Monday, December 29, 2008

Not allowed - We control what you can view

Yesterday while in the Virgin Lounge in Brisbane waiting for my flight to Sydney I connected to Virgin's wireless network and connected to various sites.

However when I tried to connect to one of our company sites I found I was not able to as the site was classified as Adult Content.

I was not even able to continue but presented with a username and password option which of course I wasn't able to access.

As a test I thought I would check out other sites and started moving to gay personals sites which I thought might be picked up but they were okay.

I even tried a couple of lesser known gay porn sites and they were fine.

Of course I actually managed to access our site via another means - in this case the site was aliased to another web address on our server so I could access it - but the alternative of using a proxy server would have worked just as well. 

I have emailed Virgin 24 hours ago but are waiting a reply.

It is interesting this censorship, lack of ability to complain and general removal of legitimate sites from the internet without our knowledge.

As a side note both Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue are both listed on with direct weblinks to their website. 

This is not the only airline filtering the internet access for lounge members - Air New Zealand's Koru club is filtering the internet as well.

What was even more interesting looking at the filtering software it seemed to be based in the USA. 

My real question is what else is filtered and why is filtering needed at all when the terms and conditions clearly don't put any liability on Virgin Blue.

I will update when I get a response from Virgin but would be interested if anyone has any experiences like this with other airlines.

This filtering is much like the Australian government filtering it is a total waste of money and effort and ultimately causes more frustration with falsely blocked sites, slower services and some big unanswered questions about what is been blocked.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flashback: Blam Blam Blam

"There is no depression in New Zealand" was a great song from Blam Blam Blam released in July 1981. Been released on the eve of the 1981 Springbok tour it summed up the feeling of a lot of New Zealand at the time.

It brings back some great student day memories.

Hard to believe it would be 5 more years before gay sex would be legal in New Zealand.