Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Workplace, public computer blocking of "amateur" sites becoming more common; a template for telecom behavior post net neutrality?; more on paywalls



Today, after a small problem with my car this morning, I spent a little time at a Ford dealership and tried their free computer connection.

All thirteen of my blogs that still use the original blogspot address connected OK with https (under Chrome in an old Windows 7 environment).


The computer appeared to have Norton security with probably some workplace level security settings.

All my custom domain names (doaskdotell.com, the four Wordpress blogs equated to domains, and the three Blogger blogs for which I have linked custom domains) seemed to be blocked.  In one case (a Wordpress site “billsmediareviews.com”) the computer first failed to find the SSL certificate but was blocked the second time.


I’ve written about this observation on my network neutrality blog (Dec 7, 2017) and IT Jobs blog (Oct. 10, 2017).

It certainly appears that these days, workplace filters will block any “amateur” site that isn’t from a well known company or organization.  I believe they would block many non-profits with political biases.
  

I’m somewhat concerned that this behavior could provide a template for telecom behavior post net neutrality, especially if the telecom purchased an anti-virus or security company. It would not be a problem if a service with whitelisted sites was offered as a low-end, inexpensive service to families that want to protect young minors (this idea had been discussed during the COPA litigation of a decade ago). But any telecom should offer everything unfiltered to an adult that wants it (the regular Internet).  So far they seem to be doing that, even post net neutrality repeal.
  
Note also the CNN warning on ad blockers, advising visitors that they could eventually lead to the use of paywalls. 



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