A member of the Armed Intelligentsia and federal employee writes:

Hey Robert,

I’ve been clicking onto TTAG a couple of times a week to read up on the latest news while at work. As of today [Friday] the U.S. Government has seen fit to block the site. When I try to go to the url I get the standard warning message for blocked sites: “Access denied, all internet usage is logged.” Nobody tells us why certain sites get banned. You’ve now joined the ranks of ebay and Breitbart as sites deemed unsuitable for federal employees. I suspect this ban doesn’t apply to all federal employees . . .

82 Responses to Federal Government Bans TTAG

  1. How ridiculous, the federal government is censoring political content?

    RF, TTAG, et. al., this means you guys are doing something right to piss off the wrong kind of people.

    • Shouldn’t we be wearing this as a badge of honor?
      It could be so many of the federal employees were hanging out on TTAG that it was affecting their work performance hahahaha

    • Or, in a less melodramatic fashion, cutting out time wasting at work.
      It’s just reducing government waste 😛

    • Paranoid much?
      Let me see, it’s a work machine, you’re browsing at work…
      It’s not like I never waste a minute at work, but really, as far as I’m concerned, if our IT guys blocked TTAG or Facebook or CNN I wouldn’t have any call to get paranoid or angry. It isn’t my personal network. And I’m being paid to work so…(yes, I get my job duties done).

      I’m not saying you should sack anyone that uses the PC at all for personal stuff–I like the idea of allowing 30 minutes or so a day outside of official break times for it–but time wasting is a problem and companies have to deal with it.

    • There are many, many departments of the “federal government”, each one (mostly) with its own IT department and likely, its own internet firewall rules. To say that the entire “federal government” has banned this site may very well not be true.

      • Oh, so THAT’S what I fell off just now.

        What is all this talk of government and guns? Turnips don’t need guns, and neither do you.

  2. “I suspect this ban doesn’t apply to all federal employees…”

    If you support the 2A you cant view TTAG. If your gathering intelligence on gun owners, access granted.

  3. havent tried on the work system yet today, but as of friday i was still able to visit ttag… the insanity has not yet been applied to all federal employees…

  4. You can be sure the site is monitored. If they think it’s bad enough, or right before a major “operation”, all internet access will be blocked nationwide, along with most cell phone service. Plus they have the NDAA which allows indefinite detention of American citizens on U.S. soil suspected of sympathizing with “terrorism.” If they can get a majority of the guns first, so much the better. But don’t worry, it can’t happen here.

    • Good. Theres probably gun owners, and thinking-about-getting-a-gun readers there who need to educated with good info, too.

    • I’m sure that all of us that post here, and maybe even those that just peak in from time to time are on a list in a gubmint ‘puter. The NSA looks at ALL cell phone calls, texts and e-mails looking for patterns.

  5. TTAG just needs to make a back door for those on Governement computers. A local car club web site where I live was banned on the military computers in the area. One of our techs made a back door for those who could not get access.

  6. I’m not sure why federal computers should have access to ANY sites that aren’t related to the work performed by an employee. When they are at work they should be performing work. Browse your personal web sites on your own time you government slacker. Another waste of our tax dollars in this example, not a good example to show censorship.

    • I think it is a good example of censorship. as you pointed out, Don, they’re not blocking all non work related sites, just selected sites.

      • “I think it is a good example of censorship. as you pointed out, Don, they’re not blocking all non work related sites, just selected sites.”

        But they should block all non work related sites. Many private employers would fire you for browsing personal sites on company time.
        Get back to the work we pay you for you complaining federal workers and this wouldn’t be a problem. You have too much free time on your hands.

        • it’s the equivalent of reading a newspaper for 15 minutes. most employers wouldn’t flip at that

        • +100. As am employer I would can, on the spot, any employee that was using my computers for personal business or entertainment. I’m in jeopardy if there is any illegal activity conducted through my net work. But ALL not essential sites should be blocked and personal e mails should also be prohibited. Is the SEIU site blocked? How about the political parties’ sites? Employees are selling their time for a wage or salary, so while they are “on the clock” their time is mine and so are the computers. What you do elsewhere on your own time or computer is none of my business.

    • Because it’s not practical these days to separate work-related from non work-related as there are billions of websites, and who knows which sites might be relevant at any particular moment. If you have an employee who is having performance issues because of time wasted on the web surfing, address that. Otherwise, don’t hobble your workforce with pointless restrictions.

      • And, when I have to work from home semi-regularly and do unpaid overtime, they sacrifice some right to get bitchy about me relaxing during 10 minutes of downtime.

  7. I also work in a federal government facility and for years have not been able to access any site with firarms-related content, TTAG included. These policies are usually agency-wide determined by CIOs governing their respective organizations, and this reader’s firewall policy was likely updated in light of the current hubbub. These guys determine what content should be blocked by govt firewalls for productivity, etc.

    I think this story is more about the general predisposition by many in society and govt to categorize guns as something inherently bad or evil and then to justify that content’s censorship as if it were pornography or something inappropriate for a professional environment. Just another example of what were up against.

  8. I’m sure TTAG is already banned in COMMIE CHINA, and some of our no good COMMIE states will do the same.

  9. i want you WORKING while at work. Not perusing blogsites. It is my taxmoney by the way. I am technically the boss. OK?

    • I’m sure you are a model of efficient work for your employer, Herr Paine.

      How ’bout at lunch? Ok for a federal employee to check the internet then? Is that comm’nist gubmint employee allowed to even breathe your air when he’s not diligently trying limit your freedom?

