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Monday, May 16, 2016

Digital Discrimination

Just a quick note about this event that I noticed recently.

On a local bus service I usually jump on the free wifi and check out the morning news or news like items. I may go to Twitter.
It was odd that I couldn't check out dlisted.com or see an Facebook page without proving my humanity.
It happened once and I thought nothing of it because I would be able to go to another place that serves coffee and check it there or so I thought.

Oddly, I noticed a few 'Free Wi-Fi' would actually not allow people to go to the entire world wide web.

So, it became a game for me to figure out if it was the provider or the service deciding what I could see on the World wide Web.

At most hotels/motels  I could access everything but porn sites but on public civic locations like buses and city hall I could access only what was deemed "safe site".

Then at some restaurants and airports I could access certain sites but not all the sites.

Admittedly, I am bored when I do this and this is HIGHLY unreliable as the service could be related to where I am and when I do the request to watch a movie preview from Cinequest.

Thus, I have found that the providers ( Comcast/ Verizon et al. ) do restrict what service is received in public arenas ( city hall, library ) at the same time depending on the provider for the transit agency especially if I am going long distance I find they are more concerned with http than https.
Its the hotels I am surprised about and asked a local desk clerk "Can you see my web search ? "

Yup! They can!

BUT

They barely have time the only time the service provided is slowing down is when there is movies being downloaded or another guest of the hotel is accessing the programing of a webpage.

So, I know this is just me ...but what about someone else someplace else? Is Comcast restricting International websites based on content or because of where the site is being broadcast/ produced?
We have already read about Facebook's failed attempt to restrict conservative news media but, do they in turn promote Family planning on Spanish news channel feeds?

Humanity is not perfect but digital utopia isn't either.
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