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Re: [WWWEDU] :-) - May I have your written testimony about filtering, please?

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  • Claude Almansi
    Message 1 of 2 , May 2, 2003
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      <<If anyone is interested in receiving a copy of my written testimony,
      please
      do not hesitate to ask. If you are in a state that has a bill pending
      requiring filtering, I would be very happy to work with local folks in
      providing recommendations for how to defeat such legislation.>>

      Hi Nancy,

      May I have a copy, please?

      Asking the kids was a brilliant stroke of improvisation (or did you know
      they would there ?). And the idea of insisting on filter inefficiency
      rather than on filter overblocking is great. Apparently, several republican
      politicians named Dick got their sites blocked by filters.

      Do you remember which law review started modifying spelling to get through
      filters, about 3 years ago? I can still see the page, with a box explaining
      why.

      Here in Switzerland tech people put the filters on public networks off their
      own bat, without any bill or law or rule, so I'm not sure how to get about
      defeating a practice that has no legal basis. For the time being I'm trying
      to unite people in various areas (schools, libraries, administration) who
      are hampered in their work by the filters. And preparing documentation about
      the issue to send as evidence at a possible next attempt to get the sysops
      out of their haughty silence. http://www.ti.ch/DFE/DR/CSI/ has a pic of
      where they lurk. No, the bridge is not a draw-bridge, but there's a metal
      grid you can't see at its beginning.

      Cheers

      Claude Almansi
      claude.almansi@...
      www.adisi.ch
    • Nancy Willard
      ... I will send this to you separately. ... They walked in and I smiled, knowing exactly how I would be able to use the opportunity. ... I hate to admit, well
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2, 2003
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        on 5/2/03 11:36 AM, Claude Almansi at claude.almansi@... wrote:

        > <<If anyone is interested in receiving a copy of my written testimony,
        > please
        > do not hesitate to ask. If you are in a state that has a bill pending
        > requiring filtering, I would be very happy to work with local folks in
        > providing recommendations for how to defeat such legislation.>>
        >
        > Hi Nancy,
        >
        > May I have a copy, please?
        I will send this to you separately.
        >
        > Asking the kids was a brilliant stroke of improvisation (or did you know
        > they would there ?). And the idea of insisting on filter inefficiency
        > rather than on filter overblocking is great. Apparently, several republican
        > politicians named Dick got their sites blocked by filters.

        They walked in and I smiled, knowing exactly how I would be able to use the
        opportunity.
        >
        > Do you remember which law review started modifying spelling to get through
        > filters, about 3 years ago? I can still see the page, with a box explaining
        > why.
        >
        > Here in Switzerland tech people put the filters on public networks off their
        > own bat, without any bill or law or rule, so I'm not sure how to get about
        > defeating a practice that has no legal basis. For the time being I'm trying
        > to unite people in various areas (schools, libraries, administration) who
        > are hampered in their work by the filters. And preparing documentation about
        > the issue to send as evidence at a possible next attempt to get the sysops
        > out of their haughty silence. http://www.ti.ch/DFE/DR/CSI/ has a pic of
        > where they lurk. No, the bridge is not a draw-bridge, but there's a metal
        > grid you can't see at its beginning.

        I hate to admit, well not really ;-), that I am woefully ignorant of the
        parameters of free speech law in Switzerland. But as an European nation, I
        am supposing that there is some manner of free speech protection related to
        when and how public officials may interfere with free speech rights of
        citizens with respect to access to information.

        The key issue is that when public officials implement filtering technology
        they are generally using commercial filtering software from a company that
        is protecting virtually all information about what they are blocking, how,
        and why as confidential proprietary information. There is no public
        disclosure and no public accountability. This is the "nail" that will
        eventually get these products out of use in public institutions.

        If the folks in your country are using products developed by companies in
        our country, then you might also want to read the report on my site entitled
        Filtering Software: The Religious Connection. In this report I identify 8 US
        filtering software companies, including 3 of the big ones, that have
        uncomfortably (to me) close relationships with our "religious right."
        Because there is no access to information about how these companies are
        making blocking decisions, it is not possible to tell whether such
        relationships are contributing to blocking based on a very conservative
        religious bias. My strong suspicion is that the residents of your country
        would not be inclined to be very positive about finding out that sysops in
        your country are using filtering products if there is a possibility that
        such products are blocking based on the biases of the US "religious right."

        The argument about public disclosure and accountability does not work
        against the use of filtering products that are not engaging in such
        proprietary protective activities. But if there is full disclosure and
        therefore the ability to ascertain effectiveness and possible bias, this
        does not concern me from a constitutional perspective. (I am still concerned
        from an educational perspective).

        Nancy

        Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.

        Center for Advanced Technology in Education
        University of Oregon, College of Education
        E-mail: nwillard@...
        URL: http://netizen.uoregon.edu

        Responsible Netizen Institute
        URL:http://responsiblenetizen.org
        >
        > Cheers
        >
        > Claude Almansi
        > claude.almansi@...
        > www.adisi.ch
        >
        >
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