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April 07, 2004

Banning Google from classroom

CLONMEL -- Could a college survive if it banned Google from its network? I have a small problem -- I cannot even see this blog entry through my daytime upstream because Surf Control is blocking the word "Google," any site with Google in its stem (but not http://216.239.59.99/ as the URL, so there's an immediate work-around). Initial reaction from the Common House: "impressively idiotic." This situation affords me the opportunity to experience living inside a Chinese ISP's control. It forces me into tight workarounds.

  • Most of my Google APIs don't work.
  • Computer architecture students and those working on database project notes can't read supplemental material that's too Googley, like the online version of print materials concerning the Google Operating System.
  • Students have to wait until dialing up from home before reading any of my revision notes containing the name "Google" in the file name.

This Nanny Net constraint comes on the heels of a discovery that you can pervert Surf Control by exploring items secreted in Google cache. You can back door the dark side of the Internet through the Web Archive so I guess that excellent source is threatened by the heavy hand of censorship as well. This is not a unique initiative--the feds are pulling out the stops to fighting online pornography as well, so it could be that I don't realise how I'm benefiting from "early adoption" of new anti-porn measures in Ireland. But I miss the Google-side of things.

All is not lost. As knowledgeable IT specialists point out, there's always AltaVista, askJeeves, Yahoo, and FAST services available. But a world without Google?

Update: We got our Google back after a night of no access. The good thing is only the early morning classes were affected by the outage.


The Common House is a cool project and includes Danny O'Brien among its users.
Laura Sullivan -- "Administration wages war on pornography"
Googlekoll -- "Bra strategi"
Slashdot -- "Google disappears in China"
Sleekfx -- College without Google?"
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Banning Google from classroom:

» College without Google? from Sleekfx
Yes as unbelievable as it sounds I am now a student in a Third level Institute of Technology in Ireland that is not enjoying the use of the most popular Internet search engine on the planet. This is quite a... [Read More]

» College without Google? from Sleekfx
Yes as unbelievable as it sounds I am now a student in a Third level Institute of Technology in Ireland that is not enjoying the use of the most popular Internet search engine on the planet. This is quite a... [Read More]

Comments

Try http://www.466453.com/ -- That's Google spelled on a telephone keypad. Might get past the filter.

Rod.

Looks like you just got BoingBoinged Bernie. Lets see the traffic spike now !

Two workarounds come to mind. (1) Run your Internet browsing from a document containing a frameset to cloak the objectionable sites. (2) Generate hex-code for the URLs you need to see, like they do at Register.com on WHOIS requests. The code is out there for times like this.

http://www.466453.com/

This link does get past the filters, very handy! I was trying to get on to Google earlier. Its very annoying because i was looking for images for an assignment in Design and i couldnt get them because Google was blocked. Thanks for the link!

Google is a privately-held company with no obligation to serve the public interest. As Dave Winer is fond to say, we should tread with caution when thinking of it as the be all and end all of access to information online.

Google is not the only way to find information online and not everyone uses Google.

i dont see nothing wrong with it!!

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