Firewall exception

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
kenisondt-p40
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Firewall exception

Postby kenisondt-p40 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:09 am

One of our bishoprics uses "Google Docs" for sharing files among themselves. The stake presidency is also talking about a similar option. However, the site is blocked when they come to the Church building. Is there a way to "whitelist" a specific site like this locally?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:48 am

kenisondt wrote:One of our bishoprics uses "Google Docs" for sharing files among themselves. The stake presidency is also talking about a similar option. However, the site is blocked when they come to the Church building. Is there a way to "whitelist" a specific site like this locally?


No. The firewalls are controlled by the Global Service Desk. The best solution for your stake president is to have the access level of the firewall changed by contacting the GSD and requesting a different access level.
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SheffieldTR
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Postby SheffieldTR » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:10 am

You would need to select a more liberal filtering policy on that Church-Managed firewall. This has to have stake president approval and is done by calling GSD with that approval to move to either LDS Expanded or LDS General policies. You must currently be on the LDS Restricted policy.
Troy

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:40 am

tsheffield wrote:...move to either LDS Expanded or LDS General policies. You must currently be on the LDS Restricted policy.


Just to be clear, the precise names of the filtering levels are described on the wiki at Meetinghouse Internet filtering and are specifically named:

  • LDS Extended Access
  • LDS Restricted Access
  • General Access
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rolfejr
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Second the notion to allow Google Docs (and Dropbox)

Postby rolfejr » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:29 pm

tsheffield wrote:You would need to select a more liberal filtering policy on that Church-Managed firewall. This has to have stake president approval and is done by calling GSD with that approval to move to either LDS Expanded or LDS General policies. You must currently be on the LDS Restricted policy.
Troy


Our stake presidency (and some of our Bishopric members) are also Google Doc users and have asked about accessing it. To be clear, Google Docs is blocked under both LDS Restricted and LDS Extended. I didn't know "General Access" was an option but I definitely don't think we want to go there. We would love the ability to add both Dropbox and Google Docs as exceptions though. The ability to request exceptions would really be beneficial for us.

Ironically Youtube.com is allowed under LDS Extended. I can understand why - the Mormon channel on youtube, which is often referenced from LDS.Org. We've actually blocked Youtube using the DSL modem filtering in our meetinghouses. In our opinion, the questionable content on youtube is just too prevalent and outweighs the benefits of having access to the Mormon channel. I think in general, a site like Youtube is MUCH worse than sites like Google Docs or Dropbox. (The church also uses Facebook quite a bit with Mormon Messages, but you don't see Facebook being allowed).

So while I assume the answer is currently no, is there anyway at all to request an exception under LDS Extended? Any plans to be able to do this in the future?

aclawson
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Bad link

Postby aclawson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:13 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Just to be clear, the precise names of the filtering levels are described on the wiki at Meetinghouse Internet filtering and are specifically named:


Bad link.

Meetinghouse Internet filtering
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jonesrk
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Postby jonesrk » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:29 pm

aclawson wrote:
Alan_Brown wrote:Just to be clear, the precise names of the filtering levels are described on the wiki at Meetinghouse Internet filtering and are specifically named:

Bad link.

Meetinghouse Internet filtering
This page may need to be deleted to meet the LDSTech guidelines.
Category: Pages to be deleted


I just changed that page from a delete to a redirect to where the information had been moved.
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JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:15 pm

I don't know if WebSense allows individual URLs within a larger website such as Youtube, but you can do that in K9 Web Protection and its parent product from Blue Coat (old Cerberian filter) now. I would think that others either are or will soon have this functionality but do not know that for sure either way or how easy/difficult it is to create exception databases within the main one. Where the functionality is available, all you have to do is specify the specific URL you want to allow within an otherwise blocked site.

You can either block/allow an entire site like most filtering software does, or block/allow individual pages. Something like this would be very valuable in any filtering management scheme implemented. Here's how it would work if the filtering software has this functionality in it:

1. The Church puts up a video on Youtube.
2. Those that manage the filtering are notified that a new video is up and are given the specific URL(s).
3. If the filtering software allows it, those that manage the filter go in and 'allow' that specific URL. They also test whether it is overblocked via other ways to get to it in Youtube or other redirection from the web, there are usually two or three ways that a URL for a video posted in Youtube can be reached by, but the essential link is part of those ways.

This process does not allow access to the rest of Youtube. It only creates exceptions to allow viewing of those specific videos and any other content the Church has on Youtube by specific URLs and clickthrough paths.

Facebook would be the same way. Except it is simpler. There are somewhere around 20 public Facebook pages, including one for the Church itself, FamilySearch, each of the magazines, etc. ldsmediatalk.com has a recent post with almost all but the most recent of these.

Google Docs is a service, and that one is easier yet, it is an allow/block site, you either allow or block all of it.

spydyee
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Postby spydyee » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:55 pm

rolfejr wrote:Our stake presidency (and some of our Bishopric members) are also Google Doc users and have asked about accessing it. To be clear, Google Docs is blocked under both LDS Restricted and LDS Extended. I didn't know "General Access" was an option but I definitely don't think we want to go there. We would love the ability to add both Dropbox and Google Docs as exceptions though. The ability to request exceptions would really be beneficial for us.

Ironically Youtube.com is allowed under LDS Extended. I can understand why - the Mormon channel on youtube, which is often referenced from LDS.Org. We've actually blocked Youtube using the DSL modem filtering in our meetinghouses. In our opinion, the questionable content on youtube is just too prevalent and outweighs the benefits of having access to the Mormon channel. I think in general, a site like Youtube is MUCH worse than sites like Google Docs or Dropbox. (The church also uses Facebook quite a bit with Mormon Messages, but you don't see Facebook being allowed).

So while I assume the answer is currently no, is there anyway at all to request an exception under LDS Extended? Any plans to be able to do this in the future?



Actually Facebook is not blocked on LDS Extended but the CSS that makes it look like facebook is blocked under the social networking policy because the server that the css is hosted on or the css itself sets off the filter. I agree that google docs is pretty benign and that facebook and youtube have far greater risk.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:30 pm

That is probably because Facebook, along with many other very large sites, runs some of the images used to make up a page on different domains, mainly for tracking and managing the data associated with those elements. Primarily done for isolating technical issues that happen with the site.

Some examples I know:

Facebook: fbcdn.com
Youtube: ytimg.com
Yahoo: yimg.com

Watch the status bar at the bottom of your browser when you bring up a large marquee site like these, or others, and you will see it pull images from some odd domain other than the domain you are visiting, and this will almost always be the case, it's not away from the site, it's just from other servers and domains owned by the same company for this purpose. It is possible that Google Docs also uses some similar type of naming system for elements of the Google Docs platform as to where they are stored and your browser pulls the elements from.


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