Websurfers At DEN Like Free Wi-Fi, But Deplore Censorship | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.09.16

Airborne 02.10.16

Airborne 02.11.16

Airborne 02.12.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.09.16

Airborne 02.10.16

Airborne 02.11.16

Airborne 02.12.16

Thu, Mar 06, 2008

Websurfers At DEN Like Free Wi-Fi, But Deplore Censorship

Servers Block A Number Of 'Provocative' Sites

When Denver International Airport adopted free wireless Internet service last November, the move was met by-and-large with applause from passengers traveling through the Rocky Mountain hub... but some have criticized the airport's decidedly Big Brother-ish approach to determining what is "appropriate" content.

According to The Denver Post, those surfing on free Wi-Fi at DEN aren't allowed to view such sites as VanityFair.com, due to that magazine's often "provocative" content. Ditto such popular sites as gossip column perezhilton.com, or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition website.

Airport officials say they're simply erring on the side of caution, and note other family-friendly public places -- like libraries -- block objectionable web content, as well. But others say it amounts to the type of cyber-censorship one reads about from countries like China, or in the Middle East.

"Give people some credit. And the more credit you give them, the more they respond," said musician David Byrne, founder of the Talking Heads, on a blog post detailing his trip through DEN last month. He was blocked from logging onto the freeform news and features website boingboing.net. "It's just trusting people's discretion."

A commenter to the ISP Planet blog was more succinct. "Software designed for the prudery and rigidity of Sudan is determining user experiences in the United States," the poster wrote.

Airport spokesman Chuck Cannon said DEN opted to install the Webwasher filtering system when it converted from paid Wi-Fi service, to the free network last year. The decision came down to the question whether officials wanted to hear complaints from disgruntled parents, whose children may inadvertently view pornography... or from users opposed to the measure.

The family vote won out, and Cannon said the airport has only received two blocking complaints so far. The system in place at DEN also blocks anything displaying partial nudity... or even suggestive underwear ads.

Critics of such blocking at DEN note the apparent hypocrisy at work -- as hardcore pornography magazines like Hustler are still available for purchase from airport concession stands. They say discretion and public responsibility dictate to most people they shouldn't thumb through such magazines in a crowded concourse... nor should people log onto suggestive or offensive websites in public, whether they're paying for Internet access or not.

"This gets to the heart of what the Internet is all about and whose responsibility it is," said boingboing.net editor Xeni Jardin. "It seems particularly unfortunate that something as symbolic as the city's airport, a gateway to culture, commerce and the flow of ideas, would be blocked in such a fundamental way.

"The intent is understandable, but the outcome is bad for Denver," she added. "This manner of policing the Internet has been proven time and time again to be easily circumventable, with any number of means.

"So what it does is just block traffic to legitimate sites. Like the locks on your suitcase only keep the nice guys out," Jardin concluded.

FMI: www.flydenver.com, www.securecomputing.com

Advertisement

More News

House Science Committee Approves Aviation R&D Bill

Authorizes Funding For The FAA's Research, Engineering, And Development Account Through 2019 The Science, Space, and Technology Committee on Thursday approved the FAA Leadership in>[...]

Airborne 02.12.16: NEW Mooney!, Not-So-Good GAMA Stats, DA40 Upgrades

Also: A350-1000 Final Assembly, Barnstorming: ATC Privatization, Lithium Issue, Boeing Cuts, Tillamook C-27, Sywell Aerodrome, Massive Airship Mooney International Corporation unve>[...]

Airborne 02.11.16: Drone #s Increase, Fokker D. VIII Replica, Gulfstream G500

Also: Albania Auction, Aero-Community: AEA!, 500 F-35 Hours, SeaPort Airlines, Maxcraft Avionics, Air Power Museum, Webb Space Telescope FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a UAV>[...]

Airborne 02.12.16: NEW Mooney!, Not-So-Good GAMA Stats, DA40 Upgrades

Also: A350-1000 Final Assembly, Barnstorming: ATC Privatization, Lithium Issue, Boeing Cuts, Tillamook C-27, Sywell Aerodrome, Massive Airship Mooney International Corporation unve>[...]

ANN FAQ: View Aero-News YOUR Way ... The 'Headlines And Teasers' Option

Choose How YOU Want To View Your Aero News: Headlines And Teasers We're all pretty excited about the new website design here at ANN, but we HAVE heard from some of you that you lik>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC