When Muni-WiFi Becomes Vehicle For Muni-Censorship

from the looking-out-for-the-taxpayer dept

Broadband Reports points out a press release which says the Culver City, California, will install filters on its muni-Wifi network -- which covers all of one square mile -- to weed out porn and P2P traffic. While the city might have the right to do so, these decision seems surrounded in silliness. First, filters don't work, and as has been shown time and time again, cracking down on certain types of file sharing just means people will find others to use -- so installing and maintaining filters is hardly an effective use of city money. But it gets worse: in the press release, a city official says "It was only after we saw an activity report from [the filtering vendor] that we realized there were potential problems," which sounds like they were sold a solution to a problem that doesn't exist -- which is par for the course in the filtering business. Furthermore, he adds that accessing porn or P2P "is clearly not something tax dollars should be paying for" -- what's next? Banning the use of city streets if you're driving to a strip club or pursuing otherwise legal, but governmentally determined "undesirable" activities? It's hardly surprising that Culver City is home to three movie studios, and the MPAA is wetting its pants in delight at the plans. So, if you had designs on going to downtown Culver City and getting you some hot P2P action, think again -- it's an MPAA-approved piracy-free zone. Well, it would be, if filtering actually worked worth a damn. But somehow that seems beside the point, since Dan Glickman still managed to get his name in the press release.
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