New DNS Filtering Policy

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
crolse
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New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby crolse » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:47 pm

Recently a filtering policy change for meetinghouse DNS was put into place that blocked the following services and more:

Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest
Spotify
Snapchat
Pandora

We use several of these services in our stake and ward activities. I'm looking for further insight into the reasoning behind these recent changes and a method to express feedback regarding their implementation.

russellhltn
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:56 pm

I'm curious about the justification for Spotify and Pandora. I know them as music streaming services. While there might have gospel applications, I don't think they are the only way to accomplish those goals.
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jamiep39
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby jamiep39 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:36 pm

russellhltn wrote:I'm curious about the justification for Spotify and Pandora. I know them as music streaming services. While there might have gospel applications, I don't think they are the only way to accomplish those goals.


Spotify specifically we use for YSA dances and to provide background music for activities, etc. I think the problem with blocking some of these sites and services is that it's a Sunday-only focused policy. YSA buildings (and other buildings I imagine) are used for a wide variety of activities throughout the week, not just on Sunday, so these policies really put the members at a disadvantage throughout the week.

If every site that was allowed to be used on the network had to be specifically justified, we would have a white-list policy blocking everything but church sites and maybe a few others.

Assuming the goal was to limit what members are accessing on Sunday via the building internet, I'd be fine if the filter was even set up dynamically. More restrictive on Sunday, less restrictive throughout the rest of the week.

crolse
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby crolse » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:55 pm

russellhltn wrote:I'm curious about the justification for Spotify and Pandora. I know them as music streaming services. While there might have gospel applications, I don't think they are the only way to accomplish those goals.


Of course there are other ways ways to play music, but why not use Spotify or Pandora? What's wrong with them?
Yes they are streaming music services. What's wrong with streaming music services?

That's my question for each of the filtered apps: What's wrong with this service?

jamiep39
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby jamiep39 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:20 pm

And why suddenly block all the social media channels except for Facebook? Social media is incredibly useful for sharing gospel-related content and we are frequently encouraged to share uplifting content via these channels by the Brethren.

russellhltn
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:35 pm

jamiep39 wrote:Spotify specifically we use for YSA dances and to provide background music for activities, etc.

You might want to check the Terms of Service. That may not be copyright-legal.

I know someone plugged in some streaming service for background music for our singles Thanksgiving dinner - complete with ads. Not cool.
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jamiep39
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby jamiep39 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:43 pm

It's still confusing as to why the sites were blocked.

russellhltn
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:58 pm

Agreed. I can understand blocking sites with video / audio streaming since they tend to be bandwidth hogs, but an explanation would be nice.
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jamiep39
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby jamiep39 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:49 pm

russellhltn wrote:I can understand blocking sites with video / audio streaming since they tend to be bandwidth hogs


That's the only reasoning I can see. However, every chapel has different speeds available and in some buildings bandwidth isn't an issue at all. If bandwidth is a concern there should be an additional set of DNS servers and policy for those "bandwidth sensitive" areas and buildings. Or, alternatively, a different policy available to buildings with higher bandwidth that doesn't block those high-bandwidth applications.

nelsonfam
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Re: New DNS Filtering Policy

Postby nelsonfam » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:42 am

I will be having an architectural discussion concerning filtering and how to better serve members using Meetinghouse services and allow additional "nice-to-haves" like pandora, spotify, pinterest...etc at appropriate times. The biggest issue we see is that Meetinghouse bandwidth on Sundays is not primarily used for teaching the gospel. It's used to browse pinterest, facebook, update iphone and android software, snapchat, and others. Less than %25 of the content coming into Meetinghouses has been recorded as LDS related content. We need to be able to use Meetinghouse internet for teaching the Gospel on Sunday and retain the ability to prioritize bandwidth sensitive applications like streaming content from youtube.com, lds.org and mormon.org.....etc. So while during the week we do see that Meetinghouses are used for various activities, the problems being reported are on Sunday when the internet is unusable. Right now there is no way to distinguish between wired or wireless devices nor are there multiple authentications methods to assign different DNS servers. This is something I will be looking into.


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