Description of filter system
Von Alvar Freude, Dragan Espenschied; Translation by Trixy Gawe, 03.04. 2001, 07:36:20


[1] See also Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»standardisation of censorship« (german)
In order to prove that the Internet ist not »naturally« a free media, but one in which hierarchys and power structures can be pictured and created,[1] we notelessly manipulated the network at our academy, the Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenMerz Akademie. At the same time we wanted to verify if the fear of Filter-Systems actually is justifiable, how fast the manipulation is detected and with how much effort filtering would be feasible.  
  With a self-developed filter Software it was possible for us to record almost any websites visited by students, and to change all web topics at will.

1. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenThe filter software
Exacting specification of functioning and facilities of our software

2. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenChanging of network architecture
How we were able to route all web access through our software, unnoticed

3. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenManipulations and reactions
Temporary drain of the experiment, exacting specification of the conducted manipulations and students reactions on it.

4. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenCollected e-mails
Three mails concerning the experiments uncovering (german)

Our speculation that the manipulation would hardly be noticed and accepted uncritically has mostly been validated. Universally tolerated unawareness does not support the ability of criticism, but the acceptance of sanctions from »above«. More about this in Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Filter/Zensur/Kontrolle«.
The Proxy

[2] Exacting explanation about Proxy: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»What is a proxy server?«

[3] How we did that you can read in Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Changing the network structures«
Our filter-software is based on a proxy server[2] with which we rerouted all web access unnoticed.[3] As our basis we used Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenApache Webserver, and modulated it over the optional integrated interface Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenmod_perl about the programming language Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenPerl to our needs.

For administration we provided our system with a web surface. It was our aim to posess a host system, reachable from every computer, that should possibly shut out maloperations by ourselfs and from where we would be able to realize any needed procedures.
The monitoring tool

[4] For experts: the IP-adresses of the user and contents of post-requests are not saved in our summary-database, the content of POST-requests is not recorded anywhere

[5] Whereas the official proxy server of Merz Academy is trying to find out the users identity using the Ident-protocol and saves it with every invoiced document, this is very critical concerning data protection. The network administrators didn't answer our request for information about this subject.
To reach the aim – manipulating the websites invoked by students of our academy – we primarily had to find out, which websites are popular at all. For this purpose the proxy records all web inquiries and enters it in a data base. We attach importance to not collecting personal data.[4][5]

The survey shows invoiced domains which can be subdivided in categories. A detailed view of a domain in the lower frame shows every single invoiced URL. All accesses can be faded in and out and sorted by type of data, date, category or adress. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
To have a better overview you can assign a color-category to every domain. So we were able to find out fast which kind of domains were invoiced most frequently. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
Different kinds of filtering

[6] The URL-adress of a document is, in addition to (hardly to see through) digital signatures, the only real proof for its authenticity and is used as an authenticity certificate in the domain of art (Olia Lialina: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Location = Yes« at teleportacia); the control over the URL is the most remunerative starting point for falsifications in the web.

[7] We took the Blast-Engine from our project Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenAssoziations-Blaster

[8] Introduction to HTML: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Selfhtml« by Stefan Münz
The great difference between the invoiced sites was getting to us at first, but soon trends arose for web based freemail services, search engines, design sites, students' own projects and download sites.

We evolved six different filter techniques, as flexible as possible and kept generally, to reach every wanted effect through a combination of those:
  1. With the Diversion adresses of websites can be manipulated. A request to for example can be rerouted to the rivalry . Also invented domains like oder are possible. Even the acess upon pictures can be rerouted.[6]
  2. The "Blast-Engine*[7] matches a very fast search/replace mechanism for words on websites. Therewith we can, for example, exchange Helmut Kohl with Gerhard Schröder in the whole web.
  3. Insert on comment is attending the comments, used by many web authors and big editorial systems, that can only bee seen in the HTML source code[8] of a website. Those are often used to structure the source code. Because of the strategical propitious position of the comments in the source code we use it to insert visible cbanges in websites.
  4. The *manipulation of starting tags" inserts variable contents at the beginning of HTML tags. Type and parameter of the wanted tag can be specified.
  5. The manipulation of ending tags works in the same way with closing tags.
  6. At least you can insert direct programming code in Perl. Due to the free programming possibility variable things can be done with the source text or the URL of a website. We used this filter when the wanted effect couldn't be reached with one of the other filters.
  Conditions can be assigned to any filter concerning its termination, e.g. in subjection to the called up domain or file or any other suppositions like version of the Browser, daytime etc. ...  
Center of filtering
  For fast and easy administration we divided the surface into three levels:

