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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, The Death of School Proxies? in Technical; Originally Posted by dhicks No, in fact I'd rather hope that home filtering would work the other way around - ...
  1. #16

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    No, in fact I'd rather hope that home filtering would work the other way around - a school would make its filtering settings available to parents at home for them to apply to their home connections. Your home connection would be filtered, but you could be sure that there is someone (your child's school's IT team) activly managing the block list, and of course any sites wanted for homework and so on would be available. This strikes me as a fair way of doing things, and also a nice opportunity for Smoothwall, Lightspeed, etc to sell services to the home user.
    Intetresting idea but I fear my entire work time will be taken up with dealing with the filtering requests for the parents of our 600 kids. Surely unworkable?
    Plus, as a parent, I want to have control of the filtering on my home Internet connection, not the techs at their school.

  2. #17

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Intetresting idea but I fear my entire work time will be taken up with dealing with the filtering requests for the parents of our 600 kids. Surely unworkable?
    Plus, as a parent, I want to have control of the filtering on my home Internet connection, not the techs at their school.
    If you start with a good system that at least has a reasonably well-catagorised block list (i.e. Smoothwall or similar) you shouldn't get completly inundated with requests. We've had to manually add maybe a couple of dozen sites to our Lightspeed block-list, and most of those were just when we started using it. I, personally, wouldn't want third-party filtering on my home Internet connection either, but many parents don't have the time / expertise to sort out a solution themselves, and using a schools filtering settings seems like a reasonable way of getting a reasonably sane set of blocking settings.

    I should point out,of course, the we don't nessesarily have to wait for SmoothWall, Lightspeed and others to come up with a solution like this, this is all perfectly doable with a server sat inside the school's network - for a given URL, see if you get the filter's block page, if so add it to its own block list.

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    Given the problems that RBC's had with perfectly innocent sites becoming filtered overnight I wonder how the ISP's are going to manage if they begin to effect the commercial activities of companies that may be accidentally removed from an ISP's customers?
    Would they be able to sue for loss of trade? This could get interesting.
    I suppose it is all down to what kind of filtering is applied. Personally I have my kids accounts run via Microsoft's parental controls to make sure that they do not stray where they shouldn't be. That still leaves YouTube and a lot of other 'legitimate' sites though.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 19th December 2013 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    That still leaves YouTube and a lot of other 'legitimate' sites though.
    Couldn't you use EDU!youtube for home use?

    Or does that require a level of control that isn't possible without proper filtering?

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Couldn't you use EDU!youtube for home use?

    Or does that require a level of control that isn't possible without proper filtering?
    Not sure. You do get some pretty good filtering tools with the Microsoft controls, but would have to see how blocking YouTube, yet allowing YouTube Education could be worked.

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    As has been discussed in depth at various levels we will undoubtedly have a tiered internet access and those who have legitimate businesses will have to pay for a license to grant certain users the access rights via ISP's.

    End users will undoubtedly pay for the service above and beyond as the ISP's and businesses pass on the costs.

    As in many countries it is the ISP's who have now been given the "Gatekeeper" title and as ever they will make money out of it as well as the governments taxing these companies.

    It is all about money and nothing else!

    It's not about the safety of our children and their children just categorically "Money!"

    The internet was devised to share information freely for everyone but as we see it has been used for purposes other than what it was meant for and how are we to police this?

    ISP's along with the government couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery let alone control internet access.

    Money makes the world go around and the more you have the faster you can go!

    Total madness!!!

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    Proxies have more uses than just filtering, so for any internet connection with more than say 50 concurrent users they're beneficial purely for the cache. (obvs depends on your speed and supplier for that number)

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Proxies have more uses than just filtering, so for any internet connection with more than say 50 concurrent users they're beneficial purely for the cache. (obvs depends on your speed and supplier for that number)
    That's a lot less true than it was, a large proportion of internet traffic is not easily cachable these days. I could probably turn off our cache and nobody would notice.

    Rob

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    zag
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    Just playing devils adovocate here but some things that would be better if it was ISP level

    - No more problems with SSL web pages, or authentication issues
    - More reliable (not relying on a hardware box in your office)
    - Less cost (We currently spend about 3k a year on filtering)
    - Simple to administer via web interface

    I'm still not getting the resistance from many ICT professionals on filtering. This filter is optional and in the future I would hope to have full control over what we block and what we don't.

    What's not to like about that?

    Of course there are also downsides such as

    Tracking individual users
    Different levels of access such as allowing youtube for staff and not students
    Firewall capabilities

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    yes as that will just filter out porn (and whatever else the power at bee deem unfit) wont say block youtube or sites you may want blocking for your own reasons
    The "powers that be"?

    As far as I know the filtering is controlled by the individual via a web interface.

  11. #26

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Of course there are also downsides such as

    Tracking individual users
    As mentioned above, we've just moved from central to local filtering. This is the biggest factor for us. Not so much individials (although there's already been a couple of occassions when that level has been handy), but groups. Our box is linked to our AD and we have three/four filtering groups. Staff get full YouTube, Students get YouTube Edu - for instance.

    I'd take a lot of convincing to allow an ISP control over our filtering ever again.

  12. #27

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Just playing devils adovocate here but some things that would be better if it was ISP level

    - No more problems with SSL web pages, or authentication issues
    I want people to authenticate, then we can track usage.
    - More reliable (not relying on a hardware box in your office)
    Debatable - we have had less filtering downtime from LA solution since switching to SW. No downtime actually.
    - Less cost (We currently spend about 3k a year on filtering)
    You can't say that as you have no idea how much this no existent service would cost
    - Simple to administer via web interface
    Again, as the service doesn't exist you can't say anthing about its ease of use.
    Of course there are also downsides such as

    Tracking individual users
    Different levels of access such as allowing youtube for staff and not students
    Firewall capabilities
    All of which mean its not suitable for use in school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I'm still not getting the resistance from many ICT professionals on filtering.
    My main concern is simply that I don't trust ISPs to get it right (now or any time soon). Even Smoothwall, as good as they are, sometimes end up with sites on the blocklist that shouldn't be.

    I suspect a lot of the resistance stems from a similar view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Just playing devils adovocate here but some things that would be better if it was ISP level

    - No more problems with SSL web pages, or authentication issues
    Same issues - just moved further away and harder to resolve. You either filter SSL or you don't. You can do it DNS based, but that gets old fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    You either filter SSL or you don't. You can do it DNS based, but that gets old fast.
    Right, and if they aren't doing it via DNS then they are MITMing customers, and I definitely do not want my ISP doing that.

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