TSA Rescinds Controversial Employee Web Site Access Policy

July 7, 2010 -

Just days after it was revealed that the Transportation Security Administration planned to block employee access to web sites with "controversial opinions," the federal agency rescinded the new policy. The ban on "controversial opinion" sites, issued late last week was part of a more general TSA Internet-usage policy blocking employee access to gambling (they called them "gaming" sites) and chat sites, as well as sites that dealt with extreme violence or criminal activity.

But as bloggers - including many conservative blogs that picked up the story from Drudge Report - a small handful or privacy advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union questioned the loose language of the policy, the TSA reconsidered its messaging and withdrew.

"There's always a danger that threats are used to justify over-broad restrictions on speech and other freedoms," said Jay Stanley, an American Civil Liberties Union privacy expert, before the TSA announced it was dropping the idea. "But it's disturbing to see the TSA get the balance all wrong on that."

According to a Washington Post report, TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches said that the agency's revised "acceptable use" policy for Internet access on the agency's network was designed to block sites "that promote destructive behavior to one's self or others."

"After further review, TSA determined the 'controversial opinion' category may contain some sites that do not violate TSA's policy and therefore has concluded that the category is no longer being considered for implementation," she said in an e-mail to The Washington Times.

But before rescinding the guideline, agency officials noted that the policy changes were "intended to address evolving cyberthreats," but did not do a very good job of explaining exactly what "controversial opinions" they were talking about and whether Internet sites with viewpoints contrary to the Administration’s would be targeted under the new guidelines.

 

Source: Washington Times

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Comments

Re: TSA Rescinds Controversial Employee Web Site Access ...

I don't get how this is a controversial issue. TSA as an employer has every right to restrict internet access from their computers at their workplace however they like. Why should they have to allow any kind of freedom to surf the web to their employees? Do you want your tax dollars being spent allowing these guys to surf the web, find some hot topic then spend an hour arguing with other employees if they agree with it or not when it has nothing to do with their job to begin with?

Re: TSA Rescinds Controversial Employee Web Site Access ...

You are correct, but the issue at hand with the "controversial sites" restriction was that nobody knew exactly what sites they were.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: TSA Rescinds Controversial Employee Web Site Access ...

So the company is supposed to release a list of controversial URLs that employees can review and not visit?

No, it's called green screen where I work. If you try to go to a restricted site, a green screen comes up instead. We don't have a resource somewhere to find out what sites are blocked, and there is no recourse to unblock a site. It's the company's right to say what their employees should and should not be doing on the internet on company computers and company time.

No controversy here that I can see.

 
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Matthew Wilsonunfortunately there are not many female engineers. blame Hollywood for that because they set cultural norms.10/02/2014 - 1:03pm
NeenekoI am also thinking back to the people I knew who interned or interviewed at Intel and the types they hired. Not gamers, but very steeped in the all male engineering culture.10/02/2014 - 12:58pm
SleakerIntel runs LanFest, and actively sponsors other multiple LAN events across the country, just to throw out a couple links on the culture side.10/02/2014 - 12:52pm
NeenekoPlus, it is unusual for a company as large as Intel to take such actions and it indicates there is probably an internal syampthy or cultural overlap with the gaters that bumped their visibility.10/02/2014 - 12:50pm
NeenekoI do not think anyone is suggesting that either intel or gaters should not be able to, but the chain of events is chilling to some.10/02/2014 - 12:48pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.wesh.com/news/man-shot-5-times-by-police-to-face-judge-on-firstdegree-murder-charge/28368490 And cops wonder why no one likes them.10/02/2014 - 12:42pm
SleakerIt's up to the companies to determine if they think running their ads on a controversial site may cause more damage to them, the only way they might get this is by feedback.10/02/2014 - 12:37pm
Sleakeropinion to a company on where they run ads.10/02/2014 - 12:36pm
Sleaker@Papa Midnight - Requesting ads get pulled from a site due to not agreeing with their message is not censorship. Funding and voicing your opinion are two completely separate topics. It's completely reasonable for people to voice their10/02/2014 - 12:35pm
Papa MidnightSame here, prh99.10/02/2014 - 12:31pm
prh99I played the first Half Life, haven't bothered with any of two. I like Portal more than Half Life anyway.10/02/2014 - 12:31pm
NeenekoI only got a short way into HL-1, but enjoyed HL-2. Probably because I do not like PC FPS games and HL-2 I got on console.10/02/2014 - 12:28pm
Andrew EisenI have a confession to make: I didn't really care for Half-Life.10/02/2014 - 12:27pm
Papa MidnightI don't think I've used the forums since the Wordpress days.10/02/2014 - 12:13pm
NeenekoI keep forgetting we even have forums.10/02/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
 

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