On the first level of the filtering-center different groups of combined manipulations can be switched on or off. With the »Apply«-button a program is made which contains all activated filter groups. This happens because of speed causes, for if a adress is invoiced, the proxy only has to work off the generated and compiled Perl-program and doesn't need to check first which filter is activated at this time. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size

A group of filters contains thematically combined manipulations. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size

Due to its type, a filter has different adjustments. The example shows the filter changing words from the group »Politics«. New words including the probability for them to be changed can be inserted or deactivated. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
Protocol of manipulated sites and user entries
  Naturally we had to be able to verify if the manipulations created by us would make an impact:

In the filterlog »Latest Hits« we could track the filter activities made recently. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
In the feedback-log all data put in by our testpersons are listed. The example shows the comment made by a voluntary tester from outside of the Academy. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
Relationship of effort / resulting

[9] our proxy was running on a rather small PentiumII with 350 MHZ and 320 MB central memory, together with the highly frequented Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenAssoziations-Blaster and other projects

[10] For example: SmartFilter by Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenSecure Computing and their Whitepaper Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Education, the Internet, and SmartFilter: A Balanced Approach of Awareness, Policy, and Security«

[11] For example see Stefan Krempl: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»The big filter offensive« in Telepolis (September 1999)

[12] See Michael Zielenziger: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»In Philippines, Net is divine« in Mercury News (Dezember 2000)
Although our tools don't offer everything you can think of concerning effectivity and comfort we have created the vital elements of a variable monitoring- and manipulating-system:
  1. Monitoring of data traffic
  2. Analysis of incidental data
  3. Changing of adresses and contents
  4. Monitoring the effectivity of the manipulation
  5. Changings can be made on the running system at any time
We were able to control the web acesses of appr. 200 students with a not very mellow software. With a software more effective and better hardware settings[9] control over bigger networks easily would be possible.

Networks in the size of a school are, in the United States, a market for filter systems[10], it is thought to do forced filtering at schoold in germany too.[11] The catholic church is using a forced proxy on the Philippines already.[12]

*Our system even goes beyond the simple blocking of adresses, as it is practised until now. Through the manipulation of existing contents and adresses the illusion of a free net is still remaining. See also
Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenProgression of the experiment.*
Creation of a new netjoint
  To win effective control over the data-traffic of the web, a central junction in the in-house network had to be occupied. (About the experiments background: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»The Experiment«, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»insert_coin«)  
  The processor used for connecting the seperate workstation computers with the internet is the Firewall. However, this is under absolutely administration of the technical assistants. So we had to reroute the information flow in a way that the students server would switch itself between the Firewall and the workstation computers.  
Changing of Netscapes preferences half-automatically
  The workstation computers are, with few exceptions, Macintosh-systems. The operating system, in the used version, does not provide reasonable safety against manipulation, e.g. like explicit rights to write for several users. The used system program MacAdmin doesn't allow to defend the parts of the systems-preferences we needed against changing without making work at such a computer impossible. The few left pc systems (with the expection of our workstation) use Windows 98 for operating system which also doesn't provide any safety against manipulation.  
  Most students use Netscape Communicator or Navigator as Browser. Indeed this offers independent adjustments for several users, but they are locally safed on the computers and therefore are freely accessible. There is the possibility to safe the users profile manually, in the private »Home«-index on the fileserver, and to provide it against general access. But this possibility is not used, for it is complicated, and the students hardly make personal adjustments.  
  Netscape safes its preferences on the Macintosh in Systemfolder:Preferences:Netscape Users:, in the folders, named clearly after the single users, there is a file »Netscape Preferences«. Under Windows 98, Netscape puts this identical built file in the folder »Users« in the family index of the program. They are easily found by automatic searchfunctions.  
  The wanted configuration files from Netscape are in ASCII-format. Therefore it was easily possible to write a programm named »Profile-Blaster« for automatic manipulation of the Browser preferences. We started this program out of our network indexes on every computer, and immediately the preferences of every local Netscape user were changed in a way that every web-access was routed over our server. User profiles, that were supervened or changed by time, didn't make big administration effort for we had the Profile-Blaster.  
  When there was Internet Explorer installed on a computer at the same time, we had to re-adjust the preferences of the Browsers manually.  

