22 Feb 2011
22 Feb 2011 04:51:11 PM
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This work is in the public domain
The showdown in Wsiconsin is looking more and more like Egypt with each passing day: Now Internet access to protest sites from the occupied State Capitol is being cut off to hamper organization. This is a tactic straight from Mubarak's playbook. Of course, Mubarak has been overthrown, and hopefully Scott Walker will soon also face defeat.
According to the "ThinkProgress" website, GOP governor Scott Walker has placed strong filters on Internet access out of the State Capitol. www.defendwisconsin.org was added to a blacklist of "pornography sites" and site administrators were notified. Excuses were made that all "new sites" were blocked, but this site has been blocked since last Friday.
The Huffington Post has also confirmed the local block at the State Capitol's wireless.
Shortly after this story broke, access problems cropped up globally, supposedly because the site became too popular.
The admins of www.defendwisconsin.org posted this message at about 4:07 PM EST:
"The website is currently down because we're just that popular. Working on getting it up ASAP. Thanks everyone, for your support!"
As of 4:35 PM EST it is back up-but in the meantime, attempts to reach it (at about 4:15 PM EST) returned a "403 forbidden" message. Was this a web hosting firm blocking access due to bandwidth constraints, or was it a pro-GOP web host owner taking down the site and not telling his customers for fear of lawsuits?
As I recall, a "403 forbidden"is the message sent to browsers when a web site or the host of the website blocks the connection, say to an IP associated with spammers. Local filters on wireless networks generally have other symptoms.The network I tested from does not return a 403 forbidden if they are blocking something themselves.Therefore, it was coming from the site's host, as the site admins would not have wanted to block this connection!
The Tea Party and the GOP can speak all they want of freedom, but using Internet censorship to defend an attack on worker's "freedom of association" in the form of collective barganing shows that the GOP's vision of "Freedom" is really a vision of "just-us" for themselves only.