Add BSA to approved sites?

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
mtbaker
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Add BSA to approved sites?

Postby mtbaker » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:15 pm

The Church sponsors hundreds of units of the Boys Scouts of America. One problem we've had is making sure that members who are recruited ("called") to Boy Scout Leadership get adequately trained in their jobs.

The BSA is continually making it easier for leaders to get trained by offering many training modules online at the national site. Included in this training are:


  • Fast Start for Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venturing Leaders
  • Troop Committee Training
  • Youth Protection Training
  • Various Safety Training modules (Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, etc.)

It would be great if the Church allowed use of its computers to Scout Leaders who have no other internet access, or who we could invite in and to supervise in the completion of this training.

I fail to see how allowing the scouting.org domain to the list of approved sites could be a risk.

Can stake technology specialists add this to the allowed sites, or is there some guideline that they and the wards must follow? Right now, our ward computer is limited to lds.org and its subdomains.

If this is a new idea, can it be passed along to the "decision-makers?"

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:26 pm

The filtering is controlled by the stake. They choose one of two filtering settings. It's up to the stake president which one he chooses. I'm suspecting that he has chosen the more restrictive "church sites only" setting.

Right now it's unclear just how the filtering works, It may work by categories only, which means that it's near impossible to create exceptions.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:43 pm

mtbaker wrote:I fail to see how allowing the scouting.org domain to the list of approved sites could be a risk.

Can stake technology specialists add this to the allowed sites, or is there some guideline that they and the wards must follow? Right now, our ward computer is limited to lds.org and its subdomains.

If this is a new idea, can it be passed along to the "decision-makers?"


As RussellHltn mentioned, there are only two filtering levels for the newer firewalls the Church is using:

  • LDS Restricted Access—Allows access only to Church-sponsored Web sites (for example, www.lds.org, www.mormon.org) and Web-mail sites.
  • LDS Extended Access—Blocks known inappropriate material (for example, pornography, weapons information, hate sites, and other known offensive content) but could be more susceptible to misuse.

If your stake president has chosen the "LDS Restricted Access" filter, then by the definition above, he chose not to have Scouting. So if you want to use your stake's administrative computers for more than that, you should take up the issue with your stake president. You would be much more likely to succeed (and certainly more quickly) in having the stake president choose the Extended Access filtering level, than trying to ask the Church to change one filtering level when they already supply another filtering level that allows what you are asking for.

mtbaker
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Postby mtbaker » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:24 pm

Thanks for the quick answers. I expected this.

With web abuse as bad as it is in among the membership of our stake (we hear about pornography problems all the time from our leaders) there is no way "extended access" will ever be considered by the stake for admin computers. There is no use even asking.

May I suggest that it (BSA website access) be put in consideration for the next time default access sites are added or defined? Yes, I have succeeded. You are now aware of a worthy use case, which I think is one of the purposes of these forums.

We will work around the situation, as we always have. In the meantime, thank you for protecting Church property and our members with these filtering measures.

1historian-p40
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bsa access to mls computer

Postby 1historian-p40 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:16 am

First if the "leader" has no other acess to a computer you should tell him to get a library card, and then tell him to visit the library. Good excuse to start the reading merit badge. Second if he had access to the mls database and the bsa website it might be to easy for lazy leaders to violate the instuctions from Salt Lake and share membership data with BSA. IE registration, and rechartering. There Isnt a need to access that site from the church.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:55 am

1historian wrote:get a library card


While I agree that there is no need to access the BSA site from the Church, this does pose a problem for those who are not connected. Our library, for example, does not use IE as its browser. This means it is not possible to access the BSA site, since the BSA site requires IE.

We have solved this problem by making sure that the person who is called or assigned to register the troop/pack, maintain the advancement information, and otherwise interface with the BSA site has a computer at home with high speed access, a powerful firewall and virus protection software, and doesn't mind wiping the hard drive and starting over several times a year, as I had to do while I had the assignment.

Some of these latter reasons would also keep me from allowing BSA access from a Church computer, if I were the priesthood leader. I would only allow it from the FHC if Deep Freeze were installed and operating.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:26 am

lajackson wrote:We have solved this problem by making sure that the person who is called or assigned to register the troop/pack, maintain the advancement information, and otherwise interface with the BSA site has a computer at home with high speed access, a powerful firewall and virus protection software, and doesn't mind wiping the hard drive and starting over several times a year, as I had to do while I had the assignment.....


I would think that the decision as to whether or not the stake/ward computers may be used for BSA training, etc, would be a decision best made by the Stake President and Bishops.

Also, I would have to believe that requiring a member to wipe their hard drive several times a year to be eligible to hold a calling would be a rather difficult restriction to place on someone. Just finding someone who's willing to work within the scouting program is often a challenge in and of itself.

With a firewall and a good protection package (AV/Spyware) it shouldn't be necessary to wipe a drive several times a year. I've been serving as a volunteer for many years in the scouting program. My wife is a committee chair for several LDS cub packs and we both share the same computer in our home. She uses it to register cub scout packs and we've never had a problem nor a reason to wipe the drive and begin again.

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:58 am

lajackson wrote:While I agree that there is no need to access the BSA site from the Church, this does pose a problem for those who are not connected. Our library, for example, does not use IE as its browser. This means it is not possible to access the BSA site, since the BSA site requires IE.

Odd that your library does not have IE available. Are the computers running Windows? Have you asked if IE is available? There are sites that REQUIRE IE, so I dont see how a library could not have it available if they are using Windows. My local library has IE and Firefox available on all of the computers.

We have solved this problem by making sure that the person who is called or assigned to register the troop/pack, maintain the advancement information, and otherwise interface with the BSA site has a computer at home with high speed access, a powerful firewall and virus protection software, and doesn't mind wiping the hard drive and starting over several times a year, as I had to do while I had the assignment.

I have used the BSA website and I havent seen any reason why it would cause you to have to reinstall windows on a computer.
What problems were you seeing that led you to believe that the BSA website caused you to need to reinstall Windows?

Aaron Z

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:43 pm

aczlan wrote:Odd that your library does not have IE available. Are the computers running Windows? Have you asked if IE is available? There are sites that REQUIRE IE, so I dont see how a library could not have it available if they are using Windows. My local library has IE and Firefox available on all of the computers.

I have used the BSA website and I havent seen any reason why it would cause you to have to reinstall windows on a computer.

What problems were you seeing that led you to believe that the BSA website caused you to need to reinstall Windows?


A lot has changed in the last two years since this post went dormant. I no longer need to use the library (which could not and still does not support IE, even if asked).

And the viruses on the BSA website have been cleared up, so that I no longer have to reinstall Windows to clean up those problems from years ago. In addition, the BSA website now supports more than just IE.

Yes, there are some sites that think they are important enough that they require IE. I do not visit those sites. When they join the real world and become compliant with generally accepted browser standards, I will participate if they have information I need.

But I have yet to find a site the required IE, that also required me to actually visit the site. Although one outfit did get tired of my letters to them on the subject. [grin]

Nice flashback to a couple of years ago, but all of these issues were resolved way back then. I guess I forgot to return and report. Sorry.

Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:02 pm

lajackson wrote:Nice flashback to a couple of years ago, but all of these issues were resolved way back then. I guess I forgot to return and report. Sorry.


I should have looked at the dates before responding to your post. Speaking of the BSA site, I just got an email reminding me to go and renew my youth protection training online.

Off I go.

Aaron Z


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