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377 comments

gay dicks in your ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289408)

filling it to bursting.

If you are at work (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289410)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

Re:If you are at work (-1, Redundant)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289430)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

Mod up Insightful - this is the same comment I came here to make.

Re:If you are at work (-1, Redundant)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289470)

Mod up Insightful - this is the same comment I came here to make.

well then, "mod parent redundant"

Re:If you are at work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289578)

Mod up Insightful - this is the same comment I came here to make.

well then, "mod parent redundant"

mod parent flamebait

Re:If you are at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289844)

oh yeah? well mod parent................. oh forget it.

Re:If you are at work (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289616)

Selectively censoring a wifi connection paid for by the public and for the use of the public in the Capitol building for the purpose of preventing the public from being able to organize and petition the government isn't a first amendment violation? WTF?

Re:If you are at work (-1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289768)

>>>isn't a first amendment violation?

No it isn't - just as it's not a violation when any other employer blocks access to workers for youtube.com or blog.com or playboy.com. - The government workers can still access the blocked sites from their home, or private cellular internet.

Re:If you are at work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289870)

The wifi connection is labeled "guest". It isn't for state workers. It is for the general public. This is a clear cut first amendment violation.

Re:If you are at work (2, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289450)

If it's your union, then it is part of your work.

Re:If you are at work (-1, Flamebait)

kick6 (1081615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289538)

If it's your union, then it is part of your work.

did you mean that if it's your union its your collective bargaining group built to screw employers out of more money than the employees are worth and healthcare purchase group? Cuz then I'd agree with you, BUT I don't see how any of that has anything to do with the mechanics of performing your job.

Re:If you are at work (4, Insightful)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289660)

If it's your union, then it is part of your work.

did you mean that if it's your union its your collective bargaining group built to screw employers out of more money than the employees are worth and healthcare purchase group? Cuz then I'd agree with you, BUT I don't see how any of that has anything to do with the mechanics of performing your job.

As opposed to the employers, who want to screw employees and pay them less than they're worth?

Re:If you are at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289684)

Mod parent up. The point here isn't that what the union wants is good at what the employer (the state of Wisconsin) wants is bad, but that there MUST be a balance. Someone should teach the governor that.

Re:If you are at work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289770)

Someone should teach the Union that.

Re:If you are at work (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290124)

Private employers have a profit motive that often puts their interests -- at least as regards salary, working conditions, and the like -- in opposition to their employees' interests. What is the equivalent motive for government? Why does the state so badly want what is bad for its employees?

Re:If you are at work (2)

viking099 (70446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290240)

Because the one thing that most people (especially fake people like corporations) have a greater amount of hate for than their love of money is taxes.

Government employees are paid mostly through taxes.

This is why they traditionally are paid lower than the private sector. The public sector traditionally appealed to employees for a variety of reasons, among them:

1) Stability. Your job isn't as prone to market upsets as the private sector.
2) Benefits. Because "the government" is a pretty big employer, they can get great returns on the economies of scale. Pensions and health care benefits are usually the result of this.

The "costs" to the employee are various, including:
1) Lower wages than the private sector. If you do a super job, you might get a pat on the back, but bonuses and/or raises are usually not going to happen.
2) Greater job stagnation. If you want more than the standard cost of living pay increases (which for some places hasn't happened in 5 years), you usually have to change jobs. If you want training, you're usually on your own.

Re:If you are at work (5, Informative)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289694)

Before you spout, do your homework. While government jobs are good for people in relatively low-skilled jobs, most government workers are paid less than equivalent civil sector workers. The divergence grows as you get more experience and seniority. Show me one job in the civil sector where you run a department or bureau with 500 employees and make less than $150K.

I'm not especially pro-union, but without unions government workers would be subject to the whim of every politician out there.

Lastly, union activity is typically specifically allowed on government networks provided it is outside of work hours. So it's legal on lunch breaks, before and after work, etc. Union organizers are allowed to use government networks to disseminate information essential to the union members.

