TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Fred Atkinson (
Sat, 11 Jun 2005 02:45:48 GMT

On 6 Jun 2005 09:34:28 -0400, (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

> Yes, I think that restricting web access at school and some workplaces
> is probably a very good thing. What is bad is that it is usually done
> by people who don't know very much about the web or about the blocking
> technology, and it is often done by management folks who refuse to
> take responsibility for their own actions.

> There are other work environments where blocking any traffic is a very
> bad thing. I work at a government facility where pornographic sites
> are blocked. To my mind, it would be much more effective just to fire
> people who spend their workday looking at porn on the internet; in
> this case network blocking results in employees being retained who
> would be better off gone. --scott

> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

I agree with you that Web blocking is a necessary thing in the school
system. I further agree that it is done blindly and without looking
at the big picture. Blocking sites like QSL Net is ignorant and

The state of Georgia blocks in their colleges. I can
understand the high schools and below, but what about those that are
doing research on computer security and networking. Depriving them of
access to such information is incredibly short sighted. When I was
taking network security in graduate school, we learned a lot from 2600
magazine and their Web site. I subscribe to 2600 magazine myself and
it can be bought at most major bookstores.

On 6 Jun 2005 06:58:28 -0700, wrote:

> You must remember that the contents of libraries have always been
> "censored", though perhaps the better word is "selected".

So, then you are saying that they should remove ham radio books from
the library? I don't think so.

> For younger readers, books are selected appropriate to their reading
> skill as well as their age. Most 12 year olds would not know what to
> do with ancient literature written in the original Greek or Latin, and
> such books would be inappropriate for them.

No argument there.

> A second consideration is book quality. There are lots and lots of
> books out there on any given subject, including "vanity" books
> published by the authors themselves. Quality varies dramatically.
> Libraries attempt (not always successfully) to use generally respected
> and quality works.

This is true. But there are a number of well known ham radio books
that can be placed in the library.

> Lastly, some common sense is applied. Should a children's or school
> library really contain books on bomb-making or other extremely intense
> subjects?

I agree with you there, especially in light of Columbine. But how
does ham radio compare with bomb making? Please explain that to me.

> As to the Internet: There is a great deal of mis-information out
> there, some of it even dangerous. Anybody can set up a site and put
> anything they want on it; that by no means makes it authoritative or
> appropriate. Even legitimate organizations screw up on their Internet
> sites by failing to keep the information timely and accurate.

There has been misinformation in publications since the beginning of
time. Anyone can write and sell a book if they want to go to the
trouble. How is this any different?

>> Sorry to come down on you this hard, but limiting student access to
>> information simply because we think they don't 'need' access to it
>> is a pretty short sighted opinion for an educator to take.

> As mentioned, student "access" is already quite limited in many ways.

So, we justify limiting them to things that could be beneficial to
them to achieve that end?

Sorry, I don't think so.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: See the next issue of our Digest later
Saturday night which will include an archives reprint "Informing
Ourselves to Death" which hopefully you will find interesting. PAT]

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