digital refugees

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U.S. Senator: Ban Wikipedia from schools

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), the lawmaker behind the pork-barrel Bridge to Nowhere and an infamous revelation that the Internet is constructed of a series of tubes is at it again. This time, he wants to ban Wikipedia at schools that receive federal funding. From Computerworld:

    Early in January, Stevens introduced Senate bill 49, which among other things, would require that any school or library that gets federal Internet subsidies would have to block access to interactive Web sites, including social networking sites, and possibly blogs as well. It appears that the definition of those sites is so vague that it could include sites such as Wikipedia, according to commentators.

Remember, this is from the senator, who, on the floor, said:

    Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. […] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material It seems to me that communications and new media literacy needs to be taught in the halls of Congress as well as in our schools.

It seems the senator is concerned all the knowledge distributed through Wikipedia would dangerously tangle the tubes of the Internet. What do you think?