Wikipedia Banned By Dutch Ministry Of Justice

    November 19, 2007

Due to a block put in place by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, 30,000 people can’t use Wikipedia at work.  Yet, while it’s a bit startling to hear the development phrased like that, the move may not be entirely unreasonable.

“We’re doing this as a temporary measure while we investigate how much use – and misuse – our people make of Wikipedia, and what we can do about it,” explained Ministry spokesman Ivo Hommes.

“You’d think it should be OK for someone to update an entry on their favourite football star during lunch, but obviously we don’t want people doing things that are tasteless or worse during working hours,” he told the AP.  Hommes’s comments came after a report that the Ministry’s computers had been used to make over 800 edits to Wikipedia.

Mike MasnickThe short-term loss of Wikipedia as a resource is somewhat troubling – I know all of your WebProNews writers visit the site on a regular basis, and Mike Masnick raises a few other objections – but, given the sheer number of edits, it’s hard to blame Hommes.

On the whole, he and the Ministry of Justice seem to be acting in a rational fashion.  It’ll be interesting to see what sort of final decision they reach; it may become a model for other businesses and governments to follow.