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S4F/Family Connect/EduGuard

Background of Company

This company appears to have started as Family Connect with a filtering product named S4F. EduGuard is the latest corporate activity -- seeking to provide the S4F filter to schools.


"S4F meets federal requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) while offering schools an affordable, low-maintenance filtering service."


"The Premier Filtering Solution for Academia
EduGuard is simple to install and easy to maintain.
EduGuard meets the minimum requirements of CIPA without over-blocking.
EduGuard offers the most cost-effective solution for schools today."

Filtering Philosophy

The CEO of S4F has written a book that is available online. This book provides some insight into the filtering philosophy followed by the company.

Wicked Wild Web
Written by Chris Ophus

Chapter Two Seven Deadly Sins

Aside from the type of pornography typically found in magazines, there are entire areas of the sex trade that used to be difficult to find. But not anymore.

"Welcome to slavery," intones an audio file on the home page of one highly visible web site. The artwork depicts two leather-clad women holding whips and chains in what looks like a prison courtyard. In the center hangs a nude figure upside-down over a pit of flames. Once inside the web site, users are invited to search through various perverse sexual activities.
Dr. Douglas Weiss deals with sex-related problems at his counseling center in Fort Worth, Texas. He maintains that the Internet is helping to create "sexual addiction at a much more perverse level than our generation" by creating an atmosphere fraught with bizarre behavior that arouses curiosity and can draw even the most innocent into its snare. "Anything can be out there, and that can become the way youth begin to form their sexual fantasies and . . . orientation. So it can be very devastating."

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion come to a catastrophic head on the web. Any curious surfer can drink from mystic fountains of magical waters. Clans ranging from New Age circles to ancient cults commune online.

The Cauldron of Light announces, "We provide the tools you need for witchcraft spells and rituals in Wicca, witchcraft, Santeria, and any of the pagan, occult or esoteric arts and earth religions." ...

All over the Net, pages and pages of Satanic "scripture" can be found. Contact points are available for those wanting to establish relationships with other practitioners of Satanism, black arts, and the like. More than any other medium, the Internet provides a gateway to the occult."

Chapter Six Protection Outside the Home

"Secondly, to say that filtering the Internet is censorship, and therefore unconstitutional, is also incorrect. For too long, liberals have been getting away with things by twisting words around. We see it everyday in the media. It's called skewing the truth or putting a "spin" on a story. This argument is a perfect example. When you filter the Internet, it is not "censoring". The word "censorship" means to remove entirely, to make unavailable anywhere, anytime.

Filtering in a public library is not censorship. Censorship is something that is reserved for the government only. The government censors information that is considered harmful to everyone, something that has the potential to cause detriment to everyone who hears or sees that information. It is impossible for the government to "censor" Internet sites because much of the information comes from outside our borders, where the government and the FCC have no jurisdiction.

Filtering does not prevent anyone from publishing pornographic materials. It simply stops minors, as well as adults, from being exposed to it in a public, tax-payer funded environment. The claim of censorship in this instance is clearly misused. Most people do not understand the real meaning of censorship and are thereby deceived into believing that Internet filtering infringes on the freedom of the individual."

Religious Focus on the Company

Business Plan
A confidential Business Plan found on the site reveals that three of the four founders of S4F are graduates of Oral Roberts University. (No, the author did not hack the site, access information was found in a investment information document elsewhere on the Internet.)

Family Connect apparently divested its ISP service to focus on filtering products sales. http://www.familyconnect.com/PR/fcsells.htm. The current Family Connect site does not present a religious focus on its face.

Insight into the religious focus of the company can be found on other sites that describe the service:

Gospel Communications Network
http://www.gospelcom.net/ifc/ifc47/ifc47pg4.shtml#story 1

"FamilyConnect provides Internet access and Christian-based "server-side filtering" (filtering done on their computer before the images ever reach your computer) to automatically screen out 85,000 pornographic and detrimental sites."

The Godly Business Woman

"Family Connect™ The Internet standard for Christian families featuring pornographic site block out, nationwide unlimited local access, fast reliable Internet access and exhaustive online resources and links."

Silver Creek Church Community

"Christian Websites ...
www.familyconnect.com - Family Connect: Free internet access that removes objectionable sites for Christians. ..."

Edgewater's Christian Links And Web Resources

"Christian filtering software
Family Connect This company is a Christian internet service provider that provides excellent service. Family Connect effectively filters pornography and hate sites."

Affiliates and Other ISPs using S4F

The S4F Site has a listing of residential ISP providers

"S4F provides fast, easy-to-use filtering in thousands of home across the United States and Canada through a network of Internet Service Providers and independent filtering companies.

