It's great to see such impressive strides being made in the important field of protecting children from boobies.
Back in the day, there was software that confidently classified the Mona Lisa as porno. And also classified porno as being perfectly squeaky clean.
Nowadays, there's software on which my very favourite Australian Federal Government ever has apparently spent 84 million Australian dollars (about $US69 million, as I write this).
This software can, it is said, be bypassed by a kid in a matter of minutes.
(I see no reason to change my conclusion from the end of 2000: It doesn't matter, to the people who make it or the people who pay for it, whether censorware works or not.)
The news.com.au piece doesn't actually tell you how the pictured smirking 16-year-old bypassed the NetAlert suite of programs (while leaving them apparently running!). I presumed it was something rudimentary, like killing a couple of processes in Task Manager. Maybe a few seconds with regedit, too.
[UPDATE: As of 2012, that news.com.au page disappeared, in accordance with their ancient tradition; archive.org has it, but without the picture of the smirking teenager. The government Netalert site has been quietly led beghind the barn and shot in the head, too; here's how it looked when it was young and optimistic. Netalert-dot-COM-dot-au is alive and well, but it's not quite the same thing. I've had to archive.org-ify a few other pages, too.]
This ITWire piece details an inelegant way of temporarily and invisibly disbling Optenet, one of the three programs, by... killing a couple of processes in Task Manager.
This page mentions ways to prevent people from "tampering with Integard", which are hilarious enough that I'll leave them as a surprise, but which include not letting anybody boot the computer from CD.
That is, of course, well beyond the capabilities of the average parent (change boot order in BIOS setup program, set BIOS password, and then just hope your kid doesn't know how to clear the CMOS, which wipes the password and resets the boot order to default in one hit).
Just booting from BartPE or a Linux disc and nuking the nannyware isn't, of course, the sort of elegant and undetectable hack that's being advertised here. So there's probably something neater out there.
I'll be pretty surprised if you even need Process Explorer to nobble the rest of these marvellously enterprisey programs so wisely purchased from their skilled authors with my tax dollars. But who knows?
You mission, gentle readers, is to Outflank the Nanny, in as few keystrokes as possible. The software's a free download.
Our Government's dedication to quality software extends to the "Required" e-mail address and postcode on the download page. The postcode can be any four digits, and the e-mail address just needs to have an @ and a . in it, with two or three characters following the .
(The Safe Eyes download requires some kind of further account creation folderol. I also don't know whether they check to see if you've got an Australian-looking IP address.)