NJ Student Develops Internet Filter Software

Stefan Georg, a recent graduate of Columbia High School in Maplewood, has won an ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship in recognition of his work developing a website to circumvent his high school’s filtering program. His site has had over 10,000 hits to date.

His program allows people to access any websites behind school or office filtering technology that works based on a blacklist of words or domain names. Stefan’s program is now available in the public domain.

A 2002 Kaiser Foundation Study shows that much health education material is blocked by filters attempting to block pornographic sites from students. Up to 55-percent of sites providing condom information and 60-percent of sites with gay health information are not available to students, depending on which filters are used.

Stefan was also involved in the formation of a student ACLU chapter at Columbia High School. The students have undertaken several civil liberties public education initiatives including an after-school presentation by plaintiffs in gay marriage litigation that attracted more than 100 students.

As well, a number of Columbia HS students marched with the ACLU at the April 25 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C.

Stefan is one of 10 students nationally who won a 2004 ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship which recognizes youth who have made important contributions to the defense of civil liberties. The award provides a $4000 college scholarship.

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