Governments also have strict limits on curtailing speech.

So it's a dick move, that violates employer-employee trust, and most likely the first amendment and union agreements.

Re:If you are at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289762)

"...whim of every politician." I can't remember the law but a politician can't fire someone in civil service just because they feel like it or that worker doesn't belong to the same political party. That was outlawed mid-20th century. (Note, though, that doesn't apply to political appointees.)

Also your first statement has to be qualified. A lot depends on where you live. I live in a rural area and govenrment jobs are some of the best paying jobs around especially with the job security that goes with them.

Re:If you are at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289784)

Well if they are worth so much more then get a job in the civil sector. They are pissed cause with todays economy good luck with that. If their employers meaning tax payers are forking over the bill and they them selves are either unemployed or having to have a job that is quite stressful to make that kind of money then its understandable. In a company you can be let go for performance. Government jobs are not quite the same a government job is a cushy secure job. So if you get paid less is because less stress and more security. I can not believe all the democrats that failed to show up to the voting. They do not want to vote no because people would be upset, and they would not want to vote yes cause the unions would be upset so do the easy thing and not show up to their government jobs. In any company they would have gotten their two weeks and been told they would be replaced for failing to come to work.

Re:If you are at work (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289822)

Before you spout, do your homework. While government jobs are good for people in relatively low-skilled jobs, most government workers are paid less than equivalent civil sector workers. The divergence grows as you get more experience and seniority. Show me one job in the civil sector where you run a department or bureau with 500 employees and make less than $150K.

I'm not especially pro-union, but without unions government workers would be subject to the whim of every politician out there.

Lastly, union activity is typically specifically allowed on government networks provided it is outside of work hours. So it's legal on lunch breaks, before and after work, etc. Union organizers are allowed to use government networks to disseminate information essential to the union members.

Governments also have strict limits on curtailing speech.

So it's a dick move, that violates employer-employee trust, and most likely the first amendment and union agreements.

If you're going to go off on a rant like that, you might want to know what you're talking about. Having worked with such people, on the other side of the civil/private line, I can most certainly say that civil employees are often paid far more than they're worth. Especially when factoring in total compensation packages and not merely "base pay".

Re:If you are at work (-1, Troll)

glueball (232492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289846)

"most government workers are paid less than equivalent civil sector workers"

Bull. Shit.

Do your own homework. Why let facts get in the way of your lie?

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf [bls.gov]

Page 1. Look at the plots on page 1. Total comp from State & local is $10/hr more than private or Civilian.

Second, according to a recent study at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, education level is higher among government workers than peer private sector, so your comment of "government jobs are good for people in relatively low-skilled jobs" makes me think you're either making everything up or worse, people in government are reaching for jobs not to their ability yet wanting to be paid like they are working to their ability.

Re:If you are at work (5, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289950)

"most government workers are paid less than equivalent civil sector workers"

Bull. Shit.

Do your own homework. Why let facts get in the way of your lie?

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf [bls.gov]

Page 1. Look at the plots on page 1. Total comp from State & local is $10/hr more than private or Civilian.

If you actually read that report (ie went beyond the pictures):

Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of
private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Management, professional,
and administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local
government workforce, compared with two-fifths of private industry.

Second, according to a recent study at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, education level is higher among government workers than peer private sector, so your comment of "government jobs are good for people in relatively low-skilled jobs" makes me think you're either making everything up or worse, people in government are reaching for jobs not to their ability yet wanting to be paid like they are working to their ability.

Actually it's the opposite. A lot of government workers have education and experience beyond the level required for the job, and while using it aren't getting compensated for it. We get people with masters degrees applying for technician jobs that require an associates or 2 years experience.

Anyway, government jobs are cushy in a recession, and crap in boom times. If government jobs are so well paid and so great, go ahead and apply for one. In a year or so, there will be plenty of openings that no one will want because private sector will pay more.

