Blocked sites


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HKVP70Z
February 3, 2014, 10:02 PM
I stayed the night at tha Andrew Johnson Inn in Greenville Tn and tried to research the Colt single action army and every gun site I tried to visit was blocked. Has anyone else seen this?

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DeadMoneyDrew
February 3, 2014, 10:08 PM
I assume that you were using either free WiFi or some other Internet service from within the room. It's not uncommon for firearm websites to be blocked by some sort of web filtering tool. Barracuda, Bluecoat, and other common web filtering applications typically block firearms related sites. I can't get to this site or any firearm manufacturer site from work. It's probably safe to assume that the web traffic from your room was routed through the company's headquarters, and that the company uses one of these web filtering applications. I bet a dollar to a donut that you would not have been able to access gambling, tasteless humor, or sex sites either.

I wouldn't read too far into it because most web filtering applications block access to firearms sites by default.

PRM
February 3, 2014, 10:09 PM
Did you say anything or ask about it??? Greenville is a pretty pro-2nd Amendment area.

Agsalaska
February 3, 2014, 10:14 PM
I assume that you were using either free WiFi or some other Internet service from within the room. It's not uncommon for firearm websites to be blocked by some sort of web filtering tool. Barracuda, Bluecoat, and other common web filtering applications typically block firearms related sites. I can't get to this site or any firearm manufacturer site from work. It's probably safe to assume that the web traffic from your room was routed through the company's headquarters, and that the company uses one of these web filtering applications. I bet a dollar to a donut that you would not have been able to access gambling, tasteless humor, or sex sites either.

I wouldn't read too far into it because most web filtering applications block access to firearms sites by default.
100% accurate.

Old Fuff
February 3, 2014, 10:22 PM
If you do a lot of traveling check out Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile and Sprint, all of who offer personal WiFi hubs or modems. These are USB based and independent of whatever "free" Internet service the motel is offering.

They come with a pre-paid plan that costs between 10 to 55 dollars per day, week or month, so you fund them as necessary. I have yet to find any site blocked, and they are much more secure then most public providers.

barnbwt
February 3, 2014, 10:55 PM
Seeing as this phenomenon of firearms censorship is so baffling to so many, and seeing how I imagine many companies could care less, are any RKBA orgs attempting to lobby companies like Barracuda to remove gun terms from their filters? There's nothing offensive about firearms, and so long as the intent isn't to keep employees from wasting time on gun forums (:evil:) there seems no logical reason for their blockage.

They're a private company with freedom to buy what they will and whatever, but I also don't see why customers should be comfortable with stuff like this; it's like censoring news sites with a certain political bent; unacceptable in this country*.

*A filter at work blocked DrudgeReport but not Huffpoo for the longest time, but has recently done the right thing and barred both from viewership :D

TCB

Agsalaska
February 3, 2014, 11:11 PM
Seeing as this phenomenon of firearms censorship is so baffling to so many, and seeing how I imagine many companies could care less, are any RKBA orgs attempting to lobby companies like Barracuda to remove gun terms from their filters? There's nothing offensive about firearms, and so long as the intent isn't to keep employees from wasting time on gun forums (:evil:) there seems no logical reason for their blockage.

They're a private company with freedom to buy what they will and whatever, but I also don't see why customers should be comfortable with stuff like this; it's like censoring news sites with a certain political bent; unacceptable in this country*.

*A filter at work blocked DrudgeReport but not Huffpoo for the longest time, but has recently done the right thing and barred both from viewership :D

TCB
Thats a good question. I do not know how prevalent it is. I travel probably 30 times a year and I think I have run into it maybe twice. It does not happen at Marriott or Hilton properties or Starbucks or any free airport Wifi that I can remember.

You say they are not offensive sights. I and I agree. But keep in mind a lot of these providers are California driven.

316SS
February 3, 2014, 11:12 PM
I wouldn't read too far into it because most web filtering applications block access to firearms sites by default.

