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I'm not sure...

...what this says about our users, or their impression of us. Today I received a help desk ticket from an art teacher at one of the schools looking to access a certain web site she needed for a class on Friday. Normally this means that the user has tried to access the site, has been blocked by our web filtering, and is now seeking redress. After ten minutes of investigation and an exchange of emails it was clear that this was not one of those normal tickets. No, this user had been on the site and just wanted to make sure that she could still get to it on Friday. Yeah. OK. I'll just add that to our custom block list...

Of course, I did just have to tell a different art teacher that we could not lift blocking on a Connecticut art education organization's web site because of the thumbnails of nude paintings and sculptures on their home page. Sorry ma'am, but the nit-wits who wrote CIPA didn't give you or me any wiggle room for art. If anyone can claim that The Naked Maja's breast or that microscopic representation of David's dong is offensive or injurious to minors we could loose six million bucks in federal funds. So, you'll have to download that form from home.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
You know, this reminds me of how I once thought that "fig leaf" thing was some sort of joke.

Then I visited the Greco-Roman art exhibit at the Springfield Museums, and - yep, just about every penis in the place had a little fig leaf over it.

Umm, yeah, I looked around very carefully. Why do you ask?

So, anyway, you know the authors of CIPA didn't exactly invent anything *new.* Just a 21st-century version of the fig leaf.
Oct. 10th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
Mmmm, good points. What I object to with CIPA is a) the Federal THOU SHALT, and b) the one-dimensionality. CIPA says nothing about violence or bigotry. You can have all of the snuff films, dismemberings, and home-made bomb recipies you want, but oh no not one naked breast!
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
Of course. After all, violence is just violence, but naked breasts could lead to dancing.
Oct. 10th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Ah yes, the cornerstone of fundy philosophy: someone somewhere is having fun -- and we must stop it!
Oct. 12th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
Although CIPA only pertains to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors, there is nothing stating that you can't block anything else. Many schools and school districts around the country also block any websites that promote racism and violence.
Oct. 15th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Indeed, we do. Our block list extends well beyond the CIPA-mandated minimum; a local decision made in accordance with local norms. My beef with the law is that it proclaims to be the 'Childrens Internet Protection Act' but only addresses itself to one axis of the problem of regulating where children go on the 'net ... it seems to have been more about John McCain and his co-sponsors scoring political points by enabling them to claim that they had 'done something' to 'protect the children!' I could sum it up this way: If you're going to trespass on local control and abridge the first ammendment with a law, could you at least do a more thorough job?
Oct. 10th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
And yet, every one of those poor impressionable art students can walk across the street to the public library, log on, and be shocked at the nudity. Insane.
Oct. 10th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
Aye, there's the rub. One of the things I have to tackle this fall is roping the libraries into the filtering regime. Because they accept funds from the same Federal programs, they are bound by the same requirements for CIPA compliance.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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