Sunday, August 8, 2010

Isn't This What Orwell Predicted?

Update: Thanks to Crystal Priest I now have some clarification on this issue. Apparently this filtering setting wasn't entirely intentional on the part of the D.O.E. or anyone else at the state level. The filtering problem arose with way the new image was constructed. You can read the details here. If you read the documentation you'll find this phrase which still reflects the issue I bring up in the post below: "the default behavior is to log all web page requests."

My original post follows:
In the state of Maine, all high school and middle school teachers are issued a MacBook by the state department of education. This morning I was using mine (I alternate between it and another computer in my house) to check Twitter. Someone posted a link to an interesting ebook creation service called ePub Bud. I clicked the link, visited the ePub Bud homepage thought, "I could use this," and clicked the "create" link. Instead of being taken to the creation page on ePub Bud, I got this:

I had seen that message before on other teachers' computers (it was actually a problem at a recent state conference), but it was the first time I had personally experienced it. Now I do have administrative rights to override this restriction, but most teachers in the state do not. What this tells me is the state doesn't trust its teachers to make good choices for themselves. Or am I just being paranoid? What do you think about the state's parental controls on the computers they want teachers to use?