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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Firewall frustration 



Talking with one of the teachers we hope to involve in the learning futures project, the old topic of firewalls came up. She described the imposition of a blanket firewall as an action worthy of a police state. Even quite reputable educational sites are blocked, along with YouTube etc. Googling, as you do, I wondered who else had recently been writing about school firewalls, but what appeared in my rather crude initial search was pages and pages of firewall hacks and dodges such as this one. In other words there seems to be more interest in subverting systems than challenging those who operate them! I suppose in the long run widespread adoption of such practices would undermine the justification for having firewalls in the first place. Perhaps this is an instance of a new digital politics in which sneaking round firewalls, dodging copyright restrictions, freeing-up information and networked action are coming to the fore.

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