Internet filtering

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
rpyne
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Internet filtering

Postby rpyne » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:42 pm

Does anyone know how to contact those responsible for the meetinghouse internet filtering? It seems rather rediculous that it won't even allow downloading the very software that they tell us to use.

Following the links directly from the mls.lds.org Additional Software page triggers the filter block.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:03 pm

rpyne wrote:Does anyone know how to contact those responsible for the meetinghouse internet filtering? It seems rather rediculous that it won't even allow downloading the very software that they tell us to use.

Following the links directly from the mls.lds.org Additional Software page triggers the filter block.


The sites that are filtered depend on your filtering level. If your stake president has chosen LDS Restricted Access, then it's certainly not ridiculous that you wouldn't be able to hit those download sites, since they don't fit the definition of Restricted Access. If that is your filtering level, then you would need to download the software using another Internet connection and bring it to your building using a flash drive.

The different levels are described in Introduction to Meetinghouse Internet on clerk.lds.org. In addition to the two levels mentioned there, a third level called General Access is also possible, which matches the filtering used in most Family History Centers.

A third party called Websense controls the categorization. To request that an uncategorized site be categorized or to request a change in category, send an email to: suggest@websense.com. You can see a list of the current categories at http://www.websense.com/content/URLCategories.aspx.

The Global Service Desk sets the filtering level for a given firewall once the stake president has made the decision.

pbhanney
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Categories

Postby pbhanney » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:55 am

OK, so I went onto the Websense web site and saw the categories they list. Which ones do each access use? If I am to suggest to websense that a site should be unblocked (i.e. returnandreport.org, google docs, etc.), which categories do I suggest they add to those web sites?

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Postby techgy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:22 am

pbhanney wrote:OK, so I went onto the Websense web site and saw the categories they list. Which ones do each access use? If I am to suggest to websense that a site should be unblocked (i.e. returnandreport.org, google docs, etc.), which categories do I suggest they add to those web sites?


As I understand the process - and I've only done it once - when the block page appears there should be a link that will guide you into submitting the site for consideration. I believe that websense itself will review the site and determine the category. As Alan explained, you can also simply send Websense an Email.

Your other option is to change the filtering level that you're using. With approval from your Stake President you can have the access level changed to "General Access" which will permit you to access those sites - and others. General access is also useful for Family History work because it allows access to a broader range of sites.

You didn't specify if you were the Stake Technology Specialist. If not, then you should be working through him for these issues.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:27 am

pbhanney wrote:OK, so I went onto the Websense web site and saw the categories they list. Which ones do each access use? If I am to suggest to websense that a site should be unblocked (i.e. returnandreport.org, google docs, etc.), which categories do I suggest they add to those web sites?


You just need to make your best guess. Whoever at Websense is doing the approval will make their own judgments based on Websense policies, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. When I have submitted suggestions, some have been categorized as I suggested, and others have been categorized differently. As long as the selected category isn't blocked, it doesn't matter much.

Of course, they might pick a category that is still blocked, in which case you can appeal the categorization. Just pay attention to the category reported on the block page (in my experience, most problems were that sites were uncategorized, not that they were in the wrong category).

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Postby pbhanney » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:21 pm

OK, good suggestions. I am just a Ward Clerk, and I have submitted these sites to our Stake Clerk, who of course handed it over to his Tech. They have submitted the sites to CHQ, but nothing has changed. Maybe it isn't a filtering thing. When I go to Return and Report (I know that it isn't an approved site of the Church, and so it really isn't a priority for them), I actually do get the home page that comes up, however, when I click on the "Login" button it usually will wait and then timeout and tell me that the connection was reset. The same for the ymyw.org web site. I get the main page up fine, but when I type in my username and password, it will wait and time out after a while again telling me the connection was reset. I have tried this in IE, FF, and even connecting my own laptop (which is a Mac with Windows running in Virtual PC) to the wire for the LAN, but I get the same results (on both the Mac and the Windows side).

Of course Google Docs is blocked with the "Personal Network Storage and Backup" filter. I somewhat understand this, but we use docs to keep track of leadership visits and calling information so that we can collaborate better on both.

I have basically been told by my Stake Clerk that we will remain on the Extended Access and they will continue to try and get these sites unblocked. So, again, maybe the first two sites aren't being blocked, maybe it is just another setting. Any suggestions?

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:37 pm

pbhanney wrote:I have basically been told by my Stake Clerk that we will remain on the Extended Access and they will continue to try and get these sites unblocked.


Is there a reason the stake won't switch you to "General Access"? I'm not sure as you'd ever get what you want under "Extended Access".
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:52 am

pbhanney wrote:OK, good suggestions. I am just a Ward Clerk, and I have submitted these sites to our Stake Clerk, who of course handed it over to his Tech. They have submitted the sites to CHQ, but nothing has changed. Maybe it isn't a filtering thing. When I go to Return and Report (I know that it isn't an approved site of the Church, and so it really isn't a priority for them), I actually do get the home page that comes up, however, when I click on the "Login" button it usually will wait and then timeout and tell me that the connection was reset. The same for the ymyw.org web site. I get the main page up fine, but when I type in my username and password, it will wait and time out after a while again telling me the connection was reset. I have tried this in IE, FF, and even connecting my own laptop (which is a Mac with Windows running in Virtual PC) to the wire for the LAN, but I get the same results (on both the Mac and the Windows side).

Since the logins are likely through HTTPS, I wonder if such sites have to be categorized twice, once for HTTP and once for HTTPS.
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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:14 am

mkmurray wrote:Since the logins are likely through HTTPS, I wonder if such sites have to be categorized twice, once for HTTP and once for HTTPS.

Yes, a while back I remember this was the case for certain sites, but since we switched to General Access, I have no way of testing it anymore.
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Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:44 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Is there a reason the stake won't switch you to "General Access"? I'm not sure as you'd ever get what you want under "Extended Access".


Some stake presidents have pretty compelling reasons not to go to General Access, but I do not know if that is the case here.

The http: and https: issue is still true, however. You can hit many http: sites, but if the site then sends you to a secure page at the site, you cannot get there unless the https: part of the site has also been opened through Extended Access.


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