I don't doubt that the facts of your post are correct, but I don't share your conclusion. Somebody makes these decisions (to block perfectly legal and legitimate sites by default), which amount to a (poor) value judgment. Worth a complaint to the manager, at the least.

Agsalaska
February 3, 2014, 11:18 PM
I don't doubt that the facts of your post are correct, but I don't share your conclusion. Somebody makes these decisions (to block perfectly legal and legitimate sites by default), which amount to a (poor) value judgment. Worth a complaint to the manager, at the least.
Yes. But the person making this decision is so far removed from the manager it would not do any good. If you want to be heard send a formal letter to two different places at Corporate headquarters.

Those guys at corporate probably do not even realize it. IT infrastructure for multi unit organizations are so complicated today that a detailed list of what is blocked by a third party provider is probably not reviewed. My guess is the conversation went like this.

IT provider-So this is our deal at our best price
Company Man-Does it block sites that can get us sued.
IT provider-Yes. Anything anyone could find inappropriate
Company Man-Great. Where do I sign.

316SS
February 3, 2014, 11:26 PM
Yes. But the person making this decision is so far removed from the manager it would not do any good. If you want to be heard send a formal letter to two different places at Corporate headquarters.

I'm not familiar with the Andrew Johnson Inn, but a quick internet search (not Google!) does not indicate a chain. The person making decisions about default behavior of software may be far removed, but the decision to choose different software based on its default behavior may happen closer to home.

Skribs
February 4, 2014, 01:31 AM
Personally, I don't have a problem with the sites putting up the option to block firearms. It's their right if they want to put it in there. Besides, some of the other things that you can block are social media, video streaming, sports, etc. This is good in a business setting to prevent employees from using company resources and time on personal ambitions. It's up to the network admin to set up the proper filters.

mrvco
February 4, 2014, 01:57 AM
You can always tell the hotel that you work in the industry and won't be staying with them again unless they turn off the filter. I've seen these filters on Sonic Wall products and they really seem geared more towards blocking content in work environments.

savanahsdad
February 4, 2014, 02:10 AM
I was at a Hardee's "Free WiFi " and could not get on the THR site ?? so I tried Cabela's no go there either , did a check and found out they had anything "weapon's related " blocked . even tried Cabela's camp gear , no go there either , I asked for the manager , he said it was there policy , I told him the only reason I came in was because I saw there Free WiFi sign , and that would not happen again ! and that Burger King don't block Weapon related sites , and there burger are better, :neener:

as posted above , I can see blocking sites to keep the workers for wasting time on the company dime , but this was at a burger joint ! That has a big sign that says "Free WiFi" yet you could not even go on line to order a gun lock :banghead: ,, can you say "UN-AMERICAN" so no more Hardee's for me ,

and as a truck driver hop on free WiFi's all the time and that Hardee's in Osseo WI is the only time I have run across that ,

Lex Luthier
February 4, 2014, 07:29 AM
That has happened to me a couple of times. Just another opportunity to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Or, you could always always ALWAYS put your money where your heart is. There are certain businesses who will never get another dime from me, and I make sure to mention why, in a high road fashion, when that type of critical response is appropriate.

Reloadron
February 4, 2014, 08:03 AM
I have run into that at Hospitals and other places. When I travel with my laptop I just shove my Verizon 3G card into it. Next laptop about due and I'll use a new 4G card.

If I run into that at a hotel or motel I make it a point to send a letter to their corporate offices expressing my displeasure.

Ron

funklord12
February 4, 2014, 08:19 AM
Either signup for a cheap or free VPN or proxy service. Cocoon is free and I use it to get around blocked websites at free wifi sites.

340PD
February 4, 2014, 08:32 AM
I live in MN and our local large Caribou coffee shop chain block gun related sites. I just politely write to them explaining I will take my business elsewhere in the future.

JMS920
February 4, 2014, 10:21 AM
I do dialysis 3 times a week and pass much of the time on my IPad reading the various guns/hunting sites. I use the WiFi provided by Fresenius and most of the gun sites including this one are blocked. And Fresenius doesnt much care what I think about it.

