You say tomato, I say toMAHto

Editor's note: This thought provoking commentary appeared on the Media Daily News site and concerns free Wi-Fi services and censorship.  The opening follows, then click the link below to read the rest of the story which includes Provincetown's Wi-Fi woes.

You say tomato, I say toMAHto

Commentary by George Simpson

IT IS WITH PROFOUND DISBELIEF we read that when the municipal leaders of Culver City, Calif. decided to revitalize their downtown by providing free Wi-Fi service, they did not foresee that it would be used--with some enthusiasm--to download music from "illegal" peer-to-peer sites and access pornography. That fine city has now joined with lowest-tier DMAs Adel, Ga. and Corpus Christi, Texas to install filters to block "pirated content" and pictures of naked people in various acts of procreation--or what passes as foreplay with Eastern Bloc nation teenagers.

Which, of course, opens up the dodgy questions of who gets to decide what content is appropriate and if city-driven censorship is acceptable statecraft. Let's face it: One man's Birth of Venus is another man's naked lady on the half-shell barely covering her naughty bits. Obscenity is in the eye of the beholder (check your kid's iPod play list if you don't believe me). And what if the city official with his/her hand on the filter trigger is charged with promoting only local standards of decency? Let's look at some potential examples....MORE

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