Monday, May 15, 2006

Censorship by web proxy

Yesterday's article about Harvard Radio station WHRB 95.3 FM included a number of occurences of the words 0rgy/ies, all in a music programming context. Many large organisations run web proxy software such as WebMarshal which, to quote their website:

When a user on your network requests access to a web page, the request goes through WebMarshal. WebMarshal then checks the requested web page against a set of rules that you (the employer) define (your internet access policy). WebMarshal then scans the page for its content - viruses, profanity, appropriateness, b0mb making, adult themes etc - a whole host of things..

Then if the rules allow, and the user is allowed access, and if WebMarshal deems the page is "safe", WebMarshal fetches the page and sends it to the users browser. It does all this instantly and transparently to your users - affording them a safe Internet browsing experience.

Some web proxy software decided that my article Harvard Radio treads where BBC fears to go did not afford 'a safe Internet browsing experience' and blocked access to it.


WebMarshal talks about 'b0mb making'. There is a deep irony here. My article was written in praise of WHRB 95.3 FM's series of Antal Dorati programmes. Dorati was a true polymath, conductor, composer, artist and communicator. He titled his brilliant book 'For inner and outer peace' after Beethoven's inscription on the score of the Missa Solemnis. Here, from his book, is Dorati writing about the menace of b0mbs:

We are aware of this danger
Or are we - really?
Are we perhaps, deluding ourselves by thinking that it will be the "bombs of the enemy" that will destroy us?


For Inner and Outer Peace can be bought online from IPPNW Concerts. Image credit - Bsthebook.com. Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to 'Tis the gift to be free

1 comment:

Vanessa Lann said...

Dear Pliable and Daniel (Friday, May 5 comment),

I have been on tour for the past two weeks (without a computer) and was pleasantly surprised to return home to The Netherlands and to see my photo once again on Pliable's fantastic blog! I thought I might address two things: I was also involved with the wonderful WHRB Orgy season at Harvard on several occasions in the late '80's (Beethoven was a great one!). And - the photo of me (May 5 blogspot) has nothing to do with caressing the keyboard (nice thought all the same); it is supposed to suggest that I (and all composers) LISTEN to the sounds and silences of the universe and frame them individualistically, or "notice" in our own ways the recurring patterns all around us, placing these patterns in new and different contexts when creating a work of music. Perhaps Daniel got the Hammerklavier in his head because Pliable mentioned that there were 106 works in the Proms (thus, the Hammerklavier number). I am also a pianist, Daniel, and I will definitely let you know if I invent a new method of performance where fingers are replaced by heads. Quite honestly, this picture has generated a plethora of reactions, including one person who thought I was looking for a mouse. I might mention that your photo on your blog page is of a cat (who is obviously listening to the Hammerklavier - or looking for a mouse).