Re:If you are at work (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289922)

The divergence grows as you get more experience and seniority. Show me one job in the civil sector where you run a department or bureau with 500 employees and make less than $150K.

How many levels of management/managers exist between a leader overseeing 500 people in the public sector vs that of the private sector?

I think you'd be surprised, especially at lower levels such as city and/or county government at just how many people make more than $100k/year to do a job which is handled by far fewer people in the private sector.

Re:If you are at work (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289938)

If it's your union, then it is part of your work.

If you're an official union liaison, maybe.

Re:If you are at work (4, Informative)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290166)

It's not the union's website, it's a site favoring a political stance by the union. That's not part of anyone's job.

Re:If you are at work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289454)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff.

Strengthening of unions usually happens among people who... wait for it... are on the job together.

Re:If you are at work (2)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289462)

Yea, why would legislators want to be able to access what ever information they want on the internet?

Re:If you are at work (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289488)

Governments have somewhat more constraints on treating political viewpoints equally than private employers would, though. So the network admins can probably block all political sites, but if they go out of their way to only block sites of the opposing political party, that might not be permitted. They also can't discipline employees in a viewpoint-discriminatory way, e.g. firing employees who surf to wisdems.org but not wisgop.org, or vice versa.

Re:If you are at work (0)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289800)

Governments have somewhat more constraints on treating political viewpoints equally than private employers would, though. So the network admins can probably block all political sites, but if they go out of their way to only block sites of the opposing political party, that might not be permitted. They also can't discipline employees in a viewpoint-discriminatory way, e.g. firing employees who surf to wisdems.org but not wisgop.org, or vice versa.

good point

Re:If you are at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289508)

Oh I don't know. There are times I am at work, such as break or lunch, that I am not supposed to be working. Why should I not be doing "political stuff" at these times. Now, using employer owned resources on my own time (break/lunch) is another issue altogether.

Re:If you are at work (5, Insightful)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289620)

He's censored the website because he finds it a political hazard; that's obviously a free speech issue. His behavior is evidently not about worker productivity since: 1) If the State Capitol wanted to increase worker productivity, they would block ESPN, not a pro-labor site. 2) It's perfectly acceptable to surf the web during one's OSHA mandated break. The only reason to block the site is a crude attempt to impede the pro-labor movement.

Re:If you are at work (2)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289636)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

Unions aren't really "political stuff". Granted, right now they are... But if we were talking about Wal-Mart employees being blocked from viewing a pro-union web page nobody would mention politics.

And unions most certainly are work-related. They're responsible for contract negotiations and all sorts of fun stuff. I certainly hope the folks in HR (at any organization) are able to get to the web pages of whatever unions they have to deal with.

And since censorship is, by definition, suppression of communication by the government... And these are state employees, who therefor work for the government... And their communication was suppressed... It probably does fall under the definition of censorship (unlike all the times that somebody screams about Comcast or AT&T or Apple filtering something).

But, ultimately, it isn't much of a story. There was absolutely no malicious intent. It appears that they simply use a whitelist to filter traffic, and that site was not in the whitelist. It appears to have been added to the whitelist shortly after the problem was reported.

Re:If you are at work (4, Insightful)

john82 (68332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289750)

All web sites are blocked by the WI state government firewall the first time they are encountered until they've been cleared as non-offensive (i.e. pr0n). The block was temporary. It was not political. It was not First Amendment relevant. It was a rule in a firewall.

This is slashdot, not Digg, let's try to rational for a change.

Re:If you are at work (3, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289838)

Read the article - the site was up for a while before being blocked. If your firewall has a whitelist that allows anything to be there for days before blocking it and asking if it should be allowed, you need a new firewall.

