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Microsoft Blocks FSF Donation Website As a 'Gambling Site'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-are-the-odds? dept.

Microsoft 301

An anonymous reader writes "The FSF slammed Microsoft for categorizing donate.fsf.org website as a 'Gambling Site.' Corporate systems that use a Microsoft 'network security' program cannot access FSF donation website because of this and as a result, many people were unable to make donations. FSF has submitted a correction to Microsoft and they are now waiting for a response. However, John Sullivan warned corporate about Microsoft's proprietary network security programs."

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Why is this news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428579)

Software fails - software is fixed. Story at 10.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Interesting)

genjix (959457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428777)

There's speculation that their accepting of Bitcoin inadvertantly categorised them as a gambling website. Bitcoin is popular for gambling sites now because of the lack of restrictions for such sites to exist compared with normal gambling sites which can take days to deposit and many hoops to jump through. It does not seem malicious or incompetent that this mistake happened.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429033)

Hi, I'm on the Microsoft firewall team. I'll explain what's going on.

First off I should say that the Free Software Foundation is in fact a type of gambling site seeing as how it can cause people to lose their sense of free market capitalism. Having free software means that for-profit software industries are losing money that would otherwise be spent on expensive and high quality software systems like Microsoft Windows. So yes the economy is losing money to free software just like gambler's lose money to the casino.

Microsoft also endeavors to protect children from obscene and immoral ideas that are related to socialism, like the free software movement. So yes, "free software" is among the words on our block list. Other dangerous words that we will protect children from are:

gun control
global warming
evolution
Noam Chomsky
Canada
medical marijuana
Green Peace
Al Jazeera
Julian Assange
Israeli Apartheid
corporate welfare
union
taxation
Digital Restrictions Management
public school teacher
anal probe

Re:Why is this news? (0, Redundant)

tenex (766192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429181)

Okay, I'm replying to an AC--I know it's never a good idea--but that post was really "FUNNY".

Re:Why is this news? (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429563)

I concur that we should do everything in our power to protect our children from anal probe.

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429575)

You forgot "Semprini" in there.

Re:Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429115)

genjix said ...It does not seem malicious or incompetent that this mistake happened....

OK, what other explanations are there? Surely this has to be one or the other. I don't think it is malice, but it certainly looks like a mistake.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429213)

Bitcoin is popular for gambling sites now because of the lack of restrictions for such sites to exist compared with normal gambling sites which can take days to deposit and many hoops to jump through.

Bitcoin is getting more popular with everyone as PayPal continues to strive for new levels of asshatery. Unfortunately, I see this happening more. I also see myself looking more into bitcoin...

Re:Why is this news? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429217)

There's speculation that a security program that ends up classifying sites featuring bitcoin as gambling, sucks.
What is the reason behind this mistake/sabotage/whatever? who cares.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429495)

There's speculation that their accepting of Bitcoin inadvertantly categorised them as a gambling website. ... It does not seem malicious or incompetent that this mistake happened.

That looks pretty incompetent to me.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428799)

Because Microsoft is a convicted monopolist and this is yet another example of them trying to extend their monopoly. Perhaps it is time for their corporate charter to be revoked so they do not do any more damage to the economy or to their competitors.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Funny)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428879)

I don't know why you say that, Microsoft have had an extremely good record supporting the installation of free software on their systems. Just look back at how easy they made it to install such common packages as the blaster virus, the chernobyl virus, conflicker, et al. Anyone who claims microsoft tries to stifle free software, hasn't really been looking at the facts.....

Re:Why is this news? (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428961)

I don't know who makes the ban list that my company uses, but fedora's site is blocked, classified in the category "Tasteless". Other Linux distros' sites are fine.

I think someone has a sense of humor ;)

Stay grounded (5, Insightful)

meekg (30651) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428591)

Hysterics and hyperbole do not serve us well.
IF MS ignores the correction, sure. But that hasn't happened, has it?

Re:Stay grounded (2, Interesting)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428751)

Frankly, the idea that this could be accidental in the first place is ludicrous.

Antivirus vendors classifying the competition as malware is an easy mistake due to antivirus software employing similar methods to viruses in examining memory. Classifying a non-profit organization as a gambling site? Not an easy mistake. Doing it to a site belonging to a rival organization? Yeah, no.

