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I work at a very large computer company. One of the largest in the world.*

I've worked there for several months now, with somewhat subdued but still frequent Internet browsing habits, which, of course, include DailyKos.

And yesterday was the first time DailyKos has ever been blocked, and it was still blocked as of today when I left.



*: Of course, this is a private diary placed on the Internet in my private time, and in no way represents my (hopefully anonymous) employeer's views or policies. The fact that I have to mention that my ideas in my free time are my own is, to be frank, disgusting, but that's life in the year 2006 for ya.

Ever since I started there I have been keeping up on the news during work.  This is acceptable use of the Internet policy there, as long as I still give all our customers my complete and rapt attention.  And, of course, I do -- although there are times when there is a lull of a few minutes to a half hour between calls.

I typically read CNN, Bloggerman, Slashdot, Atrios, Cagle's Political Comics Index, This Modern World, and DailyKOS while at work.  As well as as many online comics as I can think of.  While it sounds like a lot, typically these only last about 2-4 minutes at a time, and there is a large amount of downtime between, and even during calls.

All clean (except for one time when I clicked Loxie and Zoot instead of Megatokyo on my list).  All acceptable to read at work during the downtime.

As of yesterday right before Noon, the SmartFilter Internet censorship software has been blocking DailyKOS.  Initially I was getting timeouts and page refused hits when I tried, then shortly afterwards I got a screen:

SMARTFILTER

This page has been blocked, contact IT if you think it shouldn't be, yadda yadda yadda.

This page has been blocked because it falls under the following category:
Mature

This is the same category that erotica and other adult materials fall under.  "Mature".  Sorry boys and girls, you're not old enough to talk about corrupt Republicans today.

The only thing that is different is we are now talking about a Pedophile senator and the scandal erupting over the illegal coverup by the Republicans, desperate to keep their rubber stamps primed.

At first I thought it was just a learning filter, and that some top page discussion was setting the system off.  However, upon further investigation (as an aside, this anti-Smartfilter page was blocked as "Anoniminity / Translation Software") I discovered that SmartFilter is not a "learning filter" but rather has a database of unacceptable URLs and domain names -- so someone had to have put DailyKOS on it.

Is anyone else in a corporate environment and experiencing a DailyKOS news blackout now that we're getting closer to the elections and the Republicans are falling apart?

Edit:
An Update! In the comments, zzmarkzz points us to this URL which can be used to submit a website for reevaluation. I suggest everyone do so, submitting it for the category "Remove from this list" on both V4 and V3 filters.

Perhaps if they see enough people submit it, they will remove it from their digital book burning software.

Edit2:
If you guys are noticing that your workplace is now filtering DailyKOS, please let us know in comments. Workplace (if possible), what filtering software you are seeing (SmartFilter in this case), how long it's been blocked, the reason given, etc.

In another thread Kos was asking:

I need to talk to someone at Computer Associates. Preferably, someone who works or knows someone in the web filtering division.
While this is by Secure Computing, not Computer Associates, it could be just one of several Internet Censorhip organizations attemping a "Kos Blackout", as it were. I'd like to get a listing and idea, if possible.

Edit 3:
So far we've heard from high school students (think about that one the next time you want to curse Bush's name with actual anglo-saxon curse words), people who use the Internet at public libraries (the primary logon point for millions in the US), insurance salesmen, bankers, IT staff...

This block seems to be either spreading (are they sharing their lists? Is this a concentrated effort to disrupt the site?) or more widespread than most people, myself included, thought.

Anyone else? We're getting some good data here, but lets try and see if there are any patterns emerging.

Originally posted to KiTA on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 04:03 PM PDT.

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