It is a pity that the filter didn't eliminate the following spam...the
world would be a better place.
Dear Mr Blair,
My name is George Bush, my father was president of a North American state
who amassed a fortune in the forcible acquisition of a substantial middle
eastern oil estate. I am now in a position to capitalise on this
acquisition but need your assistance in handling a transfer via your
European bank account. I am l offering you 30%...yes THIRTY percent of the
total for your assistance in our venture. Please can you meet me in
Baghdad on February 28th and we will initiate the transfer of funds. In
view of the enormous sums involved I suggest that you bring approximately
26,000 security guards for your protection. As a small token of trust, I
suggest that you also bring a small gift of say 1% of your national
income. You will of course appreciate the need for the utmost secrecy in
our arrangement and I have arranged a cover story for your travels.
From The LibDems
OVER 900 OFFENSIVE E-MAILS TO MPs BLOCKED IN ONE WEEK
E-mail messages to MPs are being censored to block ‘the most offensive
obscenities’ and 908 ‘inappropriate’ e-mails were blocked in the first
week of the new system.
But the Parliamentary Authorities have yet to explain fully how the system
works and who is responsible for censoring emails. They claim that the
system allows ‘a few mild expletives’ but not ‘a high proportion of the
most offensive obscenities."
The information is revealed in a Parliamentary Answer to Paul Tyler MP,
Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House.
We really are living in the nanny state, we might feel more relaxed
about it if we were told who the nanny is.
If over 900 messages had to be blocked in the first week then the
threshold for taking offence must be very low or those communicating with
MPs must be especially addicted to offensive language.
The House of Commons Commission is right to consider an e-mail filter, but
I am very suspicious that they refuse to tell us what criteria are being
used to censor words and who is doing the censorship
This block will not just affect messages from the public to MPs. If I send
an e-mail from my home to my Commons Office, or if one of my colleagues is
on a Parliamentary delegation abroad and communicates with anyone in
Parliament, the censor will operate.
27 January 2003: HOUSE OF COMMONS
Paul Tyler (North Cornwall): To ask the Honourable Member for Roxburgh and
Berwickshire representing the House of Commons Commission what the
estimated cost is of the system introduced to block the delivery of emails
to members containing profanities or other language considered
objectionable; what criteria are being used for this editorial system and
by whom; how many emails have been blocked; and if he will make a
Sir Archy Kirkwood: PCD is using existing software to block inappropriate
emails and therefore the new system has minimal costs. In the first week
the system block 908 inappropriate emails sent to parliamentary email
addresses. The system filters incoming emails from non-parliamentary
addresses and will not effect internal communications, out going emails or
those received from remote workers attached to the Parliamentary Data and
Video Network (PDVN) via Citrix. The sender of any email which is blocked
will be notified and invited to contact the intended recipient to arrange
for the blocked email to be unblocked. This is to prevent any genuine
email from being lost.
PCD recognises that on occasions, constituents might use strong language:
for example, if they are writing about a constituency issue on which they
have firm views, or of which they have had a bad direct experience.
Incoming emails that contain only a few mild expletives will be
unaffected. Only those emails that contain a high proportion of the most
offensive obscenities are blocked automatically
Dem spokesman Paul Tyler says the system is now blocking parts of the
Sexual Offences Bill being sent to parliamentary e-mail addresses. It also
blocked a Liberal Democrat consultation paper on Censorship. At a time
when the government is trying to be transparent and Parliament is
insisting on robust Freedom of Information legislation, this level of
interference is totally over the top.
This system may be designed to prevent MPs
blushing from blue emails, but in practice it is blocking discussion of
the new Sexual Offences Bill. Blocking filth is one thing, gagging
political debate is another. The system is less than a month old and is
already in chaos. It was imposed on MPs with no warning and with no
It must be suspended until all the wrinkles
can be ironed out. Censoring MPs discussions with their staff, colleagues
and constituents is totally unacceptable. Many constituents who have had
perfectly reasonable emails blocked may not pursue the issue further.
Follow Up from the Lib Dems
The authorities of the House of Commons have made
the decision not to allow MPs to opt out of the email censor system,
designed to block offensive messages. Paul Tyler MP, Liberal Democrat
Shadow Leader of the House, requested to be taken out of the censor
system. Paul Tyler said: I should be the one who decides what I find
offensive, not some shadowy committee. I want out of this ridiculous
system, but it seems I am caught in the censors straightjacket.?