Re:Stay grounded (5, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429065)

Frankly, the idea that this could be accidental in the first place is ludicrous.

Frankly, the idea that it wasn't accidental is ludicrous, I would doubt very highly that MS has humans categorising sites, instead it's probably all automated based on roughly the same tech as email spam filters.

Agreed (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429699)

I'd agree that fsf.org was almost surely miss-categorized by a filtering algorithm.

In particular, Microsoft has surely added filters that reduce the possibility that Windows users happen upon software that directly competes with Microsoft's offerings.

In principle, they'd avoid blocking important sites like fsf.org, but presumably they block less important stuff. It's simply that fsf.org fell through the cracks.

Re:Stay grounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429759)

All it takes is a simple whitelist to prevent this kind of idiotic mistake. Microsoft, a market leader in these solutions, should know better to allow this kind of accident. As such, people are suspicious. And Microsoft deserves it, if they didn't think put in place the most obvious safeguards.

Antivirus vendors & false positives... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429349)

It's happened to me in the past, & recently - I disproved 5 major antivirus vendors' false positive detection on an app I wrote recently (they didn't understand the exe compression scheme I use was why, & auto-flagged it as a trojan - dumb, Dumb, DUMB & obviously a default "rule" that's incorrect).

Details? Ok:

I wrote up an application for custom hosts file import, creation, deduplication/normalization of repeat entries, & alphabetic sorting of entries, + filtering of entries that cause "issues" w/ CDN utilizing sites.

I submitted it to hpHosts/malwarebytes & securemecca.org (2 reputable & reliable sources for custom hosts file data), & they ran it thru the JOTTI online & VirusTotal online antivirus scanners (run on Linux systems iirc).

What happened?

---

1.) McAfee
2.) Symantec/Norton
3.) Comodo
4.) Arcabit/ArcaVir
5.) ClamAV

---

Detected it as a trojan but in the 32-bit MODEL ONLY!

Additionally - with a SPECIFIC trojan family name!

Now, 70++ others, INCLUDING Microsoft Security Essentials here locally said it was FINE/OK vs. their "false positive" detections from the antivirus vendors above listed!

So, @ that? I wrote & confronted each of them, each (save McAfee, who is "traditionally SLOW" about this, per Mr. Steven Burn of hpHosts/malwarebytes & Mr. Henry Hertz Hobbitt of securemecca.org told me they are so, & have BOTH seen this happen to their wares & those of others as well!)

This is no "1 time thing" - anyone can ask for instance, Mr. Nir Sofer about it happening to HE as well (on his 64-bit wares OR 32-bit ports of them) - he & I had large discussions online about it, & he did a blog on it as well which I helped point him to more data on it occurring for others also (including Dr. Mark Russinovich of MS, a former "co-worker" of mine for Sunbelt software whom we retailed various wares through online in the mid to late 1990's).

It's WRONG!

APK

P.S.=> Results thusfar?

Well... EACH of the above antivirus vendors has retracted the false positive on this ware of mine @ this point, McAfee's the ONLY 1 left (on the original builds they tested):

http://securemecca.com/public/APKHostsFileInstaller/2012_06_01/APKHostsFileEngineInstaller32_64bit.exe.zip [securemecca.com]

You simply extract its files to ANY folder you like (usually one you create for it, doesn't matter where, but you MUST run it as administrator (simple & the "read me" tab shows how easy THAT is to do):

What's it do for you?

It's a custom hosts file mgt. program that does the following for end users (Calling it "APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++")

---

1.) Offers massively noticeable increased speed for websurfing via blocking adbanners

2.) Offers increased speed for users fav. sites by hardcoding them into the hosts file for faster IP address-to-host/domain name resolutions (which sites RARELY change their hosting providers, e.g.-> of 250 I do, only 6 have changed since 2006 - & when sites do because they found a less costly hosting provider? Then, they either email notify members, put up warnings on their pages, & do IP warnings & redirectors onto the former IP address range to protect vs. the unscrupulous criminal bidding on that range to buy it to steal from users of say, online banking or shopping sites).

