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Subject: [IP] more on Teacher, student suspended for bypassing school filters [fs]

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: Ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
  • Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 13:17:11 -0400

------ Forwarded Message
From: Bob Frankston <Bob2-19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 12:32:12 -0400
To: <dave@farber.net>, 'Ip' <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Cc: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: [IP] more on Teacher, student suspended for bypassing school
filters [fs]

We can take this a step further to the political arena as well. The real
complaint from the administrators is that student's should've known what
they were doing was wrong.

I would call this, in Lakoff terminology, a libcon assumption. You don't
need laws when there is an absolute and/or natural right or wrong.

I don't mean to say that all push back should be cost-free or that gaming
the legal system shouldn't entail risk.

One can think of this as a quasi-fifth amendment issue. Violating the policy
is sufficient proof of guilt even if the policy itself is awkward attempt to
achieve a larger goal. As noted the ban on accessing porn was not violated.
The anti-porn ban itself is problematic because it's supposed to achieve a
larger goal which is far vaguer and assumes definitions and moral
assumptions that are not obviously obvious and often at odds with reality.

Science is about testing limits, yet we find ourselves increasingly up
against an attitude that sees the purpose of government as enforcing rules
rather than creating opportunity.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ip@v2.listbox.com [mailto:owner-ip@v2.listbox.com] On Behalf Of
David Farber
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 11:11
To: Ip
Subject: [IP] more on Teacher, student suspended for bypassing school
filters [fs]


------ Forwarded Message
From: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 10:35:45 -0400
To: <dave@farber.net>
Cc: <Kenneth_Mayer@Dell.com>, <coolrad89@msn.com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Teacher, student suspended for bypassing school filters
[fs]

Ken,

My quip about the student being admitted was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I
admit. Obviously top-tier universities would want to make sure any
prospective student meets other admissions standards, and a high school
sophomore may not be ready for college anyway.

There is, however, a serious point underlying this. Yes, the student
violated school rules. But what you miss is that not all high school
&quot;policies&quot; make sense, not all high school student administrators are
always correct in every way, and not all high school students who
&quot;violate policies&quot; deserve our scorn.

 From what I've read, the student acted in the finest sense of the
hacker tradition: he saw a technological restriction that interfered
with his ability to get information that he wanted and cleverly bypassed
it. At his teacher's request, he made a presentation to his class about
the methods he used. He found that the school was blocking his proxy and
implemented the appropriate counter-measures. (BTW, the school reviewed
the browser caches and found no evidence that the students were using
the proxy server to visit porn sites.)

The student also seems to be doing the kind of muckracking that should
be applauded; he posted a note to his blog in February encouraging his
fellow students to submit requests under the state FOIA law.
(http://blog247.blogspot.com/2005/02/freedom-of-information.html). I'm
sure that didn't endear him to the school administration.

By the way, why do you claim that the computers at the school's library
are not filtered? Thanks to the federal filtering law, upheld by the
Supreme Court, school library computers are now filtered by default. Or
do you have any particular knowledge of Lewis and Clark High School that
you'd like to share with us?

-Declan



David Farber wrote:
> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: <Kenneth_Mayer@Dell.com>
> Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 08:27:49 -0500
> To: <dave@farber.net>
> Subject: RE: [IP] Teacher, student suspended for bypassing school filters
> [fs]
> 
> So now Declan thinks just because a 16 year old helped thousands bypass
> school rules he should be let into MIT?  He broke the rules, the schools
> rules and is getting punished, which is justified.  This is not infringing
> on anyones freedom of speech, it is a case of violating a policy.  Those
> kids at any school can go to the library (which has no filters) to do
their
> research.  This is getting more press than it deserves!
> 
> 
> Ken Mayer Jr
> Advanced System Group
> Dell Server and Storage Department
> 
> ------ End of Forwarded Message
> 
> 
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