February 5, 2009

Swedish government workers blast Web plan

Swedish government employees have sharply criticized a proposal that would bar them from visiting Web sites featuring violence, racism and sexual material.

Jan Landahl, head of the Swedish government's administrative section, proposed that employees in government offices be barred from viewing Web sites with horrible contents and criminal competence, including sites discussing drugs, hacking, racism, pornography and sexual material, Swedish news agency TT reported Thursday.

The proposal, which was submitted to government ministries for comment, would also ban pages which describe physical violence against people, animals, or institutions and pages with information on the purchase, manufacturing, or use of weapons.

Government employees have blasted the proposal as poorly conceived and a potentially illegal form of censorship. Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees said in opposing the plan that it would interfere with their duty to monitor several Web sites that would be banned under Landahl's plot.

Landahl and the government's general counsel refused to comment on the matter, TT said.