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Educational Software Thread, N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale in Technical; As reported here, N2H2 (a weak but widely sold into schools web URL filter) has been collecting information about the ...
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    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    As reported here, N2H2 (a weak but widely sold into schools web URL filter) has been collecting information about the school children's web surfing habits. Not only that they have sold the information to marketeers and website owners for $15,000 per year. This amounts to N2H2 being simply Spyware and people are being urged to rid the schools of the software.

    We were already in the process of removing it but this just compunds it.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    OMG! That is just plain wrong. That is a huge invasion of privacy and abuse of trust. Shocking.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    @ICTNUT: I'd check the Ts & Cs in your license - see if you can get some money back off the Rat B@*%$#+s!

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    @Ric_: It was supplied to us by our county, I have spoken to them this morning and they say they had no idea.

    They had also just purchased a county wide upgrade to the new SmartFilter/Bess software which is in essence N2H2 re-badged.

    I am looking into alternatives now but it just sickens me that a compnay would abuse it's position in this way

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    I always thought they were a bit dodgy. They way Smartfilter intergrates with Squid is probably a GPL violation and large chunks of their 'blacklists' are just a vertibam copy of the ones avalible (for considerably cheaper) from http://www.urlblacklist.com

    Consider Squid + Dansguardian as a replacement. You can use the blacklists from urlblacklist.com too for a small fee. At least with open source you know no one is spying on you.

    Dos_box, any comment? seeing as we have smartfilter here up in lancs?

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    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    @Geoff: I am putting together a smoothwall + dansguardian + clamAV solution.

    As yet there has been no word from anyone at either N2H2 or Secure Computing <-- New owners !

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    hi guys have look at date of article this is from 2000/2001

    "according to The Wall Street Journal (1/26/01), N2"


    Russ

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    Is that relevant? They've put profit before ethics and demonstrated they cannot be trusted.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    I agree with Geoff, but out of interest take a read...

    http://www.commercialalert.org/issue...=37&category=2

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    @E1uSiV3: We have used this product since 99/00 and as far as I can remeber NOT had any upgrades for it other than the block list updates that come down via the web.

    So as far as I am concerned the information is STILL being pumped out, regardless if they are still harvesting or not, and I have no way of stopping it other than removing it from the servers.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    You can confirm its still happening by doing a traffic dump on the network interface. Something like Ethereal is quite revealing..

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    Thanks Geoff,

    I'll take a look at lunch time and see If i can see anything.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    We dont "run" N2H2 here but the BGfL do and our volera boxes bounce through it.

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    unless I've misread the article, they've only stopped selling information in the USA. no mention of world wide.

    beeswax

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    Re: N2H2 is officially spyware - on a massive scale

    This is complete and utter nonsense! The facts are that more than 5 years ago, N2H2 had a proxy server based web filtering soluiton, whereby every acceptable (allowed) page was served to the PC by the N2H2 server. N2H2 decided to offer a service in the US, whereby the customer paid nothing at all for the solution, N2H2 provided the hardware, software, support and upgrades, in return for the ability to post banner ads on the pages served, and an ability to sell AGREGATE data on surfing habits of schoolchildren. This data did not refer or relate to individual children, or even individual schools but was based on compounded statewide data. N2H2 made one such sale of data, but by that time the internet had moved on, the solution was made available as software, the pages were not served by a proxy server, there was no banner advertising and any data collected was by the customer themselves. N2H2 was purchased by Secure Computing Inc. in 2003, and the award winning database amalgamated with Secure's SmartFilter solution. To-day that solution is employed in more schools and major corporates worldwide than any other.



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