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Content Filtering

N/A

Content Filtering

:?:

Could Plusnet offer as part of their services content filtering? Useful for business's wanting to restrict offensive web content now a legal requirement. Also benefits for home users too. This would simplify administration as well as making Plusnet even more attractive to new and existing customers as well as a revenue stream for Plusnet.

Thanks
Brendan
15 REPLIES
N/A

Content Filtering

I'm not sure if this would be technically possible for them to do. Might be wrong though. I know I would rather set up my own content controlling software at my end, so it's much more easily customisable. But I can see that this could be useful for companies, etc.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Content Filtering

Yes, I could see value in maybe adding this to their Security services package!

Thomas
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Content Filtering

I'd say running your own software would be the best bet, or buy a router with built in content filtering. The only way I can see for PlusNet to do this would be using a proxy server.

Chris
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Content Filtering

Wouldn't it work by a database of known IP addresses containing unwanted content and in turn be filtered in that way? I guess it's redirecting the traffic through a router or router(s) that have that database. Is this how the Sonicwall works or is that a redirection through a proxy they host somewhere?

They seem also to offer categories too, like occult, sex, weapons etc so clients can choose what they feel would be appropriate to filter. That filtering does come at premium though, not cheap.

I'm not sure but for those who don't want the to have to go to the trouble of setting up and maintaining a content filter and that has to be a lot of people it surely is a service that Plusnet could consider.

Thanks for input guys!

Best regards
Brendan
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Content Filtering

ISPs can do content filtering and yes it does go through a proxy server.

Several Education ISPs provide it as part of a packages (more often than not using SurfControl I believe)

At work I use SurfControl to filter our content and it ain't cheap in terms of resources, man hours and licensing - and thats for a school! Dread to think what the costs would be for an ISP. :shock:

Part of me says - ooh yeah ISP filtered contect great idea for my kids :twisted: - then the other part say - noooooo don't restrict me Wink
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Content Filtering

ISPs are traditionaly very wary of getting involved with anything like this because it is a legal minefield.

While you simply provide the means of communication, you can avoid responsibility for what is communicated - for example, if I slander someone over the phone, I may get prosecuted but BT doesn't.

Once you start getting involved in what is being communicated, it is difficult to avoid taking some legal responsibility for it.
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Content Filtering

I know what you mean regarding the legal side, a minefield alright.

But I guess they would set up some legal "conditions of use" of a service of this nature.

I'd expect it would be the same with Plusnet's anti virus services (don't quote me on that I could be wrong). I.E. a person subcribed to the Plusnet mail antivirus service couldn't legally hold Plusnet accountable if a new virus got through on their email which hadn't yet been indentified by the antivirus community.

A different type of service I know but the principle maybe similar. Anyone know what the legal position of the Plusnet mail antivirus is?

There are obviously companies offering software and services for content filtering but I guess they have disclaimers in the install text somewhere.

Thanks
Brendan
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Content Filtering

It's not so much that the user would sue because a bit of unwanted content slips through.

It is more a worry about the ISP being prosecuted by the state (albeit at the instigation of an individual) because the ISP might have illegal content in it's system.

While you are just a carrier, you only treat the data as 0s & 1s. Once you start examining it for content so you can filter it, you know what those 0s & 1s represent & then you become responsible - not to the user, but to the state - for removing it before re-transmisson if it's illegal.

In other words, it becomes a criminal matter rather than just a matter of civil contract.

I'm no lawyer, so I can't promise that I've got it exactly right, but you get the picture.
N/A

Content Filtering

I see what you're getting at. I was not thinking in terms of a cached proxy of pages or dynamic content examination but simply a denial of access by the server of known sites carrying unwanted content so the ISP doesn't carry the content put merely blocks where you can and cannot go.

For example I type www.unwantedsite.com which is IP address 123.321.123.321 in the denial database and so would return a message "Page Blocked" or something similar. I guess there must be companies out there who compile lists of such sites.

Am I way off the mark here, is this too simple?

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Regards
B Gallagher
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: 04-04-2007

Content Filtering

Quote
For example I type www.unwantedsite.com which is IP address 123.321.123.321 in the denial database and so would return a message "Page Blocked" or something similar.


Thats too simple really...

Say domain www.xyz.co.uk is blocked, and hosted by plus.net. The IP will be 212.159.8.1- which also hosts all the rest of the domains hosted by plus.net.
N/A

Content Filtering

Fair comment. I guess it should be just known urls. Even if it was just urls and not keyword blocking that would be helpful.

Ta
Brendan
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Content Filtering

Hi,

If we offered a service like this, it would have to be something we outsourced. We have set this up in the past for corporate customers, using Websense. This is very expensive and we decided to withdraw the service because it did cause us too much hassle. I would say this sort of thing isn't going to be something we can provide in the near future unless you want to offer us an inordinate amoutn of cash to do it?

Regards,

Ian
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Content Filtering

I've got a fiver anyone else? Wink
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Content Filtering

On a more sensible note, can anyone recommend a software package that would suit small businesses (a typical small LAN with internet connection) that does content filtering?

Thanks
Brendan