Swarthmore Shutting Down Websites That Link To Protest Site
from the going-waaaaaaaay-overboard dept
If you haven't been following the story of Swarthmore College and its actions to stifle students from protesting against Diebold, it's quite a story, that seems to only be getting worse. As you've probably read recently, there's been a ton of controversy over Diebold, one of the major makers of electronic voting machines. People have discovered huge gaping security holes that call into question certain recent elections. In that original article, we pointed out that Diebold seemed to be making quite a mistake in trying to shut down certain sites that included internal memos that admit the company knew of the security problems, and didn't really care. In claiming copyright ownership over those documents, and saying anyone posting them was in violation, they were admitting that they did own the documents, and therefore they were legitimate. Thus, under whistleblowing laws, it shouldn't be an issue that they were made public. However, Diebold has still been using the DMCA to force many sites offline. A group of students at Swarthmore college decided to start a little civil disobedience campaign to fight back against the cease-and-desist letter they received from Diebold, and will keep moving the documents from machine to machine to make sure they remain available. Now, here's where the story gets even more interesting. Ernest Miller has been following the case since then, and found out that Swarthmore College administrators have been siding entirely with Diebold on this one, and started disconnecting the internet accounts of any student who hosted the files. However, the latest news is the most shocking. Swarthmore is now disconnecting the internet accounts of anyone who dares to link to the site explaining the protest. This goes beyond cutting off internet access to those who host the files, and even those who link to the files. They're actually cutting off those who link to a discussion of why they're hosting the files. This is deeply troubling, both in seeing how a company is stifling information that absolutely should be public and in how a university is doing their best to stifle even the slightest discussion about this.