by Mike Masnick

The Web Filter That Made A Porn Site Newsworthy

from the sorry-about-that dept

bt garner writes in with a story that shows why having corporate web filtering technology might not always make sense. In this case, a UK news organization broadcast a report about kids playing on railway lines and posted a website address along with the story. It turns out that the website address (broadcast mid-day) sent people to a hardcore porn site. It's not entirely clear why the station felt the need to include the URL, but they're not getting in trouble for it. In reviewing the case, Ofcom is letting them off the hook because the news organization says they tried to check the website before including it in the broadcast, but were blocked by their own corporate web filter. So, without being able to see it, they figured it must be fine to list the website (which probably should have set off alarms in the first place). You would think that, of all places, a news organization would realize that having a web filter in place is, at some point, going to interfere with actual news gathering.

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  • identicon
    blankmeyer, 19 Jul 2005 @ 11:09am

    Dangers of Web Filters to Business

    The point that a news organization in particular should not be filtering content on their internet makes sense. Since they are providing information out to viewers/readers, why block what information they have access too. I agree, but I think it should apply to businesses in general. Employees need to have access to information in order to do their jobs - particularly in this case (Do they not trust the editor/producer enough to give him unhindered access to the Net?).
    Policies should be established on what is appropriate and what is not, with clear consequences for violation of the policy. Granted there are always exceptions, as would be in this case. Any sort of monitoring or logging would have flagged the editor had he actually been allowed to view the site. Once this activity was noted, the editor should have been able to adequately defended his actions as it was the prudent measure. Unless of course he spent the next two hours browsing the site...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike, 19 Jul 2005 @ 1:08pm

    filtered at the newspaper

    I know a report for the paper here who says their have a content filter their as well and because the paper is in new orleans their own website is not visible during the mardigras season due to the live webcam and obvious associated search terms!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2005 @ 9:37am

    what an opportunity

    Everyone knows the most money online is in porn and gambling. Need a few extra bucks? Get paid to slip a porn link into one of your less-viewed stories. Then when there's an uproar, blame your webfilter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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