District Alters Internet Security to Allow Access to LGBT Sites

Published: June 5, 2011

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, Calif. — Officials from Rowland Unified School District are scaling back Internet security to allow students to access gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Web sites. The change is in response to an accusation from the American Civil Liberties Union allegeding that blocking such sites was a violation of free speech.

District officials said the sites — which contained information on gay rights, activism and social networking — were blocked on accident, the Whittier Daily News reports. Superintendent Maria Ott said it will take some time to unblock such sites without accidently unblocking inappropriate ones.

The software used to block the sites, M86 Security, grouped all Web sites on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender living into a “lifestyles” category. A competitor of M86, Lightspeed Systems, has eliminated the “lifestyle” category so the sites will be placed in various categories, making it more difficult to accidentally block them.

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