The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
25 February 2006
  Ah, the joys of non-selective blacklists
According to the Winona (Wis) Daily News, a man named Ed Callahan tried to sign up for a Yahoo e-mail account, and was rejected, as had been his mother. Okay, he figured he wasn't the first Ed Callahan to sign up, and tried other combinations.

Nothing containing the name "Callahan" would work.

He finally figured it out:
Callahan discovered it was because his last name contained the word "Allah," the Arabic word for God.

Callahan tried using other variations of Allah, and all were rejected. However, words like 'God,' 'Jesus," "Buddha" and "Satan" were accepted.
Neither Callahan or his mother could get a response from Yahoo, so they contacted the paper, which finally got the following answer from Yahoo:
"A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo’s Terms of Service."
Callahan's {perhaps sardonic or sarcastic] comment on that:
"I just picture a terrorist trying over and over again trying to get an account and being foiled every time just because they can’t include that word," Callahan said.
As usual, we are being protected despite and/or from ourselves.

Nannyware that is supposed to protect our kids from Rude Words online at one time banned the official website of Foryth County in Goergia because the county seat is "Cumming". People who live in a town named "Scunthorpe" have various difficulties on line (The reason being left to the reader to determine).

One of the "Related Advertising Links" at the bottom of the newspaper's story about Callahan's experience ids for a company that supplies Patriot Act compliance software that:
...allows you to perform extensive watch list screening, industry-leading identity verification, precise enhanced due diligence research capabilities and more. Everyday, Bridger Insight is used to help prevent domestic and international crimes such as money laundering, terrorism and identity theft and fraud.

Features and Functionality that Exceed Industry Standards

* Watch list screening (20+ lists)
* Identity verification
* Customer enhanced due diligence
* Integrated multiple-vendor solutions
* Reporting and storage
* Workflow and case management
* Risk scoring, analytics and risk assessment tools
* Multiple platforms (Windows/desktop, secure
    online and software development kit)

* User access security features
It doesn't seem to mention Big Brother on the package, but i'm sure he's there somewhere.

Back to Callahan:
On his Web site,, he points out that Yahoo doesn’t prevent users from using other religious words which could be used for hate-speech. He suspects more sinister motives.

"The war on terror is becoming a war on Muslims," Callahan said. "The word terrorist now means Muslims and it shouldn’t."
And even if it did, it's no reason to start banning the name of God online.
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
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Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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