Looking for suggestions for an internet content filtering appliance

Frank Bulk - iName.com frnkblk at iname.com
Mon Aug 23 20:52:18 UTC 2010


Their filtering appliance also filters out free HTTP proxies and anonymizers, some because their known, others because of signatures.  It's not perfect, but it catches a lot more than what you might think.  And we don't market it as the silver bullet and we let our customers know that this is not the be-all and end-all of content filtering, but something that catches the vast majority accidental site visits.  If someone wants to work around it they can run a VPN, but for 99.99% of the subscribers of this service, it's a lot better than nothing or running software on each PC (which doesn't help for Xbox, etc).

If you have a URL you want me to try, let me know and I'll be able to tell you what the appliance thinks.



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeroen Massar [mailto:jeroen at unfix.org] 
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 2:16 PM
To: frnkblk at iname.com
Cc: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: Re: Looking for suggestions for an internet content filtering appliance

On 2010-08-23 20:52, Frank Bulk - iName.com wrote:
> We offer an optional internet content filtering service to our residential
> and business customers using M86's appliance
> (http://www.m86security.com/products/web_security/m86-web-filtering-reportin
> g-suite.asp).  
> I've been in conversation with them since Q1 regards IPv6 support, but the
> update I received today was that IPv6 support won't be available until
> middle to late next year.  That's not ideal, because the local college is a
> significant user and they started with IPv6 this summer.  College students
> can easily bypass content filtering by using the IPv6 version of the site
> (i.e. http://www.playboy.com.sixxs.org)

Emmm.. if they can use that to circumvent your filter don't you think
those same people won't be able to find out about other proxy servers,
it is not like the internet is not filled with them or anything.

Please note to yourself that you are fighting a lost cause as there are
more locations on the Internet that are annoying for the policy than you
can list, thus one of the very few ways to make it very hard to 'filter'
is to only allow approved sites, and with 'approve' I mean fetch the URL
on a controlled machine, scrub it and pass it back, as the moment
somebody can have a host on the outside and can send a few bits to it
and get an answer back they are outside, if you like it or not.

That said, there are loads of free HTTP proxies, anonymizers and other
such tools and most of them are not caught by your filtering toy anyway.

But indeed, it is a bad thing that they are unable to update their
little box to do IPv6, there really is not that much different there.

   (Who could block stuff on the above URL actually, but except for
    silly people trying to run torrents over it which does not work but
    which do hammer those boxes nothing gets blocked [CP is the except])

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