Content-control software

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{law, state, case}
{work, book, publish}
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Content-control software, also known as censorware or web filtering software, is a term for software designed and optimized for controlling what content is permitted to a reader, especially when it is used to restrict material delivered over the Web. Content-control software determines what content will be available.

The restrictions can be applied at various levels: a government can attempt to apply them nationwide (see Internet censorship), or they can, for example, be applied by an ISP to its clients, by an employer to its personnel, by a school to its students, by a library to its visitors, by a parent to a child's computer, or by an individual user to his or her own computer.

The motive is often to prevent persons from viewing content which the computer's owner(s) or other authorities may consider objectionable; when imposed without the consent of the user, content control can constitute censorship. Some content-control software includes time control functions that empowers parents to set the amount of time that child may spend accessing the Internet or playing games or other computer activities.

In some countries, such software is ubiquitous. In Cuba, if a computer user at a government controlled Internet cafe types certain words, the word processor or browser is automatically closed, and a "state security" warning is given.[1]



This article uses the term "content control", a term also used on occasion by CNN,[2] Playboy magazine[3] the San Francisco Chronicle[4] and the New York Times.[5] However, two other terms, censorware and web filtering, while more controversial, are often used. Nannyware has also been used in both product marketing and by the media.

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