[13] Exacting explanation on proxy: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Things worth knowing about Proxy Caches« by Jens Elkner

[14] The academy's proxy on the firewall indeed sometimes hat massive perfomance problems, seemingly the amount of data was too much and acess times became anguishing slow. While our self developed filter was able to analyse and manipulate every data packet even on a quite slow Hardware, the mere split-lot transfer of data was too much for the officiell proxy, so we switched it off interim.
The Browsers were configurated in a way that they used the students server as proxy. Among other things, the task of a proxy is latching data requested from the Internet in the in-home network, so that they are faster available on a new fetch. [13] For perfomance reasons we leave this task to the academy's firewall. The student server receives the requests of the workstation processors, requests the wanted data from the firewall and manipulates it before it is send to the workstation computers. [14]

In the Browsers preferences we stated the internal IP-Number of the student server as proxy adress, not its name or the short variant »student«. The IP-Number ( differs only in two numerals from the IP-Number of the Firewall ( and therefore is hardly to detect.
A new level of hierarchy

[15] subtle hackers would laugh away
Within an already existing net it was now possible to insert a new level of hierarchy. If the cabling of the single computers, as seen from the central computer, was organized in traces or starlike (the network was reconverted respictevely at the start of term), didn't matter. – That the computer we used normally is used as a (Web-)server also was no precondition. Any desired computer, associated to the home network, would have been able to fulfill this task with adequate software.

This manipulation is one example, and even a very simple[15], how hierarchies in the net can be changed. With other means, e.g. the integration of a filter software in the Router, the compulsory use of special proxys or the manipulation of news- or E-mail-services one can create, with more effort, even far reaching hierarchies.
  The interesting question is: who has the possibility and the interest to make such manipulations? Although quite extensive technical knowledge is needed for a manipulation and also for its avoidance, automatically a dependence of persons or institutions origins, who do the technical work. Several interests, embodied in efforts for filters we specify in the chapter Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Filter/Zensur/Kontrolle«.

Onwards to the specification of with the filter proxy realized Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenmanipulations
The Academy's situation
  The Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenMerz Akademie is a private, national accepted academy for design in Stuttgart. From the Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenProgrammatics:  
The Merz Akademie does not only train designers for the printing and electronic media in purely practical and formal, aesthetic skills. The analysis of current social processes and the exploration of potential future developments shall provide media designers with additional tools that will enable them to address their work with a sense of social

  There are about 240 students at the Academy, approx. 150 turn up daily. The seminar rooms are equipped with computers and net-access, how many students use the web regularly we can only guess. Every day there were 100 to 300 MB data going through our proxy, at peak periods it was up to 2 GB.  
The experiments progression

[16] specification see chapter Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Software«

[17] How we manipulated the network you can read in chapter Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»Changing the network structure«
From the release of the diploma on 16. July 2000 until the first working version of our monitoring tool[16] on 10. September passed almost two months.[17] On the basis of the urls which were retrieved mostly we decided the further Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenmanipulations. Web-based freemail services, search engines, design sites, students' own projects and download sites were most popular.  
  The filter was completely ready for action in November, at first with only few changings, by time we changed more and more websites. The sumptuary manipulation of search engines and therewith the last filter was completed not until 27. November 2000.

In the afternoon of 4. Dezember our server failed completely because of a defective storage module, involving the impossibility of www-acesses on almost any computer of the academy. Although we hurried to set up an alternative proxy on a NT-workstation, the network-technicians nabbed us on 6. December 2000.

Prof. Olia Lialina enlightened the technical assistance about the project, nevertheless the provost of the media workshop wrote an Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenE-Mail to the whole Academy in which he indicated that we had been able to record personal data of the students. On 8. December we wrote anLink in neuem Fenster anzeigenadjustment.

