transportation security administration to block certain websites from employee computers

Email from TSAthe transportation security administration sent out an email today notifying employees that access to certain websites at work would begin to be limited. the sites are deemed ‘inappropriate for government access’ and include the following:

  • Chat/Messaging
  • Controversial opinion
  • Criminal activity
  • Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content
  • Gaming

so is this an infringement on free speech (not that government workers surfing the web is speech in any way, shape, or form? or is it a government agency trying to get their employees to work?

a quick few observations:

  1. aren’t these work computers? what on earth are tsa employees doing gaming or chatting on work computers? and is this why my luggage always gets mis-routed in the philadelphia airport? on this one, i’m with the tsa. get to work and stop facebooking. facebook will drain all of your time and energy.
  2. sites with ‘controversial opinions’ are banned. who makes this determination? what is a ‘controversial opinion’? who makes that determination? are controversial opinions those from conservatives? liberals? those that are critical of the obama administration? i’m with the employees on this one.
  3. pornography isn’t on the list?? how is pornography not on this list? government employees can’t play bubble spinner but they can browse porn? to quote casablanca, ‘captain renault big sister is getting broad-minded.’

what do you think?

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2 Responses

  1. 1. Not everyone works luggage. I’m pretty sure there are those that sit in front of a computer all day.

    2. Internet content filters. There are network appliances that control access to content by categories. Companies can add and subject from these lists as well. Check this out list from WebSense: http://www.websense.com/content/urlcategories.aspx

    3. There is already policy in place for this and other content that should already be blocked by the content filters.

    Work is for work. If people want access to this type of content, they can do it on their own time on their own gear.

    Cheers

  2. It’s all a bunch of nonsense. What they should do is reward employees that are doing their work well and fire those that aren’t – regardless of their Web browsing habits. Of course that would require managers to do, you know, their jobs as opposed to just creating mindless policies…

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