Tag Archives: freespeech

network throttling detection?

linkblogging: A while back there was flurry of discussion about possible applications to help you tell if your ISP was throttling, shaping, filtering or in some other way being non-neutral about the Internet access you’re paying them for. See
* Mathew Honan series in Macworld, Feb 2008: parts 1, 2, 3)
* azureuswiki includes a list of ISPs that do various kinds of filtering, and what kinds they do.
* speakeasy has one speed test that just gives you flat rates. Could be useful in DIY comparison tests.

federally funded censorship about abortion

Jenna Freedman posted an outrageous story about a medical database: Popline has made the word “abortion” a stopword, meaning you can’t search on the term; the database ignores the word as it ignores words like “the”.

Why? Popline responded that “We recently made all abortion terms stop words. As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now.”

They recommend instead searching “fertility control, postconception”.

I fail to understand this rationale. Was their pressure from within PopLine or outside from the funders to hide information about abortion? Or did they decide for some reason that it was strategically better to hide information about abortion given the anti-choice climate at the Bush administration?

Either way, hiding information is not the right solution.

The contact information is:
Debra L. Dickson
POPLINE Database Manager/Administrator
INFO Project
111 Market Place, Suite 310, Baltimore, MD 21202
ddickson@jhuccp.org
Tel: 410-659-6300 / Fax: 410-659-6266

and more information is available at Jenna’s page.
cross-posted at sivacracy

update fri 3pm:
The Dean at John Hopkins (which manages Popline) has ordered the decision reversed. See statement from Johns Hopkins (link from women’s health news); see also crooks & liars coverage

roommates.com: no 230 safe harbor for discriminatory housing ads

Just saw that the 9th Circuit has issued its en banc opinion finding that Roommates.com is not eligible for Section 230 immunity for discriminatory postings. Haven’t read it yet.

Decision at up at the 9th Circuit website. Opinion by Kozinski, who usually gets this stuff so maybe it’s not too bad.

link from eric goldman

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