Re:If you are at work (2)

wygit (696674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289880)

yah, I saw where the administration aide said that too, and it didn't make any sense then either.
"The Department of Administration blocks all new websites shortly after they are created, until they go through a software approval program that unblocks them."
I call total BS on that one.
The admins must be kept REALLY busy if they're manually whitelisting every new site that comes up in a Google search. Do you have any idea how many "new sites" are created every day?

I don't either.

Re:If you are at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35290044)

When a computer from their network tries to contact a domain the domain is logged. if it has not been white or black listed yet it is blocked and added to a queue for review.

The admins need only review the sites actually visited by people on the network, and they don't necessarily have to do it in a "timely" manner.

Re:If you are at work (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290172)

You really don't understand content filtering and website blocking.

When you use a whitelist system, every website that isn't whitelisted is blocked. You don't need to go look for a new website. No site is whitelisted until the "program" (personnel) receive the complaint that a website is blocked. It's then assessed and if found appropriate within the rules of the organization it is whitelisted. It's pretty much the basic concept for every content web filter. AT&T does the exact same thing. Every website is initially unclassed. When their content filter team gets a request for reclassification the assess the site and put it into one of the pre-made classifications. Organizations which use the AT&T content filter are allow to choose which classifications of sites that they allow and which ones aren't allowed.

Re:If you are at work (1, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290024)

All web sites are blocked by the WI state government firewall the first time they are encountered until they've been cleared as non-offensive (i.e. pr0n). The block was temporary. It was not political. It was not First Amendment relevant. It was a rule in a firewall.

This is slashdot, not Digg, let's try to rational for a change.

Yes, that is what the Governor said, however, the site was up before this and accessed before this, so this blocking had nothing to do with the state's automatically blocking of new sites.

When Egypt took down the internet, wasn't that just a rule in a firewall, too? How a site is blocked does not keep it from being censorship or political or 1st amendment. If somebody wanted to censor political speech on the internet, how else other than a firewall would they do it? And in the case of Wisconsin, why would they redo it after the site was initially blocked and then approved (and then blocked again) if it weren't for censorship?

Re:If you are at work (2)

forand (530402) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289780)

This is the State Capitol, a public building where average citizens of the state have business to do. Some of that business could very well be related to a pro-union agenda. If it is a resource only for the employees then it should be secured and rightly regulated. But regulating the websites based on political content by a State executive is basically EXACTLY what the first amendment was intended to prevent. You can fire them for not doing their job but you cannot limit their free speech.

Re:If you are at work (1)

Batmunk2000 (1878016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290184)

I can see both sides of this issue. On one hand I am disturbed that a government is blocking a web site but imagine if this was a skinhead rally... few would be debating the wisdom of blocking web access to them or whatever it is they want to use to spread their message. (Facebook, hate sites, etc.) The government can't pick and choose which groups get a protected soap box and which don't... The First Amendment guarantees your right to speak - but does not provide the tools to do the speaking nor the audience. (You have to acquire those yourself). You can write a book but that doesn't mean you have a "right" to a printing press.... you need to buy or make one yourself. Saying government employees can protest against the taxpayer using wi-fi provided by that same taxpayer isn't protected "free speech"... it is yet another entitlement and the root contention of the protest in the first place.

Re:If you are at work (4, Insightful)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289812)

doubt it's a first amendment violation

If it's the only site they're blocking (or one of a small handful of sites they're blocking), then it is most definitely a First Amendment ("FA") violation. The federal or a state government can only block sites in certain ways.

First off, a pro-union website would be classified as "core political speech," which receives the highest FA protection. In order for this blocking to be upheld, the blocking would have to overcome strict scrutiny analysis. Strict scrutiny analysis is an extremely stringent analysis, and in order to survive such analysis, the policymaker would have to show (1) a compelling government interest; (2) the law is narrowly tailored to that specific interest; and (3) the policy is the least restrictive means for accomplishing that interest.

