Saturday, 23 August 2003

Back from San Antonio

I’m back from a trip to San Antonio, where I spent a week with hightly-filtered net access where I was training. I quickly discovered that of my two favorite blogs (the Volokh Conspiracy and Calpundit), one of them, Calpundit, was blocked, as it was considered a “personal site” by the filtering software.

I saw no evidence of any systematic bias against “liberal” or “conservative” blogs. But the decisions about which blogs were “personal sites” seemed so arbitrary. When I go back in September for more training, I'll try a more systematic study of what blogs are blocked.

Oh, and I couldn’t get to my email either, since “external email sites” were blocked as well. When I returned, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I only had 29 copies of the Sobig worm waiting in my mailbox.

Downtown San Antonio itself is quite lovely. If you’re ever there, I highly recommend dropping by Jim Cullum’s Landing for half-price margaritas and live jazz.

I would, however, like to strangle whoever came up with the stupid marketing slogan “Don’t Mess with Texas”, which appeared plastered all over T-shirts and shot glasses in every souvenir boutique I saw.

Saturday, 27 September 2003

Blocking the Blogosphere

I just returned from another enjoyable trip to San Antonio. After the last trip, I blogged about having rather restricted web access at the training center, and I promised a report on what blogs were blocked. Here’s that report.

I’m not going to say what software was doing the blocking, just in case there’s some sort of absurd “Intellectual Property” claim or EULA agreement I might be violating. But do a Google search for “enterprise web filter software”, and you should be able to make an educated guess.

I obviously couldn’t check every blog out there, so I decided to use the best blogroll out there, that of OxBlog. Here are the blogs that appear on the OxBlog blogroll, along with whether they were blocked, and what category they were blocked under.

George Washington:
InstaPunditBLOCKED under “message boards and clubs”

James Wilson:
Brett Marston – not blocked
Volokh Conspiracy – not blocked

Abigail Adams:
Diotima – not blocked
NZ Pols – not blocked

Alexis de Tocqueville:
Amitai Etzioni – not blocked
Crooked Timber – not blocked
KausFilesBLOCKED under “alternative jounals”
James Lileks – not blocked
Eve Tushnet – blocked under “society & lifestyles”

Theodore Roosevelt:
Amygdala – not blocked
Asparagirl - BLOCKED under “personal web sites”
Belgravia Dispatch – not blocked
Phil Carter – not blocked
Joyful Christian – not blocked
Martin Kimel – not blocked
ToneCluster – not blocked
Adrianne Truett – not blocked
Winds of Change – not blocked
Yale Pundits – not blocked
PejmanPundit – not blocked

Calvin Coolidge:
Evil Forces – not blocked
ScrappleFace – not blocked
Up Yours – not blocked

Winston Churchill:
Sasha Castel – not blocked
England’s Sword – not blocked
Innocents Abroad – not blocked
Andrew Sullivan – not blocked

Franklin Roosevelt:
The Agonist – not blocked
Antidotal – not blocked
CalPundit - BLOCKED under “personal web sites”
Kieran Healy - BLOCKED under “personal web sites”
Josh Marshall – not blocked
The Talking Dog – not blocked
Matt Yglesias - BLOCKED under “personal web sites”

David Ben Gurion:
GedankenPundit – not blocked
IsraPundit – not blocked
Kesher Talk – not blocked

Friedrich Hayek:
Jane Galt - BLOCKED under “messageboards & clubs”
Brink Lindsey – not blocked
Virginia Postrel - BLOCKED under “society & lifestyles”
Natalie Solent - BLOCKED under “messageboards & clubs”
VodkaPundit - BLOCKED under “personal web sites”
Matt Welch – not blocked

Ronald Reagan:
DailyPundit – not blocked
Power Line – not blocked
Patrick Ruffini – not blocked

Daniel Patrick Moynihan:
Daniel Drezner – not blocked
How Appealing - BLOCKED under “message boards & clubs
Josh Cherniss – not blocked
Jeremy Reff – not blocked
Steve Sachs – not blocked

OxBlog itself is blocked under the category "message boards & clubs", and Signifying Nothing is not blocked. The data set is obviously too small and the categorization too subjective to draw any meaningful conclusion. But just for scorekeeping purposes, it looks like the Hayekians win the "most blocked" category. (Except for the single Washingtonian.)

Saturday, 21 February 2004

More blogosphere blocking

It seems the “enterprise web filter software” that Brock tested in September isn’t the only popular censorware product that blocks a large number of weblogs; Eric of Classical Values took SonicWALL’s web filter for a spin and, shall we say, was unimpressed. (Link via Tim Sandefur.)