[LINK] Prisoners access to the internet

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Jan 14 09:20:05 AEDT 2010

An interesting story in today's paper got me thinking. Local opposition pollies were complaining about how a prisoner was able to send a hate e-mail to a witness (or someone like this: the details are not important).

The article went on to say that prisons allow prisoners access to the internet, but only to news sites, religious sites, and other sites that might get them back on the straight and narrow. They are not allowed access to mail sites. However, they are allowed to send e-mails through the jail's mail system to vetted and white-listed e-mail addresses.

It's obvious to me that news sites that offer the option of sending an article to a 'friend' have a fatal flaw in that you can then attach a message of your own making along with the article, and since you are capable of sending the message using a fraudulent or incorrect e-mail address, it becomes difficult to trace (not that tracing is the issue - intimidation will still take place). Some blogs and other sites also permit you to 'mail a friend', so the list of possible sites would seem never-ending.

So how would you restrict access to such sites, or stop e-mails from being sent 'remotely'?

My wife came up with an interesting suggestion: simply remove the keyboard, and offer a list of websites via bookmarks. It would still be possible to send a message of your own design by visiting a website or two with the chosen words that you want to send, and by copying and pasting into a new window at a site with 'mail this page with comments' options.

I'm sure that Linkers might come up with better suggestions. I'm curious to know how this could be achieved. The authorities involved suggested that they would be restricting access to news sites, but I can think of a number of sites that offer the option of remote mailing a message that would require a massive amount of black-listing. It won't be just news sites...



Ivan Trundle
http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742 skype: callto://ivanovitchk

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