Given the Wisconsin governor's comments in the past about unions (he's trying to permanently remove collective bargaining rights from the teachers union, e.g.), I suspect there is no compelling government interest aside from a desire to shut unions up. Beyond that, almost no law/policy overcomes strict scrutiny in real life, so it's almost a given that this would be struck down.

Now I suppose this could be a TMP (time, manner, place) restriction, which would only need to withstand intermediate scrutiny. Such scrutiny requires the policymaker to show the policy is (1) content neutral; (2) narrowly tailored; (3) serves a significant governmental interest; and (4) leaves open ample alternative communication channels. This policy would assuredly fail based on its content non-neutrality.

Re:If you are at work (3, Interesting)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289910)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

"If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled "guest," you cannot access the site defendwisconsin.org.Huffinton Post [huffingtonpost.com]

What if you're not at work, but rather exercising your right to petition your government on your own time? Although the whitelisting issue has discussed in other comments, your assumption that this situation only involed people "at work" so that the blocking of "political stuff" was perfectly OK is deeply flawed. Guest internet access may not be a right, but censoring political content on a government sponsored guest network would still be a first amendment violation.

Re:If you are at work (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289940)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff.

All while the bosses spend their time surfing for porn? [infoworld.com]

Productivity-wise, the internet is a double edged sword. We know this to be true. But if the cost of a few minutes of work unrelated political browsing means someone can do a better job with the resources on the world wide web, then it's a good trade off.

Re:If you are at work (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289970)

You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

Just like people are supposed to be working instead of posting on slashdot about this or any other thing, too.

Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions? (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289438)

Unions take care of their own business.

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (2)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289474)

I think the, admittedly non-sequitur, comment was about internet censorship and not suggesting Clinton had any involvement with the unions. Clinton was complaining about shutting off the internet in Egypt, et al.

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (0, Flamebait)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289550)

  • Don't italicise et al. if you're not going to italicise non sequitur (which comprises two separate words);
  • et al. isn't a smart-sounding synonym for etc.;
  • It is likely that you use a Mac.

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289634)

Hey, they fixed the italics bug.

(I was going to make a snarky comment about how he must have used emphasis, because italics are broken, but no, it appears that he actually used i tags)

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (4, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289720)

Clinton was complaining about shutting off the internet in Egypt, et al.

et al. isn't a smart-sounding synonym for etc.

Actually it works here, since it's just Latin for "and others". It mere convention that we tend to use it almost exclusively for group authorship in English.

The only substantial difference with etc. is that the latter denotes that you know who or what the others are.

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35290178)

It does not work. It specifically means other people. Egypt is not a person. It is not as general as others is in english.

  It would have worked had he said " Clinton et al. are complaining about shutting off the internet in Egypt and other countries experiencing political unrest."

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289908)

'et al' is derived from the Latin for "and others"...so it does fit where he used it. Granted he didn't build a list, just used one example and then threw in 'et al'. Also, Wikipedia does list it as a synonym for 'etc'...

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/et_al [wiktionary.org]

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (0)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290202)

Wasn't that during the speech when guards in civilian clothes hustled out a silent protester, then proceeded to shackle and beat him, and all the while she never missed a beat on her speech?

Re:Since when is H. Clinton the speaker for unions (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289752)

The State Department (led by H. Clinton) is sponsoring "World Press Freedom Day". The official press release at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/12/152465.htm [state.gov] says the following:

New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.

The real question is, is H. Clinton concerned about the determination of US politicians "to censor and silence individuals"?

Is Wisconsin now in Libya? (1)

scumfuker (882056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289466)

...or any part of the Middle East?

Re:Is Wisconsin now in Libya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289586)

...or any part of the Middle East?

Why yes! Didn't you see Mohamed Al Hayseed in the protests?

