Whitelist

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

Postby Hagothsen » Wed May 02, 2018 12:40 pm

With the recent announcement regarding the blacklisting of additional social media and video sites, I think the time has come to go the other way - whitelisting. I for one was surprised that Netflix was not already blocked. There's also the problem with mobile sites and apps not being blocked by the church's blacklist solution. When YouTube is otherwise blocked to Laptops, one can still get on the IOS YouTube app to view it. The recent announcement centered on preserving bandwidth for the work of salvation. I agree with that, but more needs to be done.

There would have to be a greater focus on keeping church materials behind pre-authorized domains. I believe it would be fairly easy to add and remove domains via script. Such as, a script which allows YouTube an hour before the first session of General Conference, and shuts it off right after. All of the church videos and other lesson materials would need to be found in the lds.org or other pre-authorized domains. They already are for the most part. I see the biggest challenge in family history work. It would be equally difficult to allow every single web domain wherein someone might find useful information. However, the amount of information found on Family Search and Ancestry is enormous. Perhaps advanced genealogical work should be left to do elsewhere, to ensure our bandwidth is not hijacked for lesser things, especially the filth that has infected our society.

Whitelisting seems to be more orderly, and more effective. In other words, I no longer want to give the internet the benefit of the doubt. I would prefer to default to safety, rather than convenience.

What say you?

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sbradshaw
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Re: Whitelist

Postby sbradshaw » Wed May 02, 2018 1:37 pm

I feel like it would take a lot more time, effort, and cost for the Church to respond to requests to whitelist helpful sites, than to blacklist unhelpful sites. There are so many good and useful sites that are used by missionaries, teachers, clerks, music leaders, Relief Society presidents, family history workers, etc. that it would be impossible to list them all. And I'm sure the Church doesn't want to be in the business of judging whether this or that third-party site is "approved" (it could easily be interpreted wrong). The only instance I know of where the Church has published a list of "approved" third-party resources is this list for Seminary and Institute teachers: https://www.lds.org/si/objective/doctrinal-mastery/gospel-sources?lang=eng
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Hagothsen
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Re: Whitelist

Postby Hagothsen » Wed May 02, 2018 2:26 pm

So we can be confident that all that should be blacklisted, is already blacklisted, and that the blacklist is updated frequently, if not immediately. If not, we’re essentially saying that we would prefer to risk allowing a new smut site that has yet to be blacklisted, than risk losing access to a parenting blog, or small county recorder’s office website.

How about a hybrid approach, such as adding whitelist entries on individual firewalls? Adding these entries can be logged and restricted to local leaders and/or STSs. These entries can be ongoing or temporary. These entries will be subordinate to the blacklist. The church sets a narrow whitelist, local leaders can add to the list, but never add something from the blacklist.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Whitelist

Postby Mikerowaved » Wed May 02, 2018 3:43 pm

Hagothsen wrote:Such as, a script which allows YouTube an hour before the first session of General Conference, and shuts it off right after.

They already do this, but in terms of weeks before and after rather than hours or minutes. Don't forget the church spans many time zones, and in rare cases (such as active military), meetings of worship are sometimes held on days other than Sunday.

Hagothsen wrote:I see the biggest challenge in family history work.

I don't know if they still are, but family history libraries have traditionally operated with a relaxed set of restrictions to allow for family research.

Hagothsen wrote:How about a hybrid approach, such as adding whitelist entries on individual firewalls?

I can guarantee that anything done on individual firewalls won't fly. For one, I seriously doubt the blacklists reside in each firewall. Rather, they are stored on a server somewhere that the firewalls check into.

While it might be interesting to discuss better ways to manage the firewall restrictions, no one here has the ability to implement any change, so (IMO) it's rather pointless to try and second guess what's been put in place and the hows and whys behind it.
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scgallafent
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Re: Whitelist

Postby scgallafent » Wed May 02, 2018 4:54 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:
Hagothsen wrote:Such as, a script which allows YouTube an hour before the first session of General Conference, and shuts it off right after.

They already do this, but in terms of weeks before and after rather than hours or minutes. Don't forget the church spans many time zones, and in rare cases (such as active military), meetings of worship are sometimes held on days other than Sunday.

Some areas of the Church don't watch conference within a few hours of conference and may actually start watching it a week later.

russellhltn
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Re: Whitelist

Postby russellhltn » Wed May 02, 2018 5:45 pm

Hagothsen wrote:What say you?

As a user-to-user forum where the decision-makers don't visit, what we say mattereth not.

Hagothsen wrote:Whitelisting seems to be more orderly, and more effective. In other words, I no longer want to give the internet the benefit of the doubt. I would prefer to default to safety, rather than convenience.

The purpose of this change wasn't "safety" but was stated in the first paragraph: "Meetinghouse internet is intended to further the purposes of the Church, enhance worship experiences, and support administrative functions. Non-Church-related internet use in meetinghouses often creates difficulty for those who are trying to use it for Church purposes." (emphasis added)

This is about non-Church traffic taxing the connectivity. I've got one unit on a 4G modem and the clerk can't do any work until the members have left the building. Perhaps with this filter in place, that will change.

I tend to think that the sites chosen were based on examining the logs and seeing how much bandwidth was being spent on the different sites. It's not a comprehensive list, and we could see some future changes as the members adapt to the new rules.

As far as filtering strategies, keep in mind that the needs of a unit on 100Mbit are different than one on a 1Mbit connection. I'd think that backlisting is sufficient for the first, but the latter may need a whitelisting approach. TM seems to support having different filtering levels for each building, but so far that has not been implemented.
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Hagothsen
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Re: Whitelist

Postby Hagothsen » Wed May 02, 2018 5:50 pm

What I meant by safety, was in preventing obscene materials, which will drive away The Spirit.

russellhltn
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Re: Whitelist

Postby russellhltn » Wed May 02, 2018 5:56 pm

Hagothsen wrote:What I meant by safety, was in preventing obscene materials, which will drive away The Spirit.

I'm sure that's being handled by filtering at a different level. Probably by a commercial filtering company.

This new change is in addition and designed to free up bandwidth for church purposes.
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JamesAnderson
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Re: Whitelist

Postby JamesAnderson » Mon May 07, 2018 1:10 pm

Yes to adding Netflix, it is a known bandwidth hog. Also SlingTV and DirecTV Now, they are very similar to Comcast/Xfinity in what they do and how they deliver the media.

Also need iHeart Radio added to the list, as it is the third-largest streaming music platform, behind #1 Pandora and #2 Spotify. Heavily promoted by OTA radio stations that are owned by the sme company. As far as bad sites go, they have also been posting some rather adult themed content on social media too lately.

In-meetinghouse net congestion has been an issue, no matter how much bandwidth one has. Even one or two on one of these sites even on a high-bandwidth connection can screw things up for say, several temple and family history consultants and a couple of other class instructors trying to use Church resources including Family Tree, to accomplish priesthood purposes and share the content they need to show

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Whitelist

Postby Mikerowaved » Mon May 07, 2018 11:20 pm

russellhltn wrote:I tend to think that the sites chosen were based on examining the logs and seeing how much bandwidth was being spent on the different sites. It's not a comprehensive list, and we could see some future changes as the members adapt to the new rules.

You really mean, as the youth adapt to the new rules [grin]. Seriously, they should keep a close eye on increased usage of the various VPN services available for mobile devices (many are free) and aggressively go after them or the above changes will be moot.
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