3.) Better "Layered-Security"/"Defense-In-Depth" via blocking host-domain based attacks by KNOWN bad sites-servers that are known to do so (which IS, by far, the majority of what's used by both users (hence the existence of the faulty but for most part working DNS system), AND even by malware makers (since host-domain names are recyclable by they, & the RBN (Russian Business Network & others)) were doing it like mad with "less than scrupulous", or uncaring, hosting providers)

4.) Better 'anonymity' to an extent vs. DNS request logs (not vs. DPI ("deep packet inspection"))

5.) The ability to circumvent unjust DNSBL (DNS Block Lists) if unjust or inconveniences a user.

6.) Protection vs. online trackers

7.) Better security vs. the DNS system being "dns poisoned/redirected" (a known problem for recursive DNS servers via port 51/53 misdirection)

8.) Write protecting the hosts file every 1/2 second (supplementing UAC) - even if/when you move it from the default location via this registry entry (which if done, can function ALMOST like *NIX shadow passwords because of this program):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters

And changing the "DataBasePath" parameter there (I do this moving it to a faster media, a "true SSD" using DDR-2 RAM, in the 4gb Gigabyte IRAM I have).

9.) Automatic downloading & Alphabetic sorting of hosts files' records entries (for easier end user mgt. manually) from 15 reliable sources (of 17 I actually use).

10.) Manual editing of all files used (hosts to import list, hosts itself in its default location of %windir%\system32\drivers\etc, the hosts files to import/download & process, & favorite sites to reverse dns ping to avoid DNS (noted above why)).

11.) Removal scanners (if the users decide to remove hosts entries from imported data they can check if the site is indeed known as bad or not (sometimes 'false positives' happen, or just bad entries, or sites clean themselves up after infestation due to vulnerable coding etc./et al)).

12.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Comments (useless bulk in a hosts file that's "all business")

13.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trailing comments after records (produces duplicates)

14.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Invalid TLD entries (program checks this in a BETTER method than the API call "PathIsURL")

15.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trims entries (vs. trailing blanks bloat on record entries)

16.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like the conversion of the larger & SLOWER 127.0.0.1 blocking "loopback adapter" address (slower due to larger size bytes wise to parse, & slower if loopback happens) to the smaller/faster to parse & load 0.0.0.0

17.) Uniformity of ALL entries in hosts (as to records inserted & format they use - reducing bloat AND repeated bloating entries).

18.) Filtration-Removal of sites that IF in a hosts file are KNOWN to cause problems on larger portals that use CDN etc.

19.) Custom hosts files protect ALL webbound programs, not just webbrowsers (like AdBlock addons, & it doesn't even block ALL adbanners by default anymore) & it does so @ a more efficient faster level (Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode) acting merely as a filter for the PnP design IP stack, vs. the slower level webbrowser programs & their addons operate in (Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode), which addons slow them even more by "layering on" parsing & processing that browser addons layer on.

20.) Custom hosts files also offer the speedup to favorite sites noted above, & even firewalls + browser addons do NOT offer that...

---

& MORE, in roughly 15 minutes runtime (on an Intel Core I7 920 Quad/4 core cpu @ 2.67ghz) & faster on faster CPU's (e.g. - Intel Core I7 3960 "extreme" 6-7 core CPUs = 7 minute runtime) & slower on slower CPU's (Intel 1.5ghz Celeron single core = 45 minutes).

* The malwarebytes/hpHosts site admin another person/site hosting it (Mr. Steven Burn, a competent coder in his own right), said it's "excellent" in fact and has seen its code too...

(Write him yourselves should anyone doubt any of this -> services@it-mate.co.uk or see his site @ http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net] ) & he's seen the majority of the sourcecode (Delphi Object Pascal 32 & 64 bit).

It will be releasing soon to sites that host 64-bit programs (even though it also has a 32-bit model, line for line the same code except for 32 in place of 64 in its help file & user interface)!

I told myself (since i built it in late 2003 in version 1.0++ & have rebuilt it 5x since in Borland Delphi 3.0/5.0/7.0 32-bit & currently into 64-bit using Delphi XE2) IF things didn't get better on the "malware front", out it would go for the general public to get the above enumerated multiple & versatile benefits custom hosts yield for end users (mainly saving them money on speed + bandwidth they pay for each month as well as added "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" AND reliability all noted above)...

