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An anti-censorship group Peacefire has released a program which disables porn-filtering programs.

This software, which only works on personal computers, is being released in response to the passage of a bill by the US Congress that requires the use of blocking software in schools and libraries that receive federal funds.

Peacefire.exe, which is available as a free download, can disable popular Windows censorware programs, such as SurfWatch, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, CYBERsitter, X-Stop, PureSight and Cyber Snoop. However it is ineffective against "server-level" blocking programs, including AOL Parental Controls and many applications used in schools. The program is only known to work on Windows 98 machines.

In essence, the program automates instructions for disabling filter that Peacefire has had on its site for months. But with the program users do not have to input lines of code - making it far more user friendly.

Peacefire explains its motives on its site: "This Web site was created because we don't accept the excuses for treating minors with fewer rights than convicted felons.

"Smut on the Internet - you're going to be harmed more by eating a hamburger than by seeing a picture of two people having sex," it adds.

The group argues that it is acting on principle, and that many sites such as those affiliated to human rights organisation, Amnesty International, are blocked by filtering software. It makes the case that many sites are blocked in error or for questionable motives. ®

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