Comments: Department of Justice Says Censorware Doesn't Work

For a given definition of "work", that is...

Pretty good at stopping the casual user from accessing his myspace page, but completely inneffective against anybody who knows anything about proxies, or is committed to getting some porn.

I used this line of argument in an exchange with Bennett Haselton of Peacefire. He made a convincing point to me that I can't use the futility of trying to censor the entire web as a mitigating point when considering its acceptibility.

Should it cut both ways, though? Since you note it doesn't work anyway, why bother fighting it?

Posted by Travis Finucane at October 26, 2006 02:09 PM

Seth wrote:"[Of course this is posturing - but the quotes might be useful for anyone dealing with a censorware-maker] "

Thanks for the "talking points" Seth...

I hope I don't get a call from Annn Coulter...likely she is busy trying to crucify democrats....won't have time for an anti censoreware contract.

research slips "one more notch"...

talking points from a "researcher"....?

What ever happened to science ? Has it been replaced by this intelligent design.

Posted by Bob Turner at October 26, 2006 03:46 PM

Travis: Good point, and my answer is that while I doubt it's possible to eliminate bona-fide pornography to the extent they'd need to do so, it's a lot more doable to marginalize political minorities. It's not about porn, really, that'll do fine, that's about as universal a constant in human society as possible. The overall issue is controlling the flow of information.

Bob: Ah, but it helps to understand the rhetorical tropes of the debate. It's not only a research issue, but a "hearts and minds" issue. Won't somebody think of the children? (who can't do their homework because of censorware. ...)

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 26, 2006 06:29 PM

Ahhh “hearts and minds”...yes , I forgot for a moment...I'm now transported back to 1998....thanks for pointing that out to me....I'll wait for a call from Anne and Rush...
I'll save my reply s to that crap for them....

However in a similar spirit I'll address one other point...

Your article states

“[It's an impossible task - you have word of the US Department Of Justice on it]”

Idea for an IQ test question...

The worst Internet filter in 1998 is to “effective internet filtering” as __________ is to the current Department of Justice.

a. Justice
b. Bananas
c.Hot co-eds
d.Very large cucumbers

(Uh ...pick one only)

It's just an idea...I'm not married to it...I'll ask Anne when she calls and get back to you .

Posted by Bob Turner at October 26, 2006 09:35 PM