[ This is adapted from a message I just sent out to my
Infothought mailing list, and is
"Websense - free
sex sites and 'blacklist wars'".
Maybe K5ians will be interested in, umm, err, "researching" the
quality of the Websense sites given, especially if they are subjected
to the competing censorware companies. Note:
Obviously, these sites may contain explicit sexual content.]
Click on the big red-and-yellow "Test The Competition" button in the
upper left. Then click on the big red-and-yellow "Test It For
Yourself" button on the upper right. This brings you to a page where
Websense states (emphasis added):
Select the company you are considering from below, and we will show
you a daily list of 17 Web sites, 12 of which are Adult Content sites,
that are in the Websense database but not in competitors' databases.
The options are "SurfControl" or "SmartFilter". After some
more clicking through the screens, they'll present you with, they claim:
The following 12 sites are in the Websense database, but leak through
the SmartFilter database. They therefore will be blocked by Websense
but not by SmartFilter.
For those readers with sweaty palms already, the following
URLs should take you there directly:
Perhaps other censorware makers could be persuaded to retaliate?
Now, censorware companies peddle snake-oil, and the above lists
are no exception. It's partially a PR trick. Some of the supposed sex
sites listed are just front pages, which redirect to other sites which
are in fact on the competitor's blacklist. In other cases, they've
given a site which is not on a competing censorware blacklist
name, but it is on the competing blacklist by its Internet Protocol
(for an explanation of this sentence, see the paper
"Blacklisting Bytes", by Seth Finkelstein and Lee Tien
So, a person will find "This is not as hot a party as I had
anticipated". But still, you might get lucky. Websense is certainly
giving sex-site seekers a head start, and plenty of ideas. Fresh leads
Note, because of the dynamic method Websense uses to generate
the pages on its website, other censorware companies will have a hard
time blocking those pages. The URLs I've given above are just one
means of reaching that information. On Websense's site, they use
an involved method of passing around the site navigation information
within their dynamically generated pages.
In addition, even variations of the URL data will work, such as:
This is in fact an example of another problem of censorware, dilemmas involving
banning dynamic pages (I had a formal
planned on this, but I'm
having such difficulty getting any coverage, combined with increased
legal risk, that such extensive work is currently postponed indefinitely.)
But these "blacklist wars" will be the source of much humor.
If the sex sites are in fact blacklisted in practice by competitors, or
mere redirects, then Websense is being dishonest (ok, what else is new?).
If the sex sites are not blacklisted, then this is a "daily dose" provided
straight by a censorware company.
Whatever happened to the concept that one reason for not
permitting evaluation of censorware blacklists, was due to their
extensive collection of where porn might be found? (skipping over
the fact that there are plenty of such third-party collections ...)
I can hardly imagine how censorware critics would be pilloried
if they pulled a stunt like this. Think of the children!