      I’d love to see you put on that ‘respect mah authoritay’ internet hardass act to a Marine sgt just off a 3-day patrol sneaking an hour of spotty internet access at the COP. I bet you’re the kind of guy that could easily make that lazy federal employee clean the latrines.

  10. Marine network still allows it.

    Whoever gave this tip, and Dan Zimmerman seem to think that there is one federal Internet genie controlling the entire government. There isn’t even one controller just for the Marine Corps. Probably where his guy works someone decided this site was getting too much traffic and wasn’t business related. No big deal.

    • Or there was a glitch.
      Dont give the Federal Gobmint too much credit on how they use computers, especially based on one unverified allegation.

      Google the FBI system update to see how badly that was f***’d up, years ago and the update is still stuck. Or how many places have been penetrated. I hope they have bigger fish to fry, than tracking bunch of grumpy OFWGs b****-ing about guns. (Speaking for this OFWG only).

      If you are worried about what you do, dont post, and go get an anonymizer to view websites, and encrypt your emails. And get off Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc etc, as they all aggregate data together.

      But that will probably flag you too, for real, with the alphabet agencies!

  11. I read TTAG via RSS reader as the site is blocked at my work. But I’ve never had trouble reading the articles. No vids and only some pics come through. Good enough.

  12. I have a hard time getting worked up about this for one reason – it’s a work machine, you’re on someone else’s computer, in someone else’s premises, being paid to be there.

    If we were to start seeing things blocked for the wider public, that would be a problem. But whether the workplace is private or public, I tend to give a wide latitude to IT staff in blocking content that is potentially harmful or in violation of workplace policy.

  13. I work with a gov’t computer every day and sites with the words “gun”, “game”, “blog” among the other obvious ones, are blocked. If it weren’t for the communication aspect, Facebook would still be banned, but it is a good site for deployed troops. We had Youtube for about a week, but that went away. Hell, we can’t even use memory sticks anymore. It isn’t about censorship so much as it is about productivity. The less interesting sites we can see, the less likely we are going to screw off during work hours. I just use my phone to keep up with TTAG and other sites while at work.

  14. TTAG is not banned on the Army network. We have a lot of pictures blocked depending on the image’s host, but that’s due to the firewall’s filters.

    What gets blocked depends on how the domain is categorized by the whatever company is supplying the filters, the official policies as to what users can view what, etc. It’s usually not too hard to figure out if something is intentionally blocked or if it’s something being blocked by new firewall rules.

    Also, if viewing TTAG is part of one’s official duties and is intentionally blocked, they can easily supply a LOJ and an exemption request and there will be no problems…

  15. I’ll read Drudge at (federal employee) work, but I do most of my gun browsing at home. Many of my co-workers and I are just as paranoid about our employer as you are.

    I’ve read that browsing the internet between tasks actually increases focus and efficiency. If I had nothing to do but strictly work related tasks all day I’d be bored to tears, and really, really slow at completing things due to an inability to maintain focus. It’s like taking stretch breaks once an hour. 5 minutes of internet between tasks helps me do my job more efficiently, not less.

    But feel free to call me an overpaid, deadweight to what could be an ideal, libertarian society, and I’ll reply with my favorite Econ 101 quote. “What is good for the few or the one is not necessarily good for the many, and what is good for the many is not necessarily good for the few or the one.”

  16. I work for an agency within the DOD. Current policy allows up to 30 minutes of “appropriate personal use” each day. Most reading this will probably not believe me, but I’m usually too busy for recreational web surfing. Some days I eat lunch at my desk and take the 30 minutes to get caught up on what’s happening. So far, no problems accessing TTAG, Brietbart, Drudge, or Washington Times (EMiller is so freakin’ hot).

  17. “I suspect this ban doesn’t apply to all federal employees . . .”

    Correct, at least for me, on my network, so far…

  18. You’ve been blocked for a long time at my work. ( major pharma in the us ) I think they catagorize this site as guns- violence. I work in the IS side and we don’t block sites we use a blacklisting service. I would think its the same for most gov agencies as its kinda standard.

  19. Each agency is different, even depending on location. My office FB, Google + and google play + TTAG all work on .gov. Now, screwing around on the people’s time is different, and that is something that is always not encouraged.

  20. I worked for some years at a Fortune 500 company that routinely blocked gun-related sites, as well as email sites like Yahoo and Hotmail and the usual collection of NSFW sites as decreed by whatever software filters they bought. Fortunately, the IT guys were gunnies and were buddies of mine, so they rerouted my connection through their server and I had full access as long as I didn’t abuse it and didn’t talk about it.

  21. Our company is more clever than most. Nothing is “banned”, but all internet usage is “monitored” and recorded. They don’t say if anyone looks at the data, they don’t have to.

    • This is the right way to do it, though, I think. Let adults be adults. If there’s a problem, then address the problem.

    • Good suggestion. I use Reader to bypass the content filter at work when reading humor sites at lunch. Easier to do that than repeatedly harassing the IT guys (who sit quite near my office) about tweaking the filters to be less idiotic.

  22. Anyone with an iPhone or Android phone and 3G/4G coverage has access to TTAG regardless of whatever filters are in place on the work Internet connection.

    Reading comments doesn’t work as well on the mobile version of the site, but it’s still possible. Some folks here get most or all of their TTAG fix via iPhone.

    • That’s how I do it, via my Android phone. I’d say about 90% of my time on TTAG is that way, including 100% of the time I’m at work. It’s not that I can’t get to the site from my work computer, it’s that I would rather not have my employer see what I like to read about. Anything I do on their machines is up for grabs, but if I do it on my phone, it’s just for me.

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