Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Big Sis" Blocks Websites With "Controversial Opinion"

via CBS News:  

My first reaction to the headline was "OMG!  It's beginning already. Fortunately that was a false alarm.  The article refers to workplace computers only, and it's not unusual for any workplace to have content filtering in place.  But a clear description of "controversial opinion" would have made this a non-story.  I am guessing TOTUS was not consulted before the original notice was crafted.  

Of course, there was also no word if "whitehouse.gov" was considered a site promoting "criminal activity."  A developing story...

Of course the news is not all bad.  One would quickly notice that TSA employees appear to retain access to porn on Government computers. Maybe that's required by union contract.  

Just sayin'..

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from the federal agency's computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a "controversial opinion," according to an internal email obtained by CBS News.
The email was sent to all TSA employees from the Office of Information Technology on Friday afternoon.
It states that as of July 1, TSA employees will no longer be allowed to access five categories of websites that have been deemed "inappropriate for government access."
The categories include:
• Chat/Messaging
• Controversial opinion
• Criminal activity
• Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content
• Gaming
The email does not specify how the TSA will determine if a website expresses a "controversial opinion."
There is also no explanation as to why controversial opinions are being blocked, although the email stated that some of the restricted websites violate the Employee Responsibilities and Conduct policy.
The TSA did not return calls seeking comment by publication time.


  1. LTB,

    As a worker bee in the realm of IT, I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to tie internet (mis)usage to remuneration for government workers? You know, like post their salary to a PayPal account and then allow them to surf to their heart's content (porn, movie/music downloads, the blogosphere, whatever) and have the fees go against that account..

    ..Muslim astronauts excepted, of course!

  2. I wonder if Muslim websites are going to be excluded. They're a prime example of all of the above. Given the preferential treatment Islamics get, I'll wager those site will be the exception.