Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some Excellent Reading

Some interesting articles linked from the Volokh Conspiracy.

Lynne Stewart disbarred.
A civil rights lawyer convicted of helping an imprisoned terrorist sheik communicate with his disciples was disbarred Tuesday.

The New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division denied Lynne Stewart's request to voluntarily resign from the practice of law.

About Freakin' time.

More companies filtering web content to block blogs.
Blogs are known to be a free-for-all for "expressive" content, but according to a new report by ScanSafe, a vast majority of blogs host content that is considered "offensive" and potentially "unwanted." ScanSafe's Monthly "Global Threat Report" for March 2007 says that up to 80 percent of blogs host offensive content, ranging from "adult language" to pornographic images. The company suggests that businesses should be aggressive about preventing users from accessing some or all of this material. And of course, they'd hope that you'd use their products to do so.

ScanSafe says that it discovered the "offensive" nature of blogs by analyzing more than 7 billion web requests coming from their corporate customers. In doing so, they apparently learned that the so-called blogosphere is a lot like a George Carlin performance: diverse, sometimes entertaining, and loaded with "bad words."

In addition to so-called offensive content, about six percent of blogs analyzed in March also hosted some sort of malware. "Blogs are a great vehicle for self-expression and the exchange of ideas," said ScanSafe's VP of Product Strategy Dan Nadir in a statement. "Employees visiting these sites can unknowingly expose corporate networks to legal liability, viruses, and loss of proprietary information."

I can see the warning on legal liability in some cases, but the contention that visiting a blog will expose you to viruses or loss of proprietary information is horse-shit. If they post to a blog cooperate information, then maybe there is the loss, or if the down load a file from a link on a blog they could be exposed to a virus, but just visiting to read one doesn't do either. (Should I also mention that they could just as easily lose proprietary info at multiple other venues, like email? Going to block access to that? And as to virus exposure, if the company isn't smart enough to have anti-virus software installed, then they deserve the cooperate Darwin award.)

David Kopel debating "Should we be concerned that so much of the rest of the developed world believes U.S. gun laws are crazy?"

Not going to quote just link. Go and read Debate 1 and Debate 2 also.

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