... apk

Re:Antivirus vendors & false positives... apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429631)

If you'll excuse me AC'ing on this,
the most amusing thing here, from my point of view, is that only last week I pulled the corporate edition of the AV suite from 'Macdubhsith' from a client's machine as it had allowed 20 different Trojans to infect it (Infections spotted by the four other virus scanners I have, mbam and spybot, and confirmed by submitting a sample infected file to virustotal).

Somehow, the fact that their software flags a non-trojan application as a Trojan does not surprise me in the least.

Re:Stay grounded (4, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429799)

Frankly, the idea that this could be accidental in the first place is ludicrous.

No, MS aren't stupid. They would know such a block could not stand for long and would generate much bad publicity for them. They'd much rather just ignore the FSF. Now they'll probably have to apologise to them. Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

More likely the FSF home page, with all of its talk about "free software" was classified by MS's filters as a warez site.

Re:Stay grounded (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428753)

Hysterics and hyperbole do not serve us well.

I'm an advertiser you insensitive clod!

Re:Stay grounded (5, Funny)

NotBorg (829820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429129)

Hysterics and hyperbole do not serve us well.

You must be new here. What have you done with 30651? Is he ok? What are your demands?

Re:Stay grounded (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429599)

You, sir, win the internet today.

donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (5, Informative)

xiando (770382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428615)

You can go directly to http://my.fsf.org/donate/ [fsf.org] if donate.fsf.org is blocked by your local friendly firewall. You can also use Tor to bypass blocks like these.

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428687)

You can also use Tor to bypass blocks like these.

Eh....

It is not impossible to block Tor. A standard approach is to have the firewall block all Tor entry nodes, which forces people to use bridge nodes instead. Increasingly, though, there is an approach that is much harder to evade: blocking of connections that match Tor's "fingerprint" i.e. because Tor uses OpenSSL in a way that can be distinguished from Firefox+NSS etc.

Of course, there is a bright side if you are dealing with a school or corporate firewall: you can always set up a system at your house that you SSH to, and use as a proxy server. That was something friends of mine used to do in high school.

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428935)

That is so 1990's .. ssh proxy, you're showing your age. Today you just jump on a 4g/lte hotspot and away you go... :)

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429001)

That is so 1990's .. ssh proxy, you're showing your age. Today you just jump on a 4g/lte hotspot and away you go... :)

Looks like somebody's mommy is paying for some spoiled kid's phone bill again...

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429757)

Better ask her to opt-out of the filtering...or go use SSH like someone who isn't ignorant of technology.

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429179)

Evidently one can also try connecting to the suspected Tor node in question and seeing if it "speaks Tor" -- this utility [dan.me.uk] appears to use that method.

My understanding is that's what the Chinese are doing to detect bridge nodes, though I very well could be wrong.

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428873)

You can go directly to http://my.fsf.org/donate/ [fsf.org] if donate.fsf.org is blocked by your local friendly firewall.

You can also go directly to the HR department to turn in your resignation, as you have violated the Terms of your employyment.

That said, anyone who uses their employers computer to browse anything online these days deserves to be fired. Use a f-ing iPhone if you have to go online during office hours.

Re:donate.fsf.org is just a redirect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429131)

You may now go directly to the HR department to hand in your resignation for violating your Terms of employment for using an unapproved device during office hours. ;)

malice or incompetence? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428619)

what's that old saying "never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence" or whatever? I mean this is MS we're talking about...

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428715)

Surely just incompetence. Perhaps the fact that FSF accepts Bitcoin caused the block.

Re:malice or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429685)

Yep, I think it's just an automation mistake.

Why such big news?

Re:malice or incompetence? (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428895)

what's that old saying "never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence" or whatever? I mean this is MS we're talking about...

Which makes malice in the guise of incompetence particularly insidious and effective.
In the absence of clear evidence one way or the other, it's best to reserve judgment regarding malice vs incompetence where a recidivist [wikipedia.org] company notorious [wikipedia.org] for its dirty tricks [catb.org] is concerned. The aphorism you quoted (especially the "never" bit) is overridden in this case by Microsoft's track record of cunning malice, mind-boggling incompetence, incompetent malice, and malicious incompetence. It could be any of them.

