I found out from an anonymous email account that my website is being censored / blocked by the University of Central Florida, i.e., students at UCF can no longer read my site. I just sent the following letter to the UCF student government in response.
Hello. My name is David Weekly; I’m a student at Stanford University. I’ve just received an anonymous email from a UCF student telling me that my website has been censored by your institution, and after a cursory review that information seems to be correct. All Internet traffic between computers on my network and computers at UCF is blocked.
There are no illegal files to download on my website, nor does it consume an excessive amount of bandwidth. I do not have hate speech on my website nor do I incite people to disobey the law. I have absolutely no pornography, violent language, or any real quantity of epithets. In short, to the best of my knowledge, my website has never been deemed “offensive.”
They are censoring my website for the knowledge that it conveys. It is a pure Free Speech issue. Among other things my website describes how one could get around a Napster blockade such as the one at UCF, while at the same time including commentary as to a possible reason why one might not want to do this. This is most likely the reason for which my entire website (and indeed all of the computers on my network) have been blocked from the UCF network.
The key issue at hand is that UCF is a state-sponsored university. Therefore, the governance of Florida is suppressing the dissemination of free speech. If they can censor this information, why not information about unpopular ideas, too?
Just my $0.02,
David E. Weekly
As a sidenote, I’m kind of psyched. It’s one of the greatest honors I could
think of to be censored. It’s one thing to be told you’re an idiot or bright,
or that what one is doing is meaningless or full of purpose, and another thing
altogether to have someone who doesn’t agree with you disagree with you so
strongly and have such a belief that you could change things that they would
actively try and shut you up lest you actually succeed in making a difference.
The best compliments come from your enemies: the stronger their actions,
the more they respect you.
UPDATE – May 4, 2000:
It looks like they quietly unblocked the site as far as I can see (anyone
at UCF care to comment?). Nothing to see here, folks. Carry on, carry on.