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Web Censorship Filters are st00pid. - Elf M. Sternberg
Web Censorship Filters are st00pid.
While Omaha and I were at Valley Medical, we discovered that they had free wi-fi. Which was totally fine until a friend of mine posted a link to Sex Positive: Changing society's negative attitudes about sex, and I tried to follow it. Instead of the site, I got "Access Denied, Category: Sex Education."

Sex Education is a reason for blocking access? At a hospital?

Especially since there were no filters, none at all, on my reaching any Tumblr site, my own included.

The stupid, it burns!

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

15 comments or Leave a comment
resonant From: resonant Date: February 12th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
At my workplace, we build weapons systems.

Our workplace has banninated .gov and .mil, along with any site that mentions the product we build, as "weapons/violence".

Including the site of our customer, who is paying for our work.

I had to VPN to my home router to download the specs for today's production build.
gromm From: gromm Date: February 12th, 2011 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
So what, you never bothered to ask to have said filter removed?
resonant From: resonant Date: February 12th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I did - they said Corporate denied the request. Our ITAR/EAR compliance rep is fuming.
kengr From: kengr Date: February 12th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
So next time *don't* VPN into home. Instead, submit whatever the proper paperwork is *to corporate AND the customer* stating that due to the filter, you cannot access the specs from the customer.

The fit will hit the shan once either the customer raises hell or the schedule slips badly with the reason being *documented* as "corporate mandated filter won't allow project to proceed".

Remember, under the sort of policy that allows that filter to exist, your trick with VPN could get you up on the carpet *anyway* for *circumventing* the mandated filter!
resonant From: resonant Date: February 13th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no worries about tush-covering - I have an email (both on the company server and a copy that I mailed to my home address) from my manager's manager ordering me to VPN out to bypass the Corporate filter. Unfortunately, our Corporate team is occupied with infighting and making their metrics look artificially good, and so will not get around to fixing their errors until at least next quarter.

Our Corporate team occasionally acts as if it doesn't realize that customers only give us money if we give them good quality product on schedule. However, my team will NOT embarrass the Corporate team in front of the customer to make a point. Airing our company's dirty laundry may get the filter taken off more promptly, but could damage our customer's confidence in our ability to perform. As far as our customer is concerned, we are one big, happy, talented family eager to meet their every need.
resonant From: resonant Date: February 12th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wednesday, Parliament voted to give full protection under the law to transsexual people, with formal inclusion in the Human Rights Act. I went to search for the bill so we could copy-and-paste the exact wording into our site policies. The web filter wouldn't let me access the official government website because it said the page referenced sex.

Our site HR director has now joined the futile fight against the Corporate-mandated web filter.

Filters break the internet.
gromm From: gromm Date: February 14th, 2011 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking more along the lines of the "Weapons/Violence" filter in particular, especially since I'm also certain that they want to keep the "Pornography" part in place due to people "whiling away" the time that way. I'm sure that it's all of about 2 minutes of someone's time to uncheck that box on the firewall.
gromm From: gromm Date: February 12th, 2011 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Surely you must know by now that sex education leads to sex, right?

I mean, you must have been told a *million* times!
valarltd From: valarltd Date: February 12th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
My husband works for a school. He was looking up "Quotes from 1984" and got told "Access Denied: Political opinion." He thought it was particularly ironic in an Orwellian way.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: February 12th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I may have mentioned the web terminal someone gave ex-work - a project for male and trans sex workers - blocked the whole of the BBC site because somewhere it used the word 'breasts'.

A phone call got the stupid turned off.
shunra From: shunra Date: February 12th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently, Ben Gurion Airport's free wi-fi blocks many political sites as being "incendiary."

The thinking behind this is delightful: so, someone arrives at the airport on their way out of the country - and suddenly, after check-in, becomes radicalized? Or is it more against those terrifying tourists, who spend their X $K to travel then and suddenly, upon arrival, discover that the occupation has been going on since 1967? Or maybe find out about the U.N. resolutions Israel's been violating since 1948?

(Deleted comment)
lemur123 From: lemur123 Date: February 13th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)

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This LJ receives enough traffic to draw comment spammers?

Wow! And Elfs actually said a few months ago that he wasn't a real author - if our comments weren't enough proof that he is, the dawn of spam on his LJ removes all doubt.
hydrolagus From: hydrolagus Date: February 13th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

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My LJ draws comment spammers, and consists only of weekly personal nattering. It really doesn't take much, no offense to Elfs.
gromm From: gromm Date: February 14th, 2011 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)

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Heh. I bet you think spammers care about the amount of traffic or readers a site or newsgroup or mailing list gets, don't you?

Spammers don't care. Spammers just carpet bomb blindly. Half of Alt.sex.* was 100% spam for years, and probably still is. When the amount of effort needed to spam one more target is next to zero, noone cares about the extra work needed to make it happen.
lemur123 From: lemur123 Date: February 16th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)

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*sob sob sob*

Well, I'm still impressed by Elfs anyway. So there.
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