Burleith resident told to blur photos in response to complaints
Heller Information Services (HIS), the server operator behind the website “Drunken Georgetown Students,” has asked Stephen R. Brown, the Burleith resident who runs the site, to “either remove the pix or blur the faces,” according to an e-mail posted by Brown.
Yesterday, Vox reported that Brown has been publishing photographs of Georgetown students on his website, www.drunkengeorgetownstudents.com. But, a visit to the site earlier today revealed that Brown has blurred out the faces of all persons in photographs published on the site.
That’s not to say that Brown censored his site willingly, however. At the top of the site, Brown posted a missive about how “[his] first amendment right to photograph has been usurped by the Universtiy.”
According to the excerpted e-mail written by an HIS representative, “[Brown’s] site has stirred up quite a hornet’s nest, and [HIS] received several dozen complaints about the photographs … We’ve looked at the pix, and whether or not there are any legal issues with them, in our opinion they do meet our criteria for harassment mentioned in our [Acceptable Use Policy.]”
According to the HIS Acceptable Use Policy, clients are prohibited from “[using] the service for illegal purposes,” “[using] the service in such a way as to cause harm to HIS or other parts of the internet,” or “[using] the service to abuse or harrass others.”
After the jump, read Stephen Brown’s response to the HIS e-mail, as well as the excerpted e-mail Brown posted on his website.
Brown’s note about his “first amendment right to photograph”:
News Flash–April 27, 2010
CENSORSHIP??? I received this note from my server operator and it appears even my first amendment right to photograph has been usurped by the Universtiy. I guess what happens at night in our neighborhood is something they don’t want exposed. And they are such a bastion of “intellectual freedom?” And who said “denial was a river in Egypt….?”
The HIS e-mail:
“Steve – your drunkengeorgetownstudents.com site has stirred up quite a hornet’s nest, and we’ve received several dozen complaints about the photographs. We’ve looked at the pix, and whether or not there are any legal issues with them, in our opinion they do meet our criteria for harassment mentioned in our AUP at…. I’m going to have to ask you to either remove the pix or blur the faces, Google street view-style, so they aren’t recognizable, and remove references to specific addresses, by tomorrow morning or we’ll have to disable the site.“