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T-Mobile's Optional Censorship Falls Down 67

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-they're-asking-first dept.
An anonymous reader writes "T-Mobile USA offers a 'feature' to restrict access to certain kinds of content. This is called Web Guard. Supposedly Web Guard is supposed to inhibit access to content that falls under certain categories. The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), developed a tool to detect what sites were being censored. Amongst them were political news sites, foreign sports news sites and other sites that should not have been censored." It's quite an eclectic bunch of sites that are blocked, but then censorware tends to break in interesting ways, even when it's not by design.
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T-Mobile's Optional Censorship Falls Down

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  • Proxy sites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SSpade (549608) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:08PM (#39458585) Homepage

    The author seems amazed that a tool intended to make it difficult for kids to reach certain sorts of content blocks proxy sites. Either they have no clue about what they're talking about or they're prepared to ignore the gaping flaws in their own argument to make a point.

  • by matria (157464) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:37PM (#39458671)
    Elgin marbles, Sears catalog, National Geographic, your local art museum. How about the neighbor's bathroom window? What else can we keep the children from being traumatized by? Meanwhile people are beating, starving, raping and killing their own kids even as we sit and read this.
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:03AM (#39458759) Homepage

    Note that the censorship options do not include "advertising".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:19AM (#39458821)

    Except the list is so tangential and to be ridiculous censorship. e.g. Westmaster Junction, the discussion site for webmasters, Null Referer, a site that hides your referring page URL from websites you visit, Cosmopolitan magazine, a Russian programmers discussion forum etc, etc.

    This is typically what happens when you have secret censorship, the list just grows and grows in ever more tangential ways and before you know it Slashdot is on the list because some commenter pointed out some flaw in some protocol used for some site used for filtering.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @02:10AM (#39459123)

    If it's optional isn't it the end users (self)censorship? It is a service that T-mobile does not charge for, can easily be turned off, and is probably only there from a business standpoint to protect themselves from litigation. I honestly don't see the problem.

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