“Penpal”, my source at the Department of the Interior, has emailed me with the latest news about their internet filter. It seems that the block on blogs is now comprehensive, with liberal blogs being blocked in addition to those nasty old conservative ones:
I haven’t had any time to go through and do a comprehensive analysis of everything, complete with screenshots. I do, however, have some updates.
Pretty much everything is now being blocked. As you may have seen elsewhere, dailykos and their ilk are included in being blocked. I was able to get limited access to LGF before, with formatting issues and a lack of picture files, but now everything is locked down again. I don’t think the filter works perfectly, and some smaller sites are still accessible.
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There is also a 26-page document that has been circulated to employees, and is viewable on the “blocked” page that illustrates all blocked categories, and why they are blocked. It does indeed look like the blogs are being blocked not due to any possibility of time wasting, but rather because they are a security risk as someone can post material through an unmonitored format. Its an overreaction to a perceived security hole. The DOI has a history of policies like that. I believe that most of the DOI forbids any kind of wireless network acces of any type, because of the belief that wireless is inherently insecure, and anyone can pick up the signal.
This makes Interior pretty much the same as other parts of the Federal government. Here’s what an emailer from the Department of Justice has to say:
Baron, this is the official wording that pops up when I try and access the same websites the DOI has blocked. The wording has graphics and a DOJ emblem… no doubt that there is an effort to BLOCK the federal employee from viewing/reading the conservative/right websites.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
BOP-BRD2 could not fill your request please see below . . . Status : 403 Forbidden
Description : Organizational policies prohibit access to this page.
Note : If necessary, please contact your Systems Administrator for resolution.
If you have limited access, then click here to view the access list.
Unless new information surfaces, I’ll consider the DOI Blocked Websites Case closed. Federal employees are welcome to email me if any of their agencies are behaving differently.