340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bread, roses and unfettered access.

So Telus is involved in a labour strike with some of its employees, who are all members of the Telecommunications Workers Union. I don't know what the specifics of the dispute are, but I'm guessing it's the same old, same old: wages, hours & conditions. The dispute itself interests me less than Telus' decision to shine off the ol' jackboots and "(block) its internet subscribers from accessing a website supporting striking union members." The CBC article can be found here and the site in question is Voices for Change. Props to Pacanukeha for mentioning this story here.

Now, seriously--wtf? Telus blocked all of its subscribers from viewing this site on the grounds that it documents scab activity and allegedly encourages vanadalism on behalf of the striking workers. I call bullshit. If public safety is really the issue, then why aren't sites which host bomb-making materials being blocked? If the integrity of its service network is so important, then why did the company allow its maintenance workers to strike? Shouldn't it have been a top priority to draw up a contract so as to guarantee uninterrupted service to its paying customers? The rationales offered up by the company are horseshit--this is about censorship, point final. Pricks.

What's more, any site that shared the same IP address as Voices for Change was also blocked, according to a report released by OpenNet Initiative, a research group dedicated "to investigat(ing) and challeng(ing) state filtration and surveillance practices." Their report suggests that almost 800 other sites--with no relation to the dispute or even labour issues in general--were blocked. The report is... wait, now where did I put it. Oh yeah--here.

As usual, Michael Geist offers up a somewhat more lucid response at other end of this link.


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