Monday, April 9, 2007
Philocrites, now non-mission essential!
Updated! A longtime reader who works for the U.S. Air Force sent me email early last week saying that his work computer can no longer access this site. Instead, typing "www.philocrites.com" into his browser brings up the following amazing legalese:
The Site You Are Trying To Access Is Prohibited
Category of Blocked URL: "Forum/Bulletin Boards"
Monitoring of Your Web Activity is Being Performed
Reference AFI 33-129, Web Management and Internet Use, paragraph 2: "The activities listed in paragraphs 2.2.1 through 2.2.14 involving the use of government-provided computer hardware or software are specifically prohibited: 2.2.1 Use of Federal government communications systems for unathorized personal use."
IAW AFI 33-219, Telecommunications Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP), Paragraph 13
If the site you are trying to access is mission essential please contact your local NCC Help Desk to request access.
This is a Department of Defense computer system. This computer system, including all related equipment, networks, and network devices (specifically including Internet access) are provided only for authorized U.S. Government use. DoD computer systems may be monitored for all lawful purposes, including to ensure that their use is authorized, for management of the system, to facilitate protection against unauthorized access, and to verify security procedures, survivability, and operational security. Monitoring includes active attacks by authorized DoD entities to test or verify the security of this system. During monitoring, information may be examined, recorded, copied, and used for authorized purposes. All information, including personal information, placed or sent over this system may be monitored. Use of this DoD computer system, authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to monitoring of this system. Unauthorized use may subject you to criminal prosecution. Evidence of unauthorized use collected during monitoring may be used for administrative, criminal, or other adverse action. Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring for these purposes.
Hmm. Although I've often felt that this blog takes up a lot of my time, my traffic counter says the average reader spends less than 2 minutes on the site, so government worries about time-wasting employees seem unwarranted.
But wait! My traffic logs show that a reader from the U.S. Department of Justice visited my site on Thursday morning, March 29, at 9:24, after clicking a link from the Mormon blog Times and Seasons where people were discussing Dick Cheney's commencement speech controversy at BYU. (At the time, my front page had two stories that might make a pro-Bush DOJ employee unhappy: I cheered a National Association of Evangelicals public statement condemning U.S. torture, and complained about BYU's selection of Dick Cheney as commencement speaker. Other than that, it was pretty slim pickings here.) I'd hate to cast aspersions, but it does make you wonder.
Instead of drawing conclusions, I'd prefer to gather more evidence. If you can read this site from your government computer, drop me a line and let me know. If you can't read the site from work, I can suggest some alternate ways to get your daily fix, including signing up for email delivery. And if you're a legalistic scold who would like to say that Air Force employees should avoid extracurricular reading during the workday, don't you dare leave a comment between 9 and 5. Get back to work!
Update: Apparently the Air Force blocked lots of blogs last April, too — here are progressive blogs crying foul — but Federal Computer Week magazine reported in October that system-wide screens for "productivity categories" (i.e., time-wasters) can be enhanced by local system operators to screen out individual sites. Perhaps my DOJ visitor is vindicated? ("Air Force censors liberal websites, but leaves conservative ones alone" [blog entry], AmberJane, DailyKos 4.24.06; "Boutelle: Army not blocking political sites," Josh Rogin, FCW.com 10.26.06)
Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 9 April 2007 at 8:02 AM