UPDATE: HRC’s blog is blocked by the Pentagon as well.
In a disturbing twist to our earlier stories about the Pentagon banning a variety of gay and trans Web sites that they categorize with the offending category “LGBT,” we’ve discovered that the Internet filtering category the Pentagon is using is one used NOT to ban sexually explicit material at all. The category “LGBT” is used, rather, to ban gay news, anti-bullying and even suicide prevention information.
It is unknown at this time if the Pentagon has exempted gay anti-bullying and suicide prevention sites from its “LGBT”ban, but we do know that a number of gay news sites are banned.
(Straight news site DailyKos is blocked as well.) And that other gay news sites, like Towleroad, GoodAsYou, and Bilerico, are being censored by the Pentagon for belong to the offending category “LGBT.”
We also noted that anti-LGBT political activist sites, like the American Family Association (which is so anti-LGBT it’s an officially-designated hate group) and NOM are not blocked by the Pentagon. (The Pentagon also does not block Republican political activist blogs like Red State and Breitbart, or Republican political activists like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter (several of whose sites also have blogs).
Today we learn something even more disturbing.
LGBT includes “anti-bullying” and “suicide prevention”
The category the Pentagon is using to block gay Web sites, “LGBT,” is a category that the Internet filtering company the Pentagon uses, Blue Coat, set up explicitly NOT for sex sites. So we did not get caught by mistake in some generic ban on sex sites.
Rather, “LGBT” is an entirely other non-sexual category of sites that Blue Coat bans simply for being gay and trans. Let me let Blue Coat explain to you how broad, and offensive, Blue Coat’s censorship category, LGBT, which the Pentagon has turned on, is:
Websites that provide reference materials, news, legal information, anti-bullying and suicide-prevention information, and other resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people or that relate to LGBT civil rights. The websites included in this category were selected because they do not contain sexually explicit content and are generally suitable for viewing by all age groups.
Examples: glsen.org, lgbtcenters.org, hrc.org (emphasis added)
Here it is on their site – note that they use GLSEN and HRC as examples of the sites they ban:
In other words, this company, Blue Coat is banning any and all news related to gay and trans people, and even banning anti-bullying and suicide prevention information. That’s an incredibly offensive category for any company to create, but adding in anti-bullying and suicide prevention as two specific things that need to be censored, is beyond offensive, especially when Blue Coat admits that sites are “generally suitable for viewing by all age groups.”
Funny that Blue Coat doesn’t have a category for any other minority group. Nothing titled “Jews.” Nothing titled “African-Americans.” Nothing titled “Latinos.” For some reason, the other minority that this Internet filtering company lets you ban are gays and trans people.
And before anyone claims that these categories can also be opt-in categories – meaning you set up the filter and you say “do include LGBT.” Clearly that’s not what the Pentagon did. Blue Coat shouldn’t even be offering the option to ban gay and trans sites when it does not feel the need to ban Jewish, black, and Latino sites. Why does Blue Coat think gays are more offensive than blacks, Jews and Latinos?
And why is the Pentagon even using software that appears to be so bigoted and discriminatory?