James Varney of the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, stayed at the Hyatt Place hotel in Riverhead, NY. He tried to look at the Drudge Report, but was blocked from doing so by his hotel’s internet connection.
In fact, he tried looking at a number of conservative websites, including Powerline and Instapundit. They too were blocked. He then tried a number of liberal websites from Talking Points Memo to DailyKos. None of them had access problems.
His hotel, Hyatt Place, uses Uniguest to connect its guests to the internet.
Digging deeper, I contacted the good people of Uniguest. A cheery online chatter at their corporate website praised my question as a very good one, asked for my e-mail so he could run it up the corporate flagpole and I await that response.
I also spent some time on the phone with Hyatt representatives. Well, most of that time was on hold, actually, but I did eventually get two bright, human voices. Both of them assured me no political line was being enforced.
Neither of them knew for sure but they were quite certain it was all a matter of security – it was virus and malware that prompted the warnings and kickoffs, not a point of view.
This is cropping up more and more and it is often attributed to a virus or malware. The problem, of course, is that these sites are all running different scripts and ads. The Drudge Report is rather minimal in what it runs. But somewhere in the code that Uniguest uses it seems intent on blocking conservative sites.
Uniguest and Hyatt need to offer better explanations than chalking this up to a virus or malware. Public schools are blocking conservative sites and now businesses are too.
I think this problem is only going to escalate. First Uniguest and Google next. Pretty soon conservatives will have to have their own web search engine as the liberals who control access to information will, like with weather temperature data, assure us that only their information is seen.