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MIT, Cornell and Vanderbilt lead academia in promoting Internet freedom, a survey by Wired magazine finds.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was ranked No. 1 partly because it runs a remailer for sending e-mail anonymously and a server that keeps keys used to read e-mail encrypted with Pretty Good Privacy.

The rankings were based on an analysis of computer policies at 50 leading research universities. Wired, in its June edition, lists its top and bottom five.

Behind MIT was Cornell, praised for strong anti-censorship policies. Vanderbilt has liberal policies on bandwidth usage, while the University of Michigan got high marks for its research on encryption. Fifth was Carnegie Mellon, which Wired says has strong privacy protections for student data.

Wired's worst five were Columbia, Tulane, Tufts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of California at Berkeley. Columbia earned the lowest ranking for, according to Wired, monitoring Internet usage and kicking students off for extensive downloading.

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