16 Sep 2006

I praise of BB

I love Boing Boing, I think it's one of the most creative and diverse blogs on the net, a happy blend of art, culture and politics. Just in the last couple of days it has brought to my attention a project with an artist in residence working with two doctors at Guys Hospital in London, a $400k hippo dinner service commission, the new Banksy exhibition, crocheted cacti , knitted brains and an excellent lecture by Jason Shultz. It's also closely tied up with the Open Culture movement, EFF and Creative Commons. It's just following that general art tradition of being anti censorship, because we all know from experience there will always be the thorny question of who censors the censors.

I can't think of any other site on the net which would dish me up such a diverse dollop of creativity, and yet this site is banned in work becuse it gets black-listed because it's categorised as being a 'proxy avoidance' site in the new bluecoat content filter.

'Proxy avoidance' is becoming an issues in the US in schools and institutions in part because of what can only be described as a 'moral panic' about social networking. Instead of trying to figure out what is so compelling with sites like MySpace, Bebo and Facebook for teenagers and teach them to how to be safe and responsible global networked citizens, in America, they are just trying to ban access to social networking sites, on pain of withdrawal of federal funding.

The Deletion of Online Preditors Act (DOPA) is making it's way through the legislative process in the US as I write. I hope that this is a bandwagon that the UK doesn't just jump on. Probably the best analysis that I have read on this so far comes from AoC NILTA and can be found here.

I hope that the UK doesn't try and follow the USA's lead and try and through the baby out with the bathwater while blinded by the latest moral panic.

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