Re:malice or incompetence? (2)

arobatino (46791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428929)

Especially since the number of people who want to donate to the FSF while using Microsoft's software is approximately zero.

Re:malice or incompetence? (4, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429259)

You realise that this is not Microsoft Security Essentials, but the network security product, right? So anyone behind it on the network... Like at a company, or corporate guest network, or school, or very badly designed hotel wifi?

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429297)

Actually, I would think that would be the best time to get'em, e.g., while the pain is still fresh in their minds.

Re:malice or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428953)

I mean this is MS we're talking about...

Yes, it is MS we're talking about which means you can lean either towards malicious intention, or incompetence and have an equal chance of being right!

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428985)

yeah, they should sue microsoft for defamation and ... effectively get a large donation.

Re:malice or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429345)

To the Lawyers.

This will do everybody a lot of good, because as we all know, Lawyers are some of the most poor and needy people in the world.

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428997)

In any case, the damage done is the same. Saying "I didn't mean to!" is not an acceptable defence for a bug.

Re:malice or incompetence? (3, Insightful)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429013)

The most obvious answer is that a handful of Microsoft fanboy admins submitted the site just to mess with FSF fanboys. These things have all been crowd sourced for years.

Most of these tools us a proprietary list that takes an unknown number of input votes to block something. Then you have to ask very nicely to get off the list that gets published to the masses. It's censorship by the noisiest submitters. It's much like how big websites like yahoo or Engadget keep getting their emails "automatically" blocked by spam filters. A few high influence admins just keep hitting the Spam button on work accounts and 1000 users have to unblock to get it off the spam list.

There IS a process at most of these filter agencies if you grease the right palms, you will get on the mythical "white" list. Whether you are big name sites like Amazon that can bully to keep your name off, or the list runner has a sweet spot for Equestria Daily... But that's a "private list decision"

Re:malice or incompetence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429583)

> The most obvious answer is that a handful of Microsoft fanboy admins submitted the site just to mess with FSF fanboys.

Seems more likely that FSF fanboys submitted the site to create a PR row and get the donation link posted everywhere.

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429075)

The 21st century version: Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to automation.

It would be extremely tempting to attribute stupidity and incompetence on Microsoft's part. Stupider than that however is not knowing up to what point you should trust a system. Example: GPS. If your GPS shows there's supposed to be a bridge in front of you, but all you see is a ditch, do you drive on, confident that the GPS is never wrong, or do you trust the evidence of your eyes?

Re:malice or incompetence? (2)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429125)

Automation is supposed to be smart enough to detect edge cases. If not it's just buggy software. Saying that something is automated, is not an excuse for it to make wrong decisions.

Re:malice or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429203)

Just because something happens automatically does not mean it contains intelligence. 'Edge cases' is this 1 site out of millions.

It isn't buggy, it's just not 100% effective, but then most of the automated data I come across always has a degree of failure in it. It's expected, and definitely isn't a "bug"

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429387)

I am sorry, but using a bitcoins as a single factor to rule out a site as legitimate is a bug in the design of the filtering machine. There needs to be different levels of severity based on a set of features. It is not 100% effective, but if MS labels it as being "not a bug but a feature", it just means they are being lazy (which is okay, maybe they don't have time to make it better).

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429439)

Agreed. Norton just started blocking my mom's blog site because Google made a minor change (blogspot.com). Stuff happens.

Re:malice or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429081)

I say it's incompetence. Just look at M$'s entire quality history!

Re:malice or incompetence? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429083)

I would struggle to even call it incompetence, I would bet the lists are made up by web crawlers applying roughly the same algorithm as email filtering... Quite frankly, it's not incompetence if your bot hits the occasional false positive.

Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (1)

Crasoose (1621969) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428625)

"FSF has submitted a correction to Microsoft and they are now waiting for a response."

So there was a problem with their website that caused it to be blocked automatically by their web filtering software, how is this news? Why is everyone so paranoid and not even waiting for Microsoft to reply or give them an exception? Even if they don't allow it, maybe they would rather their employees donated in their own free time and not on their network?

It's like this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428665)

The situation is sort of like this:

"Crasoose is a bunny licking spoon bender!"

If you don't agree, you are free to submit a correction which may or may not result in correcting the classification.

Re:It's like this (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429453)

Your argument is invalid. There is no spoon.

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