Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.

Digital Newsgathering

~ This is the Tumblr for Journalism 226 at SF State ~

Posts tagged SexyFed

Mar 2 '12

The City of Oakland’s IT department blocks and other websites

A message between Oakland city officials — among an email dump acquired thanks to the Public Records Act and published the other day by Daniel Willis and Thomas Peele of BANG — really caught my eye:

From: Harry Hamilton
To: Karen BoydSusan Piper
Sent: Sun 10/23/2011 12:00 PM
Sunject: FW: Google Alert - “occupy oakland”

Looks like the Occupy Oakland movement has impacted a business.

I can’t click thru to read article as has been blocked by IT.

This made me wonder: If the City of Oakland’s IT department blocks the IndyBay news website, what other sites might it block?

So, I filed a Public Records Act request with the city attorney and got a response back today (that was fast!):

Subject:            Regular Public Records Request –[Final Response]
(Received 2/27/2012 3:36:27 PM-Type of Records-Public Records Request 8676)


Dear Mr. Beck:


This is in response to your public records request # 8676 sent to Ms. Barbara Parker asking for a list of websites blocked by the City of Oakland’s IT Department.


Please read below the response provided by the Department of Information Technology:



The following sites have been blocked by the Department of Information Technology

Any additionally blocked content is based upon a rule based subscription service utilized by the Department of Information Technology to block content such as pornography, racism, hate, etc.

Websites miss- categorized can be reassessed upon request from City staff to the vendor and unblocked

Request to unblock access to specific websites for the purposes of conducting city business can be made directly to the Department of Information Technology


If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to contact me.



Arlette (Arly) Flores

Open Government Coordinator


Oakland City Attorney’s Office

1 Frank O. Plaza, 6th Floor

Oakland, CA 94612


Phone:     (510) 238 2965



Sign up to receive the City Attorney’s Newsletter

This e-mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message and any attachments.

Please consider the environment before printing this email [v1.02]

For some reason, IndyBay isn’t on the list of blocked sites. I left a voicemail with Flores a little while ago asking about that, as well as why the sites on the list are on there. I’ll let you know what I find out.

I also wrote to SexyFed (@Anon1781 on Twitter), who takes credit for hacking, letting them know (if they didn’t already) that the site’s been blocked.

Hoping to get comment from Flores and SexyFed soon.

View comments Tags: Jean Quan Oakland censorship websites SexyFed CabinCr3w Anonymous