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March 27, 2000 08:04pm
Internet Filter Maker Wins Agreement
Source: AP
by: Martin Finucane

(BOSTON, MA) -- Microsystems Software said Monday that two software experts it was suing had agreed not to tamper with their Internet filtering product, Cyber Patrol, and to sign over a program they wrote that would allow children to bypass it.

The Framingham-based company has ``achieved our goals of protecting Cyber Patrol customers and defending the company's intellectual property,'' company attorney Irwin Schwartz said in a statement.

Microsystems Software, which is a division of Mattel Inc. (NYSE:MAT - news), makes Cyber Patrol to allow parents to prevent their children from seeing violent or pornographic Web sites.

Matthew Skala, a self-described cryptography buff who attends the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and Eddy L.O. Jansson, believed to be living in Sweden, developed the ``cphack'' program and made it available on the Internet.

Besides showing how to bypass Cyber Patrol, the ``cphack'' program also discloses the list of sites that the product blocks users from viewing.

Skala confirmed in an e-mail that he negotiated a settlement on Friday. Jansson declined comment via an e-mail.

Earlier this month, the company sued and U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington issued a preliminary court order ordering a halt to the distribution of the program.

The judge also blocked distribution of the software by ``those persons in active concert or participation with them.''

Microsystems attorneys said the order extended to any Web sites that ``mirrored'' - or made copies available - of the ``cphack'' software.

Schwartz told Harrington at a Monday hearing that Skala and Jansson had agreed to a permanent injunction and that two Internet service providers that Skala and Jansson used would be dropped from the suit.

Harrington indicated he would agree to the permanent injunction against Skala and Jansson. But the judge held off on officially issuing the order because of questions about how broad the order should be - whether it should also apply to those who had put up ``mirror'' sites.

Harrington said he expected to rule Tuesday or Wednesday.

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