A survey of how internet filtering software, and ratings systems affect the lesbian and gay community. "Access Denied" contains sections analysing the legal, political and social implications of enforced invisibility on the web. It also includes testimonials from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, who are those most directly affected by the lack of access to important information via the web or internet. The report offers recommendations for industry leaders on how to make the internet both friendly and fair, as well as a proposal for a future ratings system, FAIRsite, which would measure the accessibility and accuracy of various ratings systems and software.

Access Denied Version 2.0 reflects new findings across five broad areas:

Growth and infiltration of filtering software: The explosion of filtering technologies have resulted in a myriad of programs which are configured in several ways, among them: URL-blocking, keyword-blocking, monitoring and controlled access. Not only does this technology exist, but it has been installed on computers in homes, schools, libraries and companies all over the country.
Increased legislation mandating filtering software: Internet filtering software was a response to intrusive legislation. Ironically, it is legislation that is now trying to mandate the use of filtering software. Several bills requiring installation of filtering programs in public schools and libraries have popped up in state legislatures around the country.
Faith in an imperfect technology: Government policy-makers advocated the use of filtering technology, which is still far from perfect.
Findings of a “Digital Divide”: In July 1999, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report that noted a divide in internet usage along racial, class and geographic lines. The report also noted that public access centers will become increasingly important in future efforts to close this divide. With filtering software being mandated at many public institutions, a large segment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is in danger of being denied access to crucial resources.
Greater concern for online privacy: In 1998, Master Chief Timothy McVeigh’s naval career was ended after an AOL employee revealed personal information which suggested he was gay to a third party, bringing to light the potential dangers of privacy invasions on the internet.

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