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Prodigy users to get smut filter

Prodigy is joining the ranks of companies offering technical solutions to the control of indecent material on the Internet by providing free software that filters out sexually explicit material.

Prodigy is joining the ranks of companies offering technical solutions to the control of indecent material on the Internet by providing free software that filters out sexually explicit material.

Within the next two months, the online service will provide its users with free copies of the Cyber Patrol filtering software licensed from Microsystems Software, according to Mike Darcy, a Prodigy spokesperson.

"We've been looking to implement something like this for a long time before the Telecommunications Bill was signed, but obviously with the Communications Decency Act we wanted to get it done quicker," said Darcy.

The software rates sites based on criteria developed by Microsystems, which normally charges $45 for Cyber Patrol. The software blocks all sites that include violence or profanity, nudity, and references to drugs or alcohol.

CompuServe began offering the same software, also for free, to its subscribers two weeks ago.