Depending on your internet browsing preferences, you may not be able to view your favorite sites while sitting in the Denver airport. Which is one more reason to stay out of Colorado (Joey Porter and Kobe Bryant vigorously nods their head in agreement).
For most of us this isn’t an issue since we don’t head to the airport to check our e-mail, but for people who actually leave the comfy confines of mom’s basement, it can be problematic.
Want to browse VANITY FAIR magazine on the Denver airport’s free Wi-Fi system? Sorry. You’ll have to buy it at the newsstand, because Denver International Airport’s Internet filter blocks VANITY FAIR as “provocative.”
Nor can you get to the popular gossip column perezhilton.com on the Denver airport’s Wi-Fi signal. Or the hipster-geek favorite BOINGBOING.NET. Or the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit photos, even though the magazine’s bare-breasted cover shot is on prominent display at airport stores, right next to PENTHOUSE and HUSTLER.
Airport officials are erring on the side of caution in blocking access to certain sites through the free Internet browser offered to travelers. They say they’re using prudent judgment in a public, family-friendly atmosphere.
While airport officials may be overreacting, I can appreciate what they’re trying to do. Air travel is tedious enough, what with all the security checks, shoe removals and sardine-like conditions; the last thing you want to deal with is some perv browsing his favorite moments in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit history (on second thought, maybe that’s exactly what you want). Whatever, not everybody’s happy about the airport’s heavy-handed approach.
“Give people some credit,” said David Byrne, founder of the legendary art-rock band Talking Heads, who was blocked from BOINGBOING.NET while connecting through Denver to an Aspen workshop last month. “And the more credit you give them, the more they respond. It’s just trusting people’s discretion.”
To be fair, every internet service provider should block Perez Hilton, but to the larger point: giving “people some credit” is overrated. “Dancing With the Stars” and “Survivor” are two of the highest-rated television shows for a reason, and it has everything to do with “people’s discretion.”