GAF
February 4, 2014, 10:22 AM
So I can order porn on the tv at some motel/hotel chains , but I am blocked from gun related sites. Makes no sense to me.

southjk
February 4, 2014, 10:58 AM
More than likely the web filter policy in place on the wi-fi that customers use is only for the customers. They will have a separate internet connection with its own policy in place for the employees. No business in their right mind would allow random customers onto the same network as the business and employees. I think it would do good to complain and do it often.

PJSprog
February 4, 2014, 11:11 AM
I've never encountered that at a hotel. Our Barracuda here at work blocks pretty much any firearm-related site, but for some reason not THR.

Even if, as noted above, the decision maker is several people removed from the on-site manager, it's still a good idea to let them know how you feel about it. Politely, of course. If enough people complain, they may edit their blocked list.

SilverCat
February 4, 2014, 11:14 AM
I assume that you were using either free WiFi or some other Internet service from within the room. It's not uncommon for firearm websites to be blocked by some sort of web filtering tool. Barracuda, Bluecoat, and other common web filtering applications typically block firearms related sites. I can't get to this site or any firearm manufacturer site from work. It's probably safe to assume that the web traffic from your room was routed through the company's headquarters, and that the company uses one of these web filtering applications. I bet a dollar to a donut that you would not have been able to access gambling, tasteless humor, or sex sites either.

I wouldn't read too far into it because most web filtering applications block access to firearms sites by default.

If youve got acces to an apple device, download puffin web browser. It bypasses filters.

jrdolall
February 4, 2014, 11:27 AM
I only stay at Hilton properties unless they are all sold out in an area and then I will stay at Marriott or maybe a Choice Property(shudder). I've never had the problem at any Hilton property.

Most smart phones can be used as a wi-fi device and I do that regularly when on the road.

Deanimator
February 4, 2014, 12:10 PM
I had that problem when I worked at the Cleveland Clinic.

I set up my own Linux server at home, installed SSH and VNC and just VNCed into my own machine, which was of course not blocked.

It didn't violate their policy, since the filtering software didn't block my system... or any of the firearms entries on Wikipedia for that matter.

Deanimator
February 4, 2014, 12:15 PM
I was at a Hardee's
THERE'S your problem.

Hardees is BAR NONE the worst fast "food" I've ever had on earth, worse even than the worst AAAFEES snackbar in Korea.

If you gave prisoners at Guantanamo Hardees, you'd be charged with a war crime.

Joelitespeed
February 4, 2014, 02:15 PM
My car dealer had the same issue. I spoke with the General Manager and they had it changed to allow..

Agsalaska
February 4, 2014, 09:03 PM
I'm not familiar with the Andrew Johnson Inn, but a quick internet search (not Google!) does not indicate a chain. The person making decisions about default behavior of software may be far removed, but the decision to choose different software based on its default behavior may happen closer to home.
You know what I read that as Howard Johnsons. My bad.

HKVP70Z
February 5, 2014, 05:20 PM
I tried to but the desk clerk was indian (red dot) and we didn't get too far.

rhinoh
February 6, 2014, 05:18 AM
If the wifi was free I'd say they can have any rules they want, of course I don't have to like them or use it.
Now - if I paid for the wifi, I'd be upset about blocking rules.

As a side note I've become very leary of using anyone's wifi- too much hacking/seeing your credit card info/seeing your passwords etc. going on. As mentioned cellular modems are MUCH more secure.

buck460XVR
February 6, 2014, 11:14 AM
I wouldn't read too far into it because most web filtering applications block access to firearms sites by default.


^^^This, and because you are in their house, their rules. Will complaining do any good? Maybe, if the owners do not know they are filtering something they don't want filtered. Probably not if it is something they want filtered. The reason they want it filtered might not be because they are anti-gun, but because they are anti-virus or don't think it's acceptable to young children who use the internet as much as most adults these days. Again....their house, their rules. If it bothers you that much, call and ask before you make a reservation.

gym
February 6, 2014, 11:48 AM
Really not much you can do unless you are a geek, and know a few tricks. I always take these things as a challenge, as long as I don't damage their equipment I can usually get through.

