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This filter has been developed to demonstrate a transparent, freely available tool to enable parents to control access to material they deem inappropriate or potentially harmful to their children and at the same time protect freedom of expression. It is designed primarily to demonstrate filtering based on PICS and other techniques and is not, in itself, a complete consumer product. In order to be most useful as a filtering tool, one or more templates will need to be installed (see below).
The filter is based on the idea that self labelling is the most democratic and transparent way of dealing with vast amounts of content and that self-labelling is the primary technology for achieving the balance of several interests. Although it can be combined with other blocking technologies, such as block lists, the product is dedicated to the idea that such blocking is based on trust established between the content provider and the parent, and the list supplier and the parent. Therefore all blocking is transparent so the parent can see why or by whom something is blocked. The parent remains in complete control of what is blocked and what is allowed.
No filter, including this one, can replace parental care while your children are online. Filters are part of the answer, not the whole answer to the problem of your children coming across material you consider potentially offensive or harmful. Many organizations offer advice on what steps you can take to help to protect children and it is recommended you seek such advice.
The filter offers the following functions:
The filter has been designed to give you the maximum possible control over which sites will be blocked and which sites will be allowed. A direct consequence of this flexibility and the very fine control available is that there are a lot of choices to make. Filtering templates provide a quick and easy shortcut. By installing one or more templates, you're letting the template creator(s) set up the filter for you.
A template contains any combination of:
For a list of all templates currently available and known to ICRA, please click here.
NB. However many templates you install, your own settings take priority. For example, if you include a site in your own block list it will be blocked no matter what the templates say.
If your organization is interested in creating a template, please click here.
Download and installation
The filter can run on all versions of Windows from Windows 95 onwards. Other platforms are not supported. Installation is straightforward but varies slightly depending which version of Windows you are using. Please check the list below and make sure you are ready to install.
The filter includes a full help file which, it is hoped, will answer all your questions. This is available for download in various formats as a separate document. This is easier to print and read at your leisure, or perhaps to review before deciding whether to install the filter.
It is strongly recommended that you uninstall any other filtering software you may have before using ICRAfilter.
After completing download and installation, please consider installing one of the templates which various organizations have created. ICRA is working hard to extend the number of available templates in terms of absolute numbers, the range of cultural values expressed and the languages covered. Click here for the latest list.
ICRAfilter is a freeware product. It is offered for free to internet users world-wide to demonstrate how web sites and other internet services can be filtered using ICRA labels and third party templates. Like all software products, there is a potential for conflicts, problems or bugs to arise. No software publisher that we know of, including the largest, offers a 100% guarantee. Although we are confident that ICRAfilter is a practical and reliable tool, problems with its use may arise and must be used at your own risk.
Of the over 30,000 filters that have been downloaded to date, we have had very few complaints or problems. However, there is a known bug which is a conflict under some circumstances and in some environments, with other software programs. This problem, stemming from the filter's interaction with the WinSock2 module in Microsoft Windows has been worked on and a fix is included in the latest release of ICRAfilter, Version 1.0.9. We would appreciate reports on other bugs or problems, and, should they arise, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. If you still don't find the answer you're looking for, feel free to e-mail us with full details of the issue at: .
The filter has been designed to fail safe. If individual files relating to the filter are tampered with, the most likely outcome is that all online activity will be blocked. Furthermore, if files are deleted without using the proper uninstall option, it is possible you will need to seek advice from your computer supplier. This could lead to you having to completely reinstall all software and losing all your data in the process.
As set out in the terms and conditions displayed when installing this software, The Internet Content Rating Association accepts no liability whatsoever for data lost through tampering with the filter.
Notes for software developers