For the general interest about technical stuff doesn't seem to be very distinct under the students the filter was deactivated only sporadic and is running on many computers until today. – Althoug we published a Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenGuidance for deactivating.
Reactions of students
  The described reactions on the manipulations are not represantative or levied after scientific criteria. We didn't realize a survey of all students. Any resultings come from private talks with about 20 students which either came to us because they heard of the manipulations, or who we talked to. Therefore the descriptions of the reactions are anecdotal and don't lay claim to be plain. Names of students were not termed.  
  Reactions processed different from our speculation. At first we were very cautios and made rare manipulations or those with a low probability. But we soon noticed that we could pull out all the stops without anyone suspecting.  
Filters for self-testing too
  Following an unsubtle description of the used content filters. Who wishes to try for himself only needs to justify the respective proxy for HTTP (not HTTPS, FTP etc.) in the Browser preferences:
Port: 7007
Replacing of single words

[18] Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenOlia Lialina is professor and the only person inducted
Our filter is able to replace any desired number of words by others, therewith it is possible to change contents slightly or strong. If there are failures, the surfer would shift the blame on the carrier of the site, how could he know somebody else manipulates the data. We utilised this unassertive at first, but more often later. Rather early we replaced the names of Gerhard Schröder and Helmut Kohl, even if only the surname was termed. One student was taken aback and printed a page from Spiegel Online for his private collection of curios: he of course thought that Spiegel Online has made a mistake.

Example of a manipulated site by Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenSpiegel Online. As to be seen on the Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size we have also replaced the domains of Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenSpiegel and Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenFocus later.

»Al Gore« became »Al 'Bundy'«. The words »and«, »or« and »but« were replaced with a certain possibility. The term »designer« became »Olia Lialina« with a possibility of 20 percent.[18] On Netscapes starting page a blinking textlink leading to a porno site accoured. Standard termes of the web like »download« or »free« were reversed. Names of politic charges like »President« or »Chairman« were changed to Nazi-ranks like »Obersturmbannführer«. (Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenList with every changed word)
  Although replacing single words seemed to be the least spectacular it was inducing quite many reactions. Those filters had the biggest scope of covering because they occur on any website, even in mails read via freemailing services linke GMX or Hotmail. Simple search/replace-actions can change the meaning of a text completely. With these manipulations we wanted to demonstrate that contents can be manipulated easily, unnoticed and area-wide.  
  The students remarked beeing concerned of manipulation soonest if it was their own homepage. A few days after publication of our activities two students wanted to know if the real existing data or only the display had been changed. One student wanted to apply for a practical with the works presented on his homepage and his only interest was that outside the Academy everything was as visible as he wanted it to be. He didn't care about the whole other webtraffic of the Academy, which was involved too. Other students picked up the guidance for deactivating the proxy. One student, who filed his homepage on a server outside the Academy had properly visions of the filtersystem and was interested in details.  
  Even one week after the enlightenment about the manipulation one student regarded Prof. Olia Lialina for beeing the sounddesigner of Star Wars, episode 1 to 3. One female student wanted Olia Lialina to help her contacting a photographer, because her name occured on his website.  
  Guest lecturers and net artists Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenentropy8zuper were surprised about Netscape beeing in the need to advertise for sex offers, but soon they realized that the concerned link only occured on computers inside the Academy. Two other students remarked the sex links in Excite.  
  Finally we have to mention that even we were taken in by our own word manipulations.  
Web-based Freemail-services
  In the four most popular freemail services at the Academy (Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenGMX, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenhotmail, Link in neuem Fenster und Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenYahoo!) we inserted the »Global Penpals Association« ein: in a highly visible box, suited to the services in color and layout, a »penpal« with photo and a short description is presented. By a button you can send this person a message from the freemailer. Also in the button is a pointer, that this person has been chosen »for you because of your private preferences and your surfing behaviour«. We invented seven different persons with e-mail-adresses at different freemail services, who were displayed incidental and that repeated rather fast. We also offered a simple possibilty for feedback via a form, supposed to reach the initiators of the Global Penpals Association. is seeking some Linux buddies via GMX Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size
  We wanted to test if somebody was suspecting from where the freemailers would know the surfing usages or why they supposedly seemed to be connected and have transposed the private preferences, which supposedly never will be transposed.  

