I just got this story about the GSA taking California's entire ca.gov Web domain offline because part of one county's site (Marin County Transportation Authority) had been hijacked and redirected to a porn site. A handful of other sites had been compromised as well with drug and porn links—I call that serving the community, but then again I want to write an updated-for-today Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as soon as I can find somebody to come along and be my lawyer.
Apparently, the Marin Transportation Authority had received warnings that something was amiss as early as September, but they ignored the warnings because they looked like phishing attempts. Does anybody else see the irony?
In all seriousness, I understand and support the GSA's decision to take down the domain so that the damage could be contained and neutralized. But this quote concerning said action tweaked my puzzler:
"We apologize for any inconvenience to the citizens of California. ... The potential exposure of pornographic material to the citizens -- and tens of thousands of children -- in California was a primary motivator for GSA to request immediate corrective action," the agency said in a statement.
My emphasis is in bold. Oh yeah, you just know that the children of California are spending their free time on a govenment-operated Web site devoted to transportation. All those little future commuters are doing their civic duty, getting well informed of road conditions and the sort of issues facing truck drivers. 'Coz that's what kids do. "Mommy, do ladies drive 18-wheelers? And do they do things like that to goats when they do? I wanna be just like her!"
This "Think of the children!" crap has got to stop. It's enough to say the site is compromised and must go offline to be repaired. Suggesting that kids are at imminent risk of corruption from a site they will never ever visit is absurd. Yeah, and all that reading they do about Haight-Ashbury is going to make them gay communist hippies.