Arizona State University: Petition Website Blocked From University Network

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Arizona State University

In December 2011, shortly after students created a petition to lower tuition at Arizona State University (ASU) on the petition website Change.org, ASU blocked access to the website on its network. When the censorship of the site gained widespread attention, ASU explained its actions by citing concerns about "spamming" emails from the site related to the petition. In February 2012, following a national outcry and within hours after FIRE sent a letter criticizing the censorship, ASU eliminated the Change.org filter. 

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  • Arizona State Restores Access to Change.org after National Outcry

    February 6, 2012

    Arizona State University (ASU) has restored access to the petition website Change.org after blocking it due to dubious concerns about “spam” emails coming from the site related to a petition advocating lower tuition costs at the university. On Friday, FIRE wrote ASU asking that it immediately restore access to Change.org and assure its students that it does not block access to websites that host content critical of the university. Responding to the national outcry, which was first launched by media reform organization Free Press, that is just what ASU did late on Friday. ASU blocked access to Change.org in December […]

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  • Arizona State Blocks Access to Change.org

    February 3, 2012

    Arizona State University has reportedly blocked access to the petition website Change.org, citing concerns with “spam” emails coming from the site in the wake of a petition posted on the site that advocated lower tuition costs at the university. Today, FIRE wrote a letter to the university asking that Arizona State immediately restore access to the Change.org website and assure its students that its IT department does not block access to websites that might host content critical of the university.

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  • Arizona State University responds to concerns about change.org

    February 3, 2012

    Arizona State University blocked access to the website change.org after it was used to spam thousands of university email accounts in early December 2011. Since spam emails are frequently used to distribute viruses and other malware that is installed on client machines without the recipient’s notice, the university routinely blocks both inbound and outbound access to sites that distribute spam to stop the propagation of malware and the associated compromise of an individual’s personal information or the security of university accounts and information. The university blocks spam emails regardless of their content. ASU strongly supports the First Amendment and an […]

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