Thursday, September 03, 2009

e-Minority Report

firewall warning

Yesterday I was googling “divine right to rule” at work. Politics was on my mind for many reasons other than the Nonoy Aquino for president campaign getting a boost. The term just came to me out of the blue, weird as it is.

One of the sites identified by google led me to a firewall warning that says I have accessed an inappropriate website. Why; read the category and it has the answer: plagiarism.

Again I googled but this time for the word plagiarism and the top choice in the search was a Catering primarily to the academe, the site has tips for detection of plagiarism and the use of proper citation but most importantly a definition. It cited from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary which says that plagiarism means:

• to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
• to use (another's production) without crediting the source
• to commit literary theft
• to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

What the definition does not state is reading, which was what I was really trying to do in the first place. Perhaps it is a case ala-Minority Report where I was charged for a crime (plagiarism) I may or may not commit. Then again maybe the plagiarism was meant for the site.

Now I can understand the banning pornography. I can understand banning social networking sites; they are a chore to maintain as well as being a lot of fun. Youtube is tantamount to television so off with that distraction in the office. But what I don’t understand is the reason why my IT department calls the site plagiarism.

Could it be because they know that I am a student at the PUP Graduate School? Still even a student has the right to read but what he puts on in the paper that can be plagiarism.

Perhaps that’s the reason, reading outside of work. If reading is disallowed other that the office papers then the policymakers should just say so or they could just ban internet altogether; some corporations have been known to do that.

But plagiarism?!?