Monday, July 28, 2008

No Uptown Update If You Work For The City

We had to laugh when we read this email:

So I was using my Google reader to check out the Uptown Update and thought I should share with you to share with your readers some news about a show at the Annoyance on Thursday's called Tommy's Place (go see it, it is ridiculously hilarious).

Lo and behold, the Uptown Update has been banned from my approved websites! It is banned due to Malicious Content. I work for the city and cannot gain access to your site anymore! This is sad and annoying, it's because of all the degenerate activities that have been happening in our neighborhood the past few weeks.

If I can't see it, I bet when Shiller comes into her office she can't either, not that she would anyway because that would mean she was involved in her community....


  1. The city bans a large number of websites that deal with local politics. Uptown Update is in good or bad company depending on how you look at it.

    Kinda amusing.

  2. Why does the city ban political websites? Is there some Election Commision rule that causes that, or is this just suppresion of opposing ideas?

    They both seem equally likely to me.

  3. "some Election Commision rule that causes that" ...
    Its not a rules commission.
    Simply, the city pays for their internet connection and they have 100% authority to say what's accessible and whats not. Its not fair but its their service your surfing on when you work for them.
    I worked for the city for 4 years - they ban sites at the slightest whim.
    That said, I'd be irate if uptownupdate were banned in my office.

  4. Simply, the city pays for their internet connection and they have 100% authority to say what's accessible and whats not.

    No, I pay for that iternet connection via taxes. So I'm curious if they just block speech they don't like, or do they block all websites not related to work.

    If they block all websites not work related then thats ok with me, as much as I love UptownUpdate, its not work related. Not working for the city, I don't really know what sites people can, and cannot, access.

  5. Would Shiller read it even if it was available to her? More than likely not. I mean really, what has she done because she loves Uptown as opposed to what she has done because she loves her position of power?

  6. What constitutes a political website? I wouldn't have categorized UUpdate as political. I see UU as a community site first; a neighborhood resource.

  7. Political would mean involving anything related to government, party affiliation or community activity, I'd assume.

    UU certainly falls within that realm.

    Note that site blocks aren't universal. The rank and file city workers are much more limited than their higher-up-the-chain-brethren.

    Regardless of whether Shiller's office is part of the same domain as the downtown offices (thereby inheriting the block), I'm sure she can view any site she wants.

    The real question is, who put the block in place?

  8. It seems to me that it would behoove a government agency, particulary a city agency, to allow access to neighborhood-oriented websites, if nothing else than to save them the trouble of waiting until election-time to find out what the issues are. The only thing strangers would be to discover than Shiller has it blocked from the computers in her offices. On second thought, that wouldnt' be strange.

  9. The City of Chicago's Internet Service Provider is the Illinois Century Network (ICN) which provides Internet service to the State of Illinois and many other municipalities as well. ICN uses products and services from Secure Computing Corporation (SCC).
    Common reasons SCC may block a site:
    1 - The web site is a 'loophole' site, designed to exploit access to other web sites which would otherwise be blocked.
    2 - The web site is used to share and download files, such as music, games, or computer programs.
    3 - The web site is designed to mask the identities of those accessing the site in order to allow anonymous access to a third site.
    4 - The web site contains certain words, images, file names, or file types generally accepted as suspect. For example, the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago web site ( may be placed on the blocked list if a new exhibit displayed nude photographs on the site.
    5 - All web sites with chat (or instant messaging) are blocked and will never be available because the increased activity severely hampers the City's network performance. ICN identifies these sites as P2P/Loophole.
    6 - All cached web pages delivered via a search engine (such as Google or Yahoo) are blocked and will never be available. Cached pages are historical snapshots of a web site, not real-time indications of information. People must always use the 'live' pages from the actual site they are attempting to access.
    7 - Web site hosting companies frequently have more than one web site on a single Internet server. If one web site is blocked then all sites on the server are blocked until a "Request for Review" is approved and programming changes are made to refine the filter.

    In the case of this site, a City employee did initate a "Request for Review", a manager approved, and the site is now available to the City's network.

    Matthew J. Fleming
    City of Chicago
    Dept. of Innovation and Technology

  10. Hi everyone!! I sent this in. I talked to some other people in my office who also live in Uptown and they flipped out. one had written a letter requesting it be approved, and since our office does neighborhood touring they HAVE to know the status of communities in the area, so i have a feeling it will be approved soon! Thanks Uptown Update!!

  11. It's garbage that Shiller's misdeeds can't be read by city employees...but

    I just have to say that it's wonderful that someone mentioned Tommy's Place!!!

    Go see it!!! Hysterical!!!! I love it!