Why Prisons Are Banning Computer Tech Books

By on June 25, 2019

June 25, 2019

Oregon joins a number of other state in adding a variety of books about computer technology and coding to the list of materials that inmates in its prisons are not allowed to access. In Oregon, titles such as “Windows 10 for Dummies” and “Blockchain Revolution” have been added to a long and eclectic list that includes“Edible Wild Plants,” “Naked Fashion Girls,”“The Complete Bladesmith,””Los Misterios Del Amor Y El Sexo“ and “A Backwoods Home Anthology.” The author of the Windows 10 book said he was surprised to learn it was on the list. “There’s absolutely nothing in there that would pose a security risk. The books are written for consumers – people at home,” he told the Salem Reporter. “There’s very little about there in networking and there’s certainly nothing about breaking into networks.” The Oregon correction department’s central mail room administrator defended the policy and says there are legitimate security concerns. When inmates were allowed access to certain legal databases, for example, they figured out how to use the system to send messages to each other in a way that she says constituted a security threat. Nonetheless, she notes that inmates do have access to computers, USB drives for college work or legal pleadings, and that classrooms inside prisons have networked computers. A spokesperson for Oregon’s Department of Corrections said the problems with “Windows 10 for Dummies” are sections about how to find a computer’s specifications, how to set up passwords for multiple accounts and how to set up networks.


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Salem Reporter

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