I am in Orlando today, attending yet another we-hope final meeting of the Florida Supreme Court's Committee on Privacy and Court Records, being held in the beautiful Orange County courthouse. It's nice to see a building buck the trend towards cheap and ugly public buildings, a trend most visible in the ghastly prison-like high schools dotting the landscape.
The court building, or at least the conference room, has a wireless network, but outsiders are firewalled out from it. I found a plug and jacked into it. Internet access! But even there, there's a “Websense” proxy or firewall. Why would the court want to prevent its employees from using gmail?
IIRC, WebSense has a number of categories to block material in. The court sysadmin probably just installed WebSense to block porn, and then just checked a “block all” or similar box rather than doing any fine-grained decisionmaking.
Because info flowing out of the court’s intranet over an encrypted connection can’t be examined. This is a common security practice to avoid leaks of IP or (in this case) privileged info of one sort or another.