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The Icon Bar: News and features: It's a free country... [updated]
 

It's a free country... [updated]

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 10:07, 21/4/2004 | , , , , ,
 
Padlock...isn't it? Not so sure these days, if universities are blocking access to, well, pretty much anything. Take for instance Dr. Queen's site at the University of Birmingham, where he's a member of the academic staff in the Applied Mathematics Group of the School of Mathematics and Statistics. This might not mean much to you, but it's where Nat hosted his RISC OS crypto resources, including the port of PGP. Only now he isn't.
"These pages have moved because my university no longer supports the principles of free speech and academic freedom proclaimed in its own statutes. The new location is likely to be permanent for the foreseeable future."
The URL you now want is http://www.queen.clara.net/pgp/acorn.html, as opposed to http://web.bham.ac.uk/N.M.Queen/pgp/acorn.html. This is apparently not the only site that has been taken down at Birmingham, but it's the most RISC OS related one.

Thanks to "The" Paul Vigay for the intel. Mr. Vigay, well known agitator and RISC OS supporter, says "...with Universities traditionally being a bastion of free speech, I hope this is not just the beginning. If we're not careful it could happen all over." He's hoping to make people aware of the problem in Birmingham, and for students and staff alike in other locations to ensure that this is not the thin end of the wedge.

Update: the official campaign website is at http://web.bham.ac.uk/Sue_Blackwell/web_campaign/, not only explaining the issue in greater depth but also pointing out the policies at other institutions.

Links:


 
  It's a free country... [updated]
  monkeyson2 (12:05 21/4/2004)
  rich (12:17 21/4/2004)
    ajv (12:55 21/4/2004)
      rich (14:18 21/4/2004)
        Phlamethrower (15:52 21/4/2004)
          Bob (11:29 22/4/2004)
            flibble (17:40 22/4/2004)
 
Phil Mellor Message #92861, posted by monkeyson2 at 12:05, 21/4/2004
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
That link to google groups crashes IE. Fantastic!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #92862, posted by rich at 12:17, 21/4/2004, in reply to message #92861
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6780
Works On My Machine (tm) - MIE <fx: deep breath> 6.0.2800.1106.xpsp2.021108-1929
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
ajv Message #92863, posted at 12:55, 21/4/2004, in reply to message #92862
Unregistered user I don't know the detail of the situation, and so can't really comment in any depth, but a casual reading looks like they're not blocking access to anything, they're simply not allowing their facilities to be used for hosting it. Which is a subtle difference.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #92864, posted by rich at 14:18, 21/4/2004, in reply to message #92863
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6780
Very subtle, to the point of haggling over semantics.

The fact is they hosted lots of stuff, now they don't. Yet one of the few sites remaining is a pro-Palestinian rant, for want of a better word. So what exactly are their criteria for choosing unsuitable material? And why are they now making that choice at all, when traditionally they haven't before, and indeed seem to say they won't in their statutes?

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #92865, posted by Phlamethrower at 15:52, 21/4/2004, in reply to message #92864
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15064
Because they're smelly poo-poo heads.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Bob Message #92866, posted at 11:29, 22/4/2004, in reply to message #92865
Unregistered user It would be rather easier to sympathise with Dr Queen if we knew why exactly his unversity did not want to host it. Merely asserting that his university objects to free speech is not particularly informative.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Howkins Message #92867, posted by flibble at 17:40, 22/4/2004, in reply to message #92866
flibble

Posts: 865
It sounds like the university no longer support the principle of free hosting any more. Which is a shocking affront to the credibilty of this fine countries premier education establishments.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: It's a free country... [updated]