To get filtering in your home, please select from the following S4F residential providers:
Covenant Promotions
True Vine Online (Does not appear to be using S4F.)
Family's Choice (notice on site indicated Family's Choice is selling to Christian Purity, which uses I-Gear)
FamilyConnect (no longer provides residentialservices)

Covenant Promotions

"The Power to explore the world, and the piece of mind to enjoy it." (same logo as Family Connect)

Connection with Family Connect and Religious Focus
Other URL for Covenant Promotions is: http://www.pornblocker.com/

"How did I find this site looking for Family Connect?"

links to http://www.pornblocker.com/familyconnect.html

"How did I find this site looking for FamilyConnect?

Covenant Promotions began marketing FamilyConnect dial-up and filtering services in 1997. We maintained this relationship through March of 2001, when FamilyConnect opted to cease providing dial-up services. At this time, we began providing our own dial-up and filtering services, featuring a customized version of S4F filtering.

We maintain close ties with FamilyConnect, and share in their mission to provide a safe internet experience for families. We are proud to have been associated with them."

Relgious Affiliation
Note: Found this page through search engine. Could not find this link off of the current Covenant Promotions or Family Connect web site. Possibly old page that has not been removed. Family Connections logo on top of page CovenantPromotions/Pornblocker notice on bottom of page. Links to 19 web sites, including Focus on the Family, Internet for Christians, Christian Computing, Youth Pastor.com, Cross Search, Christians in Recovery, Christ Pages, Christians Online, Cross Daily, Top 30 Christian Web Sites.


Religious Affiliation

"A+ Premium Internet Filtering
Internet Filtering for Christians"

"HEDGEBUILDERS is a Christian based, non profit organization focused on offering Internet solutions that provide value and protection worldwide. HEDGEBUILDERS is based in Tennessee, and can be found at www.HEDGEBUILDERS.com.

Filtering Product

How does A+ Premium Filtering Work?
A+ Premium Filtering is a sub-server based system. All filtering takes place on the S4F servers, not on your computer. Every time you type in an Internet address, or click on a link to an Internet address, or type in a word to search for, the address or word you requested is routed past the S4F servers where it is checked against the S4F block list.

Wise Choice

Religious Focus
The following does not reveal any religious focus, but is an interesting statement regarding the role of filtering for parents.

"As a father, husband, and man I developed WiseChoice to accomplish two major goals. The first is to protect our children and families from the darker side of the internet. The second is to protect men, particularly husbands and fathers, wives, mothers, and moms from the incredible magnetism and power of internet pornography.
For husbands and men in general we believe that we have the strongest pornography protection available. ..

Filtering Product

"Filtering technologies for WiseChoice.Net are provided by Hedgebuilders, Inc."

Alive City

Religious Affiliation

"Welcome to AliveCity
Taking the church into the 21st century."

"<link> Media
Press Release - New Development for Church Web Sites
TULSA, OK - AliveCity announces today the launch of alivecity.com, an application service featuring a suite of web tools that enables churches to have their own professional, dynamic web site. It is the first application service provider (ASP) to ever focus specifically on churches and ministries by providing a custom web presence solution without limiting usability or relying on advertising revenue."

Filtering Product

"<link> Partners
AliveCity Partners
Sequoyah Technologies, Family Connect, Christian TV, and Kingdombuy.com"


Religious Affiliation

"Blending Internet Services & Christian Values
'If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.' John 8:36"

Filtering Product

<link> Filtering
Links to Family Connect information

Genesis Internet Service Providers

Religious Affiliation
Interview in Christian Business Connection details Christian focus and use of S4F.

Filtering Product
Indicates uses S4F.

Safer Connections

Religious Affiliation and Filtering Product

"I have been involved in the computer industry since 1991. When the company I had worked for sold the ISP portion of the company, I needed to find a new provider. I purposely set out to find an ISP that was filtered. Since I am a Christian, I am very concerned about what our entire family is able to get into on the Internet. I have too many friends who, either they or their children, have stumbled into these types of websites accidentally, or out of curiosity. The results have too often been tragic. When I found FamilyConnect, I was so impressed with them that I made arrangements to visit their offices in Tulsa while I was in Oklahoma. I am very impressed with their commitment to be on the front lines of technology in this area. They are working to make sure their product is one that can be used by schools and libraries. They do a great job of blocking the areas of the Web that we would all consider as pornographic or as promoting illegal activities."


Religious Affiliation

"Where Christianity and the Internet Come Together"

Filtering Product
(Found this link through search engine. On bottom page there is e-mail link to Christian-internet representative.