Symantec blocks pro-gun sites


November 2, 2003, 04:36 PM
Seems that pro-gun websites are a 'risk' to the security of your computer

"A recent American Rifleman contained small column that said that Symantec's new Internet Security 2004 would block pro gun rights sites (i.e. NRA sites), while not blocking similar anti-gun rights web sites. Being the eternal skeptic, this claim was tested by downloading the trial version and running some tests against it. To my surprise I found the every NRA site was blocked and was in the category 'weapons.' This even included the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. Some sites that were not blocked where such notable anti-gun rights site such as The Brady Campaign, and Good Bye Guns. The only anti-gun rights site that was blocked that I could find was Hand Gun Control's web site."

The full discussion is available on Slashdot (

Soon I wont even be able to read about guns.

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November 2, 2003, 04:43 PM
If I remember Internet Security, the blocked sites list can be modified to suit the needs of the user.


Mike Irwin
November 2, 2003, 05:15 PM
"If I remember Internet Security, the blocked sites list can be modified to suit the needs of the user."

Not really the point.

Microsoft's Web Sense filter, or whatever it's called, also blocks pro-gun sites, but leaves the anti-sites wide open.

Interstingly, this is the ONLY firearms chatboard that's not blocked at my office.

November 2, 2003, 05:40 PM
Well, if you dont buy the product, then you arent actually supporting them. I have friends who have downloaded NIS 2003 Pro and use it. It is great, so I hear.

November 2, 2003, 07:15 PM
Dang.....I just paid for a 1 year update & extension on Norton.:(

Jim March
November 2, 2003, 08:04 PM
Well, you CAN use it as a general firewall utility and turn off content blocking. But again, that's supporting jerks. Zonealarm is a better firewall if that's what you need.

November 2, 2003, 08:26 PM
Sygate is also pretty good

Standing Wolf
November 2, 2003, 10:14 PM
I don't do business with anti-Second Amendment bigots—and I bought the most recent version of Norton Utilities for the Macintosh, which turned out to be the old version, and didn't work, anyway. No more fakeware from Symantec for me!

November 2, 2003, 10:16 PM
No big surprise. This wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that so many public libraries use this on their systems.

I'll second the recommendation for Zonealarm (, if you're looking for a personal firewall.

November 3, 2003, 01:50 PM
Hmmmmm....maybe I'll make a trip to the library to do some research.

Elmer Snerd
November 3, 2003, 02:14 PM
Current discussion location:

November 7, 2003, 06:35 PM
earlier this week I tried to confirm this problem without downloading the software and testing it myself (since I currently don't have a testbench computer available; all are in use for the network). This kind of problem is, IMHO, among the most serious, for reasons cited previously--and for the bigger problem of "Internet information" and "what's reality." So...

I followed Elmer's link to slashdot and reviewed the comments--then I called Symantec corporate offices and got directions to talk to support--I suffered through that routine, and I e-mailed the link on the corporate page.

Today I got a an e-mail from a Symantec support specialist...and while it was nominally written in corporate-speak, it also appeared to be a sincere response. So, I first phoned the number she had included/left a message, then prepared an e-mail delineating the problem Symantec is facing...

I received a phone call from this specialist within the hour, and she

1) confirmed that the problem does exist--i.e., when you turn on Parental Controls, it will block the NRA and not block the Brady bunch, etc.,

2) minimized it a bit in the form of the "all this software does it" argument--

COMMENT: which I do suspect is true for ALL blocking software. Of course that's because the blocking keywords are too simplistic; these really have to be multi-level conditional keywords/rules to work even half-assed intelligently.

3) she did state that traffic on this problem went up significantly this past week, and that they were working on it. (that's a summary; the comments were more extensive.)

COMMENT I take this to mean that Symantec may well try to get going on what we would call the "next generation" software to market before anyone else.

In summary, they are aware of a possible boycott/over this as a political problem, and they do NOT wish to get that going. Since the Rep is a shooter herself, I choose to believe her. But, it's still a question of "how long do we wait to see if the elephant can learn to tapdance."

Jim H.

November 7, 2003, 06:43 PM
And a big hand to JFH for his hard work.


Art Eatman
November 7, 2003, 08:27 PM
Yeah, a definite "Thanks!", Jim...


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