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Old 06-02-2005, 01:40 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Location: Malaysia
Distribution: Fedora Core 4, SUSE Professional 9.2
Posts: 10

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ACCESS DENIED to this forum. Please help.

Hi all.

Recently the administrator of my college restricts some words such as 'linux', 'redhat', 'fedora', 'forum'. Users get "access denied" whenever they try to access to any URL that contains these forbidden words. Result, users are unable to logon to educational sites and forums, example,

Disallowing users to access URLs that contain words like 'sex' and 'mp3' is a very common practice. However blacklisting common words like 'linux' and 'forum' is unacceptable. Don't you think that is an unwise decision?

No idea, following are some possibilities.

Possibility 1: He got abused for posting thread like "How to make love with W!ndows".
Possibility 2: He is a 100% big fan of Micro$oft, and he thinks that's his time to do something for his community.

According to the center manager, someone downloaded open source software and caused some of the PCs to be formatted. Sounding reasonable but hey, can a mp3 plug-in for xmms destroy/crash a PC? If it could, we all now see how powerful open source is.

PS: You might be thinking why do I know it was a mp3 plugin. Think again.

I have tried...
(1) Using Portable Firefox, previously it did the trick but it no longer works. The administrator is getting smarter, he disables "direct connection".
(2) Typing IP address instead of name. But it's troublesome and the administrator will notice very soon.
(3) Using anonymous proxy services. But the administrator has just banned the web site. He got a log on his hands okay

Since that the administrator has becomes very paranoid. So my questions are...

(1) Could anyone suggest a solution to users like I am, in order to surf Internet freely in college?
(2) Using anonymous proxy services such as can bypass the censorship of URLs but sooner or later the administrator will notice it on log and ban that particular web site. So, could anyone suggest a tools/script that doesn't require installation (because users are unable to install any program on the PC), example, HTML file.
(3) Is my college the only which having this issue? Did your administrator restrict users accessing LINUX-related sites?

PS: This post doesn't mean to be offensive towards any administrator. Knowing that administrators play a very important role in their network. *Salute* And, sorry for my very bad English.
Old 06-02-2005, 01:53 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

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Instead of circumventing the system, I'd go the route politically. Appeal to the college. Explain to them that (for me at least) a portion of your fees are for computer/internet use, and you find it completely out of line to block linux as a keyword. Linux is not the problem, but rather the vandals behind the system crashes. You don't censor Linux to alleviate the problem, you take action against those individuals causing the problem, OR you secure your systems better.

IMHO a network administrator's responsibility in a college situation is to ensure there is constant network connectivity AND to do their best to keep PORN off the network, short of that, anything goes. College is a learning environment, not a military camp. Censorship, IMHO, has no place on campus.

I'd present my argument somewhere along those lines. If you can get a group to join in your approach, you may have better luck. Don't try to sell them on Linux, that's not the battle. It's over censorship of the worst kind, stopping the free flow of ideas.

Old 06-02-2005, 02:18 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Duesseldorf /Germany
Distribution: Gentoo amd64 / Debian
Posts: 226

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'm sceptic,

I read your story, and it looks more like a "people dying in china"-flyer.

Then there is the "leet"-username, does not give you more credt on your quest from me.

It lokos like you even admitted to have trashed a few PC's by installing "an xmms plugin", way to go, you are really cool.

I call shenanigans.

"So if linux is a blocked keyword, woh come you can post here?"
Old 06-02-2005, 02:18 PM   #4
Kdr Kane
Registered: Jan 2005
Distribution: SUSE, LFS
Posts: 357

Rep: Reputation: 30
I agree. This is a political issue, not a technical one.

And technically, you must abide by the schools terms of service. They have the right to decide what access they give out.

If you keep trying to get around the system, you are in effect violating the law. Not to mention the school's rules.


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