Home more than a week to reply to a Register request for an explanation and comment. Today, Vulture Central received an e-mail from Excite@Home spokeswoman Kelly Distefano. It read: "Well I finally got to the bottom of the Green Light Function - the answer to why it doesn't work is due to the fact that we no longer support that function, that is why when you do a search you no longer see Green Light sites as an option." Which is true. Excite@Home has now ditched the Green Light Function. But it hadn't ten days ago when The Register tried it out. This isn't the first time Excite has been caught in a scandal involving pornography. It's almost exactly a year since the The Register exposed a similar problem at the search engine. Although the Green Light filtered out adult sites, it didn't screen banner ads. Excite put this down to "an oversight". Last month Excite.co.uk was reported to Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit for carrying links to "kids porno" and a "free kids porno picture gallery" when users tried to search for anything to do with "kids". ® Related Stories Excite pulls porn off kiddie-friendly search engine Hardcore porn ads sneak past Excite filters Excite embarrassed by kiddie porn links

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