Monday, October 16, 2006

Interior Dialogue

Conservatives? What conservatives?Pajamas Media has posted my big investigative report into the selective blocking of conservative blogs at the Department of the Interior.

I’ll let the cat out of the bag just a little bit by saying that the issue is not selective blocking of blogs, it’s the selective unblocking of blogs.

A snip:

A grand conspiracy at the top of DOI is unlikely. If they wanted to screen out conservative content — say, in order to keep their employees from learning about the Harry Reid caper — they could block all blogs, just as the other federal agencies are doing.

On the other hand… the higher-ups in the Department of the Interior are not getting good information from their subordinates.

Go and read the rest. Make sure to leave a comment!

Update: Danny Glover from National Journal has written on this topic at his blog, and also has a fuller explanation about the issue from Frank Quimby at Interior here.


Mark said...

I now believe that my blog has been blocked too. All of a sudden, from one day to the next, my hits from the States have been reduced dramatically. This is a very strange phenomenon. They gave been so consistently high for such a long time.

Mark said...

Sorry, that should read: "They have been so consistently high for such a long time."

Beach Girl said...

A day without the Gates of Vienna is like a day with no coffee. I have been without coffee for what seems like forever now.

Baron and Dymphna - thank you for all of your work and your tireless devotion. Also, thank you for your humor when there is room for it. I agree with Profitsbeard when he has said humor and laughter will beat down the imams, et al, every time it is tired.

linearthinker said...

How's this for a linear solution?

1. All federal agencies should block all blogs, news groups, forums, etc. Nobody is complaining about private home access blocking. Only bureaucrats are bitching that they can't use their government property workstations and government networks to access non-mission related sites, presumably on government time. I refuse to believe they stay after work to check their favorite blog before heading home, or that their blogging is limited to "official downtime" like lunches and coffee breaks.

2. Federal agency IT staff have more legitimate work than they can usually cope with in the first place. If you doubt that, just ask them. Why in the hell should tax payers fund them to spend time running and updating screening software for blogs or forums or news groups or whatever when those sites have zero content relevant to what the users are paid to do during their work day?

3. There are internet sites that are legitimate information sources for federal staff. Trade organizations, legal opinions, material and equipment suppliers, etc. fall in this catagory. A simple government wide statement that the hosts of those sites are expected to keep their content within professional or business related bounds to prevent blocking puts the onus on the site host to keep the federal bureaucracy within their client base.

I'm a retired federal employee. I would have found all the above acceptable to me during my working career.