DeadMoneyDrew
February 6, 2014, 12:40 PM
How is this thread still going?

I'd bet money that the hotel's owner/parent company employs one of the web filtering tools mentioned already in this thread, that the tool blocks firearms sites by default, and that the hotel management isn't even aware that they are blocking their guests from visiting firearms related web sites.

A quick letter or phone call to the manager is all it takes to make them aware of the issue. Anyone who needs to be 100% certain that they will be able to visit firearm websites while traveling can set up one of the roaming WiFi or VPN options already mentioned in this thread.

There's really not much more to see here...

FROGO207
February 7, 2014, 12:13 PM
^^^Agreed-------BUT also as mentioned above a proxy server will let you go there. Some are free some are pay. Go to proxy. com for more info.

akodo
February 8, 2014, 03:03 AM
Many wi-fi standard filtering software have 'firearms' content disabled by default. Most businesses simply put it in without changing the default.

It seems over time more and more websites are 'discovered' that are gun related so sites that you used to be able to visit on 'free' wi-fi may become unavailable.

Is the NRA doing anything about it? Probably not, because it isn't a government intrusion, same way the ACLU isn't getting after these places for blocking porn which is just as much protected by the first amendment as website that tells you how to bake bread. Same way NRA isn't going to get involved if your local bookstore stops carrying copies of Guns and Ammo in the magazine rack.

What should be done is you should influence companies with your money by telling them why you are not taking their service.

For instance, staying at a hotel that advertised free wi-fi? Demand that they deliver the service you paid for, or leave.

SHOOT1SAM
February 9, 2014, 04:23 PM
My daughter practices basketball at a public school that has free wi-fi. I can not log into here (High Road) from there. However, if I have logged in on my iPad, BEFORE I get to the school and don't close Safari, then when I log on to their free wi-fi, I can go right to here. Perhaps that might work at those other places as well.

Sam

suemarkp
February 9, 2014, 07:57 PM
The proxy site is the solution. Ask any high school kid what the latest free ones are, as schools do the same thing. They block the proxy sites as they find them, but there are a lot of them. There was a story in the news about a school kid trying to do a report on our city of Toppenish, but everything was blocked. It has Top[penis]h in it, so it was blocked...

You'll need to go into your browser control panel to setup a proxy instead of going to the internet directly. The connection to the proxy should be in a secure tunnel so they won't know where the proxy is taking you.

My workplace blocks places too, but they also run a proxy server. You can't get out at all unless you use their proxy server, and their proxy blocks a lot of stuff. I'm not sure if you can run a proxy on top of a proxy (your browser only allows one proxy address or a direct connection). Someone probably makes software to do that.

steelerdude99
February 10, 2014, 06:26 PM
If the wifi was free I'd say they can have any rules they want, of course I don't have to like them or use it.
Now - if I paid for the wifi, I'd be upset about blocking rules.


Adverting "Free WiFi" to me means: If the WiFi not working the way I want, I can't get a refund... However, a well-written printed letter via US Mail (not e-mail) saying you will NOT not be staying there again due to "gun site blocking" MAY get their attention.

Perhaps the hotel does not know guns sites are blocked. The internet provider may sell them a standard setup. The hotel knowing they're losing customers may cause them to ask the internet provider to change their blocking policy or cause them look for another provider.

chunk

morcey2
February 10, 2014, 11:26 PM
The IT department at the company I work for complained to the Barracuda firewall people about their default blocking all gun-related websites as "weapons/violence". I think that's the phrase that I saw. Every time there was an upgrade, it would re-enable the gun blocking. But it wouldn't block access to violent video games by default. When they blocked those, they stayed blocked, but the firearms one seems to keep coming back.

They're response is that they're just doing what the majority of their customers have asked them to do and didn't have an answer to why the block kept reappearing.

It's good to work in an office where lack of access to gun related sites is a problem for many. :)

Matt

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