WebSense(less) plays censorship games on the enemy team

by 1389 on December 20, 2007

in 1389 (blog admin), blog censorship, censorship, Foehammer

Here we go again…

Having just posted yesterday’s article about censorware vendor WebSense blocking access to Gates of Vienna, I emailed GoV about it to let them know. Seems that, like many of us in the counterjihad, they’d had trouble before with content-filtering firms blacklisting their site, but they couldn’t recall which one.

I didn’t have that information at my fingertips, so while I was waiting for further instructions at work, I thought I’d take a look at the censorship category at Foehammer’s Anvil. There was a good chance that a blog post or comment would identify the censorware firm(s) that had previously bedeviled GoV.

I was startled to find that Websense had blocked me from Foehammer’s Anvil:

Access to this web page is restricted at this time.
The web page you have attempted to access has been deemed inappropriate.
Accessing this material is a violation of [company’s] Computer Usage Policy.

Reason: The Websense category “Games” is filtered.

URL: http://foehammer.net/category/censorship/

Continued attempts to access this type of content will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
If this site has legitimate business value and needs to be unblocked please click here, select your site, System/Appl. Access, and select Internet Web Site Blocking/Unblocking request. The helpdesk cannot grant access.
Please note that internet radio, online shopping, and photo hosting sites are not considered to have legitimate business value.

No games at the Anvil

Games? The Anvil doesn’t offer any games or other entertainment. It’s a hard news and commentary site with no fluff. The Anvil offers a news aggregator regarding jihadist activity, plus articles and commentary about the U.S. and worldwide political scene as it relates to confronting (or failing to confront) jihadism. Foehammer keeps an eye out to exclude obscene vocabulary, threats, spam, and the like.

Suppose some joker who sympathizes with our enemies wants a clever way to keep Foehammer from exposing so many people to unflattering news about jihadist wrongdoing. So the joker calls or emails WebSense and asks them to categorize the Anvil as a games site. I suppose that, to someone at Websense who has never visited Foehammer’s Anvil, the name might sound as though it could possibly be a games site. So WebSense happily obliges. The Anvil is classified as a games site, so that any company or other venue that uses WebSense to block access to games sites will automatically lock out the Anvil.

In this way, we are letting our enemies game the system by manipulating these censorware vendors into muzzling our communications.

If anything, we should be curtailing the distribution of enemy propaganda and disinformation, such as videos that encourage children to become suicide bombers, instead of allowing our avowed enemies to censor communications that we need to defend ourselves effectively.

Too many games at WebSense

Websense unfortunately requires registration to use their site lookup tool, a policy which is highly objectionable in itself. Anybody should be able to see which sites are being blacklisted. So much for accountability to the public!

Therefore, the last time I contacted Websense in order to complain about another site they had misclassified, I used the Websense Email Form.

But when I clicked on that form to to send my message, the Websense email form rejected it because I had entered a “public” (i.e., web-based) email address. Another barrier to accountability!

Even though I was thoroughly disgusted by that petty little ploy, I went ahead and sent the form, but I had to give a personal email address that I would much rather not have used.

“What to do?”

  • Contact Websense to request that Foehammer’s Anvil and Gates of Vienna be reclassified as news/opinion sites:

    Websense Corporate Headquarters
    Gene Hodges, CEO
    Douglas C. Wride, President and CFO
    10240 Sorrento Valley Rd
    San Diego, California 92121 USA
    Tel: +1 800.723.1166 or +1 858.320.8000
    Fax: +1 858.458.2950
    Websense Email Form
    (Note: WebSense does not accept the form if sender’s email address is on a web-based server, such as Yahoo. If that’s a problem, then write or call them up and complain!)

    Investor relations:
    Kate Patterson, VP of Investor Relations
    Tel: 877-273-7379 or 858-320-8072
    Fax: 858-458-2959
    Email: kpatterson@websense.com

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rich March 13, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Web sense is stupid you should not block stuff from anyone there is a thing as freedom you retards.

2 Carrie Crawford March 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm

this is so dumb. i will learn from these games. what is so bad about them??

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