August 11, 2004

Censorware items round-up

Many censorware stories have crossed my screen in the last few days, so a little aggregation and commentary might not be bad.

Bob Turner writes of his censorware company's open list of porn domains. Yes, I am vastly amused by this. Though I don't think it changes what I say concerning secret censorware blacklists, as the actual usage of open lists is very small. In a different world, I'd do more on this specific topic. But these days, sadly, I just don't want the hassle.

A decryption temptation which I must forego, sigh: Daily News: Cleaning up Justice (via Wonkette, of all places).

First, Attorney General John Ashcroft demanded that his department's bare-breasted statue of Justice put some clothes on. Now the DOJ bluenoses are checking staffers' E-mails for naughty words.

Some at Justice are griping about software, called MailMarshal, that blocks messages when it spots "unacceptable language, or inappropriate material." ...

Stu Smith, president of AFSCME Local 2830, which represents employees in the department's Office of Justice Programs, has asked for a list of the "bad" words and an explanation.

DOJ spokesman Charles Miller tells us the program was installed for virus protection, but that it also rejected E-mails it deemed too vulgar. Miller says the program has been uninstalled since staffers complained. ...

Gary Price told me about: "Panel says expand use of library Web filters" (my emphasis below):

By Ames Boykin Daily Herald Staff Writer Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Every computer in the Des Plaines Public Library would be equipped with an Internet filter to block sexual images, under a plan approved Monday. ...

"If there is information being blocked, it should be reported to the library so the system may be evaluated over six months, officials said. But the filters won't be disabled even if a patron asks during the trial period."

But I have a blog ...

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on August 11, 2004 12:29 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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Wonder if ACLU has an active group in the Des Moines area? Unless there's an existing collection development policy that could cover this, the announcement looks like an open invitation for an as-applied CIPA lawsuit, but of course against the library rather than against CIPA itself...

Posted by: Walt Crawford at August 11, 2004 11:44 AM