“blogs that are just ‘too religious for the internet'”

A reader alerted me to the following on My heart was restless:

Saturday, 3 October 2009

The blogs that are just too religious

Kate, of At home in my Father’s House, relates some computer woes:

Then, trying to access some of the blogs linked to mine, the computer came up with an ‘access denied- Religion’ message for five of the blogs I enjoy!

These were:
Catholic and loving it
Curt Jester
Hermeneutic of continuity
What does the prayer really say
Inside Catholic

Technical glitches prevented Kate from linking to them, but that is corrected here, so you can go and read the blogs that are just "too religious for the internet".

… Kate’s computer was supplied by the state, for her disabled son. Therefore, Catholic bloggers haven’t just fallen foul of some random computer glitch; it’s the government which deems their religious content inappropriate!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Hmmmm…probably one of Obama’s czars testing out a new system.

    Catholic News Agency has been down all day – like….request denied.

  2. Will D. says:

    beati eritis cum vos oderint homines et cum separaverint vos et exprobraverint et eiecerint nomen vestrum tamquam malum propter Filium hominis gaudete in illa die et exultate ecce enim merces vestra multa in caelo secundum haec enim faciebant prophetis patres eorum

    Secundum Lucam VI:22-23

  3. romancrusader says:

    The black supremecists are at again.

  4. MikeM says:

    Wait… what was going on?

    Is the US government actually censoring Catholic blogs? I’m reluctant to believe that, but if that’s the case, that’s a BIG problem.

  5. Navarricano says:

    Hmmm … much as I love a good conspiracy theory, perhaps this calls for a less conspiratorial explanation until more information is provided.

    I installed an internet filter on my computer about a year ago, and I had to manually set the content filters to indicate which pages I did not want to allow. Pages with religious content was one of the options offered to me.

    My questions here are these: was the computer itself supplied to her by the state agency in whose program she is participating, or did she just receive funds from the state program helping her to purchase the equipment? If the former is the case, was she in fact able to access those pages on the computer prior to this event (as seems to be the case from the information Father provided above)? Does the computer indeed have a filter program for the protection of minors? Was it pre-configured by an employee in the agency where she obtained the computer? Does she have access to the program, allowing her to modify its parameters? Is there an office that she can contact to enquire as to why she could not access those pages?

    If the actual computer has been supplied to her via a publicly-funded state program, it is not altogether unreasonable to think that perhaps it contains a filter to prevent access to certain kinds of content and that some overzealous employee with an extremely narrow understanding of the disestablishment clause pre-configured it to filter out religious content. It does not necessarily follow from this that the state agency is therefore trying to monitor or block online religious content, or that it has a policy about religious web pages at all. Of course, I could be wrong …

    The bottom line is still that if the computer is supplied under a state program for families with children who have disabilities, then what pages the computer is used to access for in the privacy of one’s home is not the state’s concern, provided the activity is not illegal.

  6. Navarricano says:

    Ah-ha! Just went over to the blog run by the lady in question, and I see that she lives in the UK. So, the questions I posed in my previous comment must be reconsidered in light of that fact.

    The computer is brand-new and she apparently ran afoul of the filtering program on her first use of the new equipment. It seems more likely to me now that the government techs configured the filters. I’m still not fully prepared to believe that they have targeted the sites she tried to access specifically, it’s more likely that there were posts on them containing certain words or combinations of words which activated the filter.

    Whether those words or combinations involve specifically religious content is open to speculation at this point. It seems more likely to me that some of the posts on the sites involving moral issues contain words and word combinations that raised the red flags on the filter. I’m no tech expert, but I don’t think it would take much, depending on how the techs configured the equipment.

    She apparently has an appointment with the techs who are due to come to her home to show her how to use the special equipment the computer has for her son. I’ll be interested in hearing their answers to the qustions she plans to ask.

  7. Random Friar says:

    I’m with Navarricano. I’ve installed filters as well, and there’s a ton of options (including religion, abortion, birth control…)

    Take a look at this hardware filtering solution: http://www.sonicwall.com/us/products/5255.html

    This is done mostly because the gov’t or a certain business doesn’t want its employees doing anything that isn’t work-related, legal, or could cause someone to file a complaint for harassment.

  8. Mitchell NY says:

    Ever Creeping into …….

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