2014-06-18

"The firewall was very one-sided ..."

Woodbury, Connecticut high school student Andrew Lampart noticed something odd about the behavior of his school's internet firewall:
To start with, the senior at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut, said he couldn’t access the National Rifle Association’s website.

“So, I went over to the other side,” the 18-year-old told WTIC-TV in Hartford. “And I went over on sites such as Moms Demand Action or Newtown Action Alliance and I could get on these websites but not the others.”
He went on to compare results from other searches:
“I immediately found out that the State Democrat web site was unblocked but the State GOP web site was blocked.”

Lampart even looked at Web sites focusing on abortion issues and religion. He found that “right-to-life” groups were blocked by the public school firewall but that Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice America were not. He also tried to get on web sites such as Christianity.com and the Vatican’s web site but both were blocked. Islam-guide.com he found, was not.

“They’re trying to, in my opinion, shelter us from what’s actually going on around the country and around the world by blocking these web sites. It should be the other way around. The web sites should be unblocked so that students can get different viewpoints from different sides of each argument,” Lampart said.
Notice that he was careful not to just jump to a conclusion based on one or two data points. He took his time and investigated systematically.