Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

This morning, Mark Nickolas of the Kentucky lefty blog Bluegrass Report started getting emails from employees of the State of Kentucky, telling him that they could no longer access the blog.  It turns out that Kentucky's Commonwealth Office of Technology had blocked access.  Coincidentally, BluegrassReport has been very critical of Kentucky's Republican Governor, Ernie Fletcher.

The COT may have thought this would blow over quietly.  But when people discovered that access to a number of other blogs and party web sites were not blocked, and Bluegrass Report was being specifically targeted, other blogs began covering the story: Talking Points Memo and TPM Muckraker, Daily Kos, Atrios... and Kentucky soon started blocking some of them too.

Bluegrass Report is making running commentary and updates through the day as this develops..

They've got a hell of a filter - while COT has not blocked talkingpointsmemo.com, they HAVE blocked the TPM Muckraker article talking about the governor blocking BGR.

If the cover-up is worse than the crime, how much worse is the cover-up of the cover-up?

... and just now ...
Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY), whose district includes the state capitol, has just come out firmly against the policy. "I believe the recent action of the Fletcher administration to block access to a handpicked number of blogs is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution," Chandler said through a spokeswoman. "This flies in the face of a fundamental right of free speech."
Ben Chandler, you may recall, was Fletcher's Democratic opponent for Governor in 2003.  When Fletcher was elected Governor, Chandler ran for the Congressional seat Fletcher had to give up, and now holds it.

This won't blow over quietly.

Tags: blogs, Bluegrass Report, Censorship, Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

I will add KY CoT to the list of governments that suppress dissent and critcism.  Its bearly credible that they would even think the could get away with this.  

by greensmile 2006-06-21 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

Has there been any MSM coverage of this yet?

Local KY coverage?

by dantheman 2006-06-21 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

I found this:

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/148 70453.htm

quite mild story on it.

by dantheman 2006-06-21 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

The gov'ner of KY is welcome to put his foot in his own mouth but not in the mouth of his detractors...it may get chewed off.

by greensmile 2006-06-21 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why are state employees reading blogs at work?
I realize this is probably an inconvenient truth, but by complaining about access to this blog, Kentucky state employees are going to turn the spotlight on themselves. How happy are Kentucky taxpayers going to be that state employees have enough time on their hands to surf the 'net at work?
I understand that these days it's essential for govt workers at all levels to have access to the internet, but reading political blogs at work isn't exactly doing the people's business.
by phillydem 2006-06-21 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Why are state employees reading blogs at work?

And if they were to block LGF, Malkin, and Instapundit, I'd be in absolute agreement. If that little charade had been devised by anyone with a brain, that's what they would have done. Especially if the true target was TBR, that approach would have fuzzed the issue. Too late now.-) But in terms of political numb-nuttery, Fletcher is right up there with Rowland and McGreevey, so no surprise there.

by BCHS 1980 2006-06-21 02:02PM | 0 recs
really?

We don't know why particular employees are reading blogs, but it certainly doesn't take me much time to come up with a plethora of reasons why they might be.  A lot of state employees, for example, are legislative aides and staffers, being asked to do research on public policy, public opinion, find press clippings, and keep their legislator informed.  If a particular blog is targeted and blocked, hat obviously affects what information is easier or harder to get, and can affect how government policy will be carried out.

by cos 2006-06-21 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

The truth is nobody should be reading blogs any blogs while @ work anyway. The network is ownd by the taxpayers and on most of these kinds of networks policy usally is against reading blogs, playing online game, viewing streaming video etc. Nevertheless, it's interesting that the State of KY  is enforcing this policy selectively. Whether it's illegal for them to do it is ?  I was a Sys. Admin. for a big Corp. and a fed. sub contractor as well so I was working on both a Corp. net and sometimes the Fed. network and intranets. On all of these networks the policy was no blogs , no IM, No streami9ng video or music downloads etc. Now the reality was everyone violated the rules. Many networks now though are putting in sophisticated port blocking and filtering systems to stop these practices. I'm not surprised that they are selectively choosing sites and content though. Isn't that Fascism is all about?

by Blutodog 2006-06-21 02:09PM | 0 recs
reading blogs at work

I think reading political blogs at work may be very relevant to some state employees, but putting that aside...

... this is sort of like a company enforcing its "no personal calls from the office" policy by programming their phone switch to block calls to a particular exchange that's in a residential community.  With the added element that in this case, they happened to target a blog that was very critical of the Governor.

by cos 2006-06-21 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: official explanation

Josh Marshall got through to the state IT gurus and this was their response:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000 963.php

by phillydem 2006-06-21 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: official explanation

That's exactly what we were told to do as well. However, my boss didn't care if you watched FOX news all day and night online or went to Drudge etc. It was all slanted to get u away from anything that wasn't right wing.

by Blutodog 2006-06-22 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Kentucky Blocks Blog, Blogs Strike Back

It's bullcrap and as one of the bloggers blocked, it stinks, and you have not heard the last from us.

by kydem 2006-06-21 03:40PM | 0 recs

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