Wednesday, September 20, 2006

San Jose Mercury takes Interest in Proposed Skype Ban at SJSU

Elise Ackerman, an online reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, called me today for a piece she is doing on the proposed Skype ban at SJSU by the University.

Ackerman asked me if I knew any international students that use Skype that would be willing to speak with her, and since I don't personally know any, I thought I'd post here and see if any of you are or know of any.

If you do, her email address is

Ask around too. The more publicity this story has, the harder it will be for the school to shut Skype down without addressing the students.

SJSU "Responds" to my Skype Ban Concerns

Yesterday, I sent an email to Bob Neal asking for information about any possible discussion that the University may be having about the proposed Skype ban.

I also asked when and where the discussion would be, assuming students were welcomed to attend.

This seemed logical considering the Spartan Daily reported on September 18th that Don Baker said, "people for and against Skype will share their arguments, and the decision will be reviewed this week."

Today I received an email from Bob Neal (the Sr. Director in charge of the networks at SJSU) that put that idea to rest. The email was written as follows:

Andrew, we will be having discussions with EBAY(Skype) next week. Network security is not a debatable issue. If EBAY can not resolve our issues, Skype will be banned. Several other universities, including UCSB have already banned Skype. There are several alternative VOIP systems that comply with the Universities security policies........bob neal

Here is where I am stumped... if network security is not a debateable issue, why are any P2P applications allowed on the networks at all? It would be rather easy to transfer viruses from computer to computer across such open networks. So why ban Skype without debate on the topic?

Secondly, why would the University not want student input? After all, aren't they technically student networks?

The University seems to be attempting to brush off dissenting opinions on this unpopular move.

If you think that there should be student input on the ban, email Bob Neal here. You can also Skype him at (+1 408 924 7862) for free, of course (the beauty of Skype). His direct line is 47862.

Skype SJSU to Keep Skype on Campus

If you're upset that such an effective teaching tool as Skype is going to be taken away from students without student input, here's the man I urge you to call (+1 408 924 7862) /email to make your voice heard.

Skype users can copy and paste everything within the brackets into the Dial section - it's free!)
His name is Bob Neal, and he's the senior director of networking services.

Tell him you want to keep the opportunities that Skype provides. As some faculty have already stated, this could be the test case for the CSU system, so what you do and say counts tremendously!