I just got word that Anderson County employees have regained a little freedom in their online reading. A few weeks ago, several local sites were selectively blocked from county computers, including Citizen Netmom, Bull Moose, Atomic Tumor and Atomic City Talk that I know of.
To block nonessential sites from the workplace, while a bit draconian, is entirely within the employer’s rights. Acting to keep government employees from wasting time on non-work activities is okay too, so long as it’s equitably administered — i.e., all similar sites are blocked.
That isn’t what was happening at Anderson County, though. While Atomic City Talk was blocked, the Oak Ridger forum was not, with the key difference being that there was a thread on ACT that might be construed as critical of certain local officials, while Mushroom Cloud was sucking up over at the other place. It was blocking based upon political opinion, not conserving time. At the same time, three local blogs were blocked, while at least one county employee’s personal promotional site is not.
In any case, we’re back online. Thanks to whomever pulled the plug on that bad idea.