[19] see Richard M. Smith: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»The RealJukeBox monitoring system«, Oktober 1999; and Florian Rötzer in Telepolis: Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenThe penitent sinners want to become saints in Privacy, 9. November 1999
Two students said they generally wouldn't believe any promises in the web and would always enter false data, so they wouldn't care. But indeed they realized the danger of less warily people beeing defraud of their data. We constructed the situation according to the case in which the Real-Player and the Real-Jukebox transferred information about passed movies and music underhand to RealNetworks. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenRealNetworks, which for a long time offered with Realplayer, RealAudio and RealVideo the only really working solution for Streaming Media, recorded which Video and Audio stremas the visitors looked at and transferred this data back to their own server.[19] No mailer thought of changing to an other product because such a handling of data security – just like when it was about RealNetworks.  
  One student wrote e-mails to two of our invented characters and asked questions how they had come into this supposedly penpal program and if it would only be an sales promision. The same student said to us that he was interested to know how they had learned about his surfing usages.  
  The Global Penpals Association was under discussion in a small group of students, in the face of GMX beeing involved in such a stupid campaign.  
  The »official« possibility for feedback was only used once. One female student was expressing herself positively about the service, but she only wanted to pull our leg.  
Blockwart-Service: Never before it was so easy to denounce

[20] This link shows an adress visible even without the filter. With the filter activated it is available under
The campaing »Net against violance« by the CDU was still on our minds, when we manipulated search engines used mostly (Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenAltavista, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenGoogle, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenLycos and Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenYahoo) in a way that every found site contained a form by »« with which you were able to report anonymous to the carrier of the search engine if the site is pornographic, rassistic, blasphemous, maring for business, infringing a copyright or displeasing. There was also a possibility for feedback via a form or the email-adress. We also have pennedLink in neuem Fenster anzeigenbad statements[20], in which you can read about »No dirt in the Internet« and »Moral courage«.  
Never before it was so easy to denounce Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size; The Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenInfo-site and theLink in neuem Fenster anzeigenFrame to report displeasing contents of this manipulation work without the filter too.
  Most of the students we asked didn't notice the frame with the many logos of search engines at all. For two students it was hard to allocate if it would come from the search engines or from a plugin by Netscape. A website containing underwater photography was reported as »sodomy«. One student said the only thing that interested him about the frame was how to get it away. One female student said she was used to rubbish in the Internet and hadn't worried much about this. An other student even said the service is reasonable because he wouldn't know what to do when seeing illegal contents, so the system would be helpful. But he never would have seen illegal contents before.  
Commercial Break
  Two percent of all web accesses were rerouted to a commercial advertise. This was supposedly made by, a fictitious union of Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenICANN, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenCorenic, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenInternic, Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenNetwork Solutions and the Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenamerican ministry of economy. The statement was: For the US government runs every Core-server they have to be financed somehow. Every ad also requested the surfers to input how much US-Dollar they would spend for a certain product. Which product that is levelled by the ad, advertised were the US-Marines, the National Rifle Association, Novartis, Garth Brooks, a Burger-chain etc. Only when they entered a value the surfer arrived at the site they had been looking forward to. This is stated in the code of practice clearly. Without this input the Browser was struck on the advertisement-site, even the back button didn't work anymore. Even her feedback was possible.  

[21] The URL of thise site with activated filter was
Commercial break by InterAd. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size and the limited working Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenOriginal ad[21] with changing advertising partners with every reaload

[22] More in Link in neuem Fenster anzeigen»The network is peripheral«
We created this manipulation after the Vote-Auction-affair, in which the CoreNic by american behest has deactivated a registration for domain names of an austrian server.[22] For organisations with control over root-servers inevitablely work off a certain part of all requests for adresses, such an advertising campaign would technically be possible.  
  Although the advertisements are interfering the surfing strongly, the normal way of acting by the students was closing the Browsers windows. Two students said they never would enter anything because they had made bad experiences with it. One student was complaining in the »official« feedback form about the advertisements and called attention to the technical assistance of Merz Academy.  
  Many students didn't know that the advertisements had nothing to do with a Browser PlugIn. The supposedly initiating organisations (ICANN, CoreNic, Internic and Network Solutions) and their tasks were unknown to the students.  
Napster and Bertelsmann
  We could change the program Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenNapster because the Windows-Client for starting the program is depicting a site of the Napster Homepage via an imbedded Internet Explorer. From there we opened a window without frame over the whole monitor, in which you are requested by Bertelsmann to enter absurd private data for participating the Bertelsmann music network. Unfortunaetly this manipulation could work only on a computer which is running under Windows and used for Napster at the same time.  

[23] The URL of this site is not visible with activated filter, because the displaying window fulfills the whole monitor
This perky form was filled out by nobody. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size and the Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenOriginal-HTML-Site[23]
  We wanted to see how credulously data is entered as long you get a »free« offer for it.  
  The key combination Alt+F4 for closing windows of all kind in Windows was known at 100 percent by the users of this computer, and nobody did enter even one letter.  
  Inserted on all sites of the official Academy server, therewith on the homepages of tutors and students too was a Javascript code which provokes an ugly popup window with the slogan »Merz Academy, Click Here for good Education!«  
Even when beeing a student you don't have to accept this banners. Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenScreenshot in original size with example of a manipulated site
  Nobody complained about those windows. The windows first occured in a presentation of weekly projects in the middle of term before all students, and they were closed in a reflex.
– Where these kind of windows usually come from, e.g. at freespace providers like Tripod, people didn't know.
Apparent finish of the activities was no finish
  The manipulation was unhided for the first time because for a defective storage our whole server failed and therefore no web acess was possible for about half a day. The responsible technicians noticed that computers were concerned that had adjusted our server as proxy.  
  So Prof. Olia Lialina enlightened the technical assistance and the administration about the project. One day later the provost of the technical workshop send an Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenE-Mail to all tutors and students in which he indicated that we would have been able to record numbers of creditcards and passwords. There was no reaction to this and in the evening we sent a Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenmessage to all tutors and students explaining that we are manipulating the whole web traffic (we hardly explained details to single filters), how our project is working and what aim it has.  
  We offered a link to a Link in neuem Fenster anzeigenguidance-site, that describes how to switch off the proxy. But this was hardly invoiced. – From our statistics we can tell that the proxy has not been switched off on most of the computers until three months later, the amount of data was almost the same as before. The experiment was simply running and running, until the network topology in the academy was changed.  
  Students whom we have talked to had hardly read our E-mail to all. Either it was too long, to complicated or not interesting at all, by the »Computer freaks«. One female student said that she is deleting any unexpected mails or mails by persons that she doesn't know. The mail by the provost of the workshop concerning possibly stolen passwords and numbers of creditcards was treated in the same way.  
  But you have to regard the rather familiar atmosphere at the Merz Academy. Having only about 240 students, you run into each other sooner or later in the week and none of the students really thought us to be able to steal numbers of creditcards or passwords. Students we asked weren't interested or said they would not »enter vital data into the Internet«. The manipulation of displayed sites seemed more important to them.  
Transferability of the results
  Again we want to point out that our experiment is not based upon on scientific statistics or a representative target group. The Merz Academy is too familiar for this and too small, and furthermore we don't lay claim to the results beeing universal. – Still we allow ourselfes to suppose that a similar manipulation in an other institution, e.g. an university with more than thousand students, would also be unnoticed resp. it would accepted in the same way. Only the possibility for 1 of 20000 students complaining should naturally be bigger than it was under 240 students.  
  Our experiment has shown that the net is not »naturally« a free media that can't be controlled by anybody and in which censorship and control are not provided and therefore impossible. Two persons could monitor the data from over 200 persons and foist any desired stuff to them, with, by comparison to the effects, small effort.  
  We don't want to call our self developed software bad or unsuited, but it has the potential to be upgraded for a more effective monitoring and more comfortable manipulation. The technical possibility is existing and the fitting public with insufficient net experience is even found in media academies.  
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