Yes, we all know censorship is bad. But is it fair for BoingBoing to try to bully a software company out of business? From a post yesterday:
Boing Boing to net-censors: Get bent!
We’ve decided not to rejig our editorial process to make it easier for a censorware company to block us for their customers. Instead, we’re creating a clearinghouse of information on how to defeat censorware.
Last week, we reported that Boing Boing was blocked by entire countries including the United Arab Emirates, and by many library systems, schools, US government and military sites, and corporations.
Today, we’ve learned that Internet Qatar, the sole ISP in the State of Qatar, has also banned BoingBoing.
We’ve heard from librarians in Africa who want to watch the video of the American Register of Copyrights denouncing Congress, employees at the Australian Broadcasting Company, students, and workers around the world who can’t gain access to our work.
At fault in most of these cases is a US-based censorware company called Secure Computing, which makes a web-rating product called SmartFilter.
Rather than address the specifics of access to their site, the BoingBoing folks are launching an all-out attack, complete with a "Guide to Defeating Censorware".
Undoubtedly it’s true that current filtering tools leave much to be desired. One would assume, though, that this company is trying in reasonably good faith to make an accurate product so that they can remain in business. BoingBoing seems bent on subverting any filtering whatsoever. Anyone who thinks there’s no legitimate need for web filtering has presumably never taught a computer lab or worked in a public library. It’s not hard to guess who will be the most frequent visitors to BoingBoing’s helpful cheatsheet.