Thursday, September 02, 2010

Censorship on campus

Welcome back everyone! It has been a nice, productive summer for me. Unfortunately, I haven't been posting on the blog. I have even been thinking of turning it off.

However, today I was glad that I haven't. Our lovely IT department has implemented a "virus prevention tool" that blocks access to all sorts of perfectly legitimate websites.

I was trying to follow a link to a blog on It was blocked because of a "suspicious embedded link." I am not quite sure what that means except that I couldn't visit a completely innocuous site.

Apparently, I am then supposed to send an email to IT and tell them what my legitimate, academic reason was for visiting the site. Then, sometime in the future, they will unblock that blog for me.

I was just reading some web-commentary in passing, but this has happened to me several times. It looks more like a problem. Are viruses an excuse for broad-based exclusion of blogs?

The web is a dangerous place, but I am not sure the drastic measures which make following blog links impractical does our community any good!


Working To Make A Living said...

Here is an article From Lamond Diplomatic, tenure under threat, in the US". thought all you pointy heads might be interested.

Anonymous said...

Michael Berube's website is blocked.

Working To Make A Living said...

I suppose I can no longer do my paper on the history of the "Trojan" war.

Anonymous said...

I tried to visit three sites today and was blocked, despite the fact that they're educational and/or textbook related. It slows productivity, when I have to get permission (like an elementary student) for sites necessary to do my work.

Anonymous said...

The new openoffice site is blocked. It is now called libreoffice, but you can't look at it.

I suppose the university doesn't want us to be messing around with dangerous open-source software.

Anonymous said...

If you are desperate to get to a website, try TOR. It has a nice package that goes right around the university's walled garden.

It has a self-contained installer that works well in Windows 7. The address is