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
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 statement.
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
Update From news.bbc.co.uk
Lib 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 consultation.
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.?