Re:Is Wisconsin now in Libya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289832)

Worse, its in the midwest

Yawn (2, Informative)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289482)

It's not as bad as it seems if you RTFA. The WiFi at the Capitol is just using a whitelist. It wasn't accessable, but it was added to the whitelist within 30 minutes of being notified that it was blocked.
FTA

"The Department of Administration blocks all new websites shortly after they are created, until they go through a software approval program that unblocks them. Within 30 minutes of being notified this website was blocked, DOA circumvented the software and immediately made the website accessible,"

Re:Yawn (2)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289602)

And the reason it hadn't been accessed before: it was created a few days ago.

whois defendwisconsin.org ... Domain Name:DEFENDWISCONSIN.ORG Created On:14-Feb-2011 02:47:57 UTC

Re:Yawn (4, Interesting)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289744)

That would make sense if it was never accessible. The complaints are that it was accessible until yesterday.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289814)

"The Department of Administration blocks all new websites shortly after they are created, until they go through a software approval program that unblocks them. Within 30 minutes of being notified this website was blocked, DOA circumvented the software and immediately made the website accessible,"

That "blocks all new websites shortly after they are created" kinda implies they have a list of all known websites.
"DOA circumvented the software" combined with "software approval program that unblocks them" sounds more like DOA circumvented their normal policy or DOA fast-tracked the approval program for this site.

I know, the article says one thing(based on the quote you had), the department likely says another(guess), and it can be interpreted as something else.

Re:Yawn (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290118)

That "blocks all new websites shortly after they are created" kinda implies they have a list of all known websites.

They do. Once an employee visits the site, they know about it. They have logs.

Apparently their firewall rule allows visits to unknown websites on the first visit. Then, presumably after the first visit or a predefined length of time after it, the site is blacklisted. So that LOLcat link you got in your e-mail works once, cause apparently their IT department doesn't want to seem like a complete bunch of killjoys, but you won't be spending hours there, because you're at work. And if a site gets blacklisted that you actually need for work purposes, well, they're sure they'll hear about it pretty soon and they can move it from the blacklist to the whitelist.

Re:Yawn (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289840)

It's not as bad as it seems if you RTFA. The WiFi at the Capitol is just using a whitelist. It wasn't accessable, but it was added to the whitelist within 30 minutes of being notified that it was blocked.

Well sure, we know that now. But that is only because it has been over 30 minutes since the story was posted on Slashdot! We can finally read it now.

Let's face it. The best chance you have of being modded "+5 Informative" is to post early before you have had a chance to RTFA and become informed. I suggest we should introduce the moderation of "+5 Good Guess". Your post being the exception, naturally! ;-)

Re:Yawn (1)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289976)

If they block websites shortly after they are created, they aren't using a white list.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35290054)

Exactly, either the spokesperson has no clue wtf they are talking about or they are lying.

Not A First Amendment Issue, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289496)

In a union, you are suppose to be able to get a hold of a union representative whenever you feel the situation warrants it. So, it is a violation of workplace rules.

Re:Not A First Amendment Issue, But... (2)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289726)

But surely you have defined and appropriate channels for contacting a Union rep that don't rely on using someone else's internet access.

Slashdot. Delivery yesterday's lies last (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289504)

The Capitol building wifi network blocks all outside access requests unless it is on a whitelist.

Once theblock was notice it took them 30 minutes to adjust settings to allow it. I don't agree with thatmethod but it is better for important networks.

Talk about narrative... (2)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289518)

With how much this story is getting passed around, you'd almost think this site was temporarily blocked as a publicity stunt.

But that's almost as crazy as the theory from the article: that this particular pro-union site, out of god knows how many, was purposefully blocked because they thought that'd make everyone go home. That it wouldn't just give the protesters another talking point.

Not a story (2, Insightful)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289526)

This is not really a story.

Apparently they auto-block websites, using whitelists only. So this new website comes online and its blocked. If they unblock it per their normal procedure, I see no issue.

(and i say this as someone who is against the limitations on the collective bargaining process)

Re:Not a story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289794)

If it is a white-list, they manually allow, not auto-block.

Re:Not a story (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289802)

Sure. It's all OK because they don't just block Union websites but they block pretty much anything.

Yeah. THAT makes it all better...

800 lb. Gorilla in the room. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289540)

Most of the states are now in the red. How come none of them are looking at the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room? Maybe they should start looking at all the wasted funds that are sent to the Federals each and every day. Did you know that your tax dollars was used to give Egypt a 1/3 of its military. So when you watched them mow over their citizens, know that it was used with your hard earned money. Feel better yet? How about in the 70s when Federal scientists were paid to go to South America to infect unwilling people with a sexually transmitted disease just to study its effects. Every day money is squandered, and most of us will not have any idea of how. If the states want to become sovereign again then maybe they should start focusing on the larger issue.

Re:800 lb. Gorilla in the room. (3, Informative)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289648)

"Maybe they should start looking at all the wasted funds that are sent to the Federals each and every day"

States dont send money to the federal government, they receive an inordanant amount from the federal government. Budget bill passed in the house, if it goes through, which it will not, will devastate State budgets.

Re:800 lb. Gorilla in the room. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289692)

How come none of them are looking at the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room?

TFS specifically mentions Hillary! What else do you want? :)

wee issue the strongest condemnations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289556)

yet another peaceful celebration of freedom erupting? air strikes to follow riot police?

If you tell Hillary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289564)

Tell Hillary and she'll just ignore you like she did that protestor while he was dragged out during her speech about how peaceful protestors shouldn't be censored.

OTOH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289566)

Redtube is still available, so productivity remains unaffected.

One more good reason to turn on SSL (1)

paulproteus (112149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289674)

The website in question should enable SSL [wikimedia.org] so that sysadmins in the middle can't monkey around with blocking sites based on their content.

Re:One more good reason to turn on SSL (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289728)

Nothing was blocked based on content, so that seems a tad pointless.

Re:One more good reason to turn on SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35290198)

Yeah, that worked for a while at my workplace. Then they rolled out a proxy that's installed locally and apparently can tell what website you're visiting even when you're on a secure connection, so https Gmail doesn't work anymore.

Not that I regularly circumvent the firewall, but I liked knowing how in case I ever needed to.

STATE workers (0)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289748)

Are suppose to be WORKING, not surfing. Now, would the liberals complain, if the state blocked the websites of Rush, Palin, Beck, Fox News?

Re:STATE workers (4, Insightful)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289834)

Never trust the /. summary. This was the capitol's public wi-fi, not just for workers.

Re:STATE workers (2)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289960)

a

STATE workers are suppose to be WORKING, not surfing. Now, would the liberals complain, if the state blocked the websites of Rush, Palin, Beck, Fox News

"If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled "guest," you cannot access the site defendwisconsin.org.Huffington Post [huffingtonpost.com]

STATE workers aren't using wireless "guest" APs to conduct their business. Although the whitelisting issue has discussed in other comments, your assumption that this situation only involed state workers so that the blocking was perfectly OK is deeply flawed. Guest internet access may not be a right, but censoring political content on a government sponsored guest network would still be a first amendment violation.

And They Call It Democracy - Bruce Cockburn (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289756)

video [youtube.com]

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It's just spend a buck to make a buck
You don't really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt.....

Re:And They Call It Democracy - Bruce Cockburn (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35289926)

And they call it democracy

Actually they call it "Disaster Capitalism". It has merely come home from the Third World.

People don't seem to realize that there's no intrinsic connection between democracy and capitalism.

senseless bullshit!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289806)

dont go to www.niels-stensen-gymnasium.de!!!!

Um.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289856)

Why don't they protest and assemble on their own time, and not the company's?

bämm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35289878)

texttext [niels-sten...mnasium.de]

BTW, This story is false. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35290030)

The site was a new site and the DOA uses WebSense to block traffic. Once it was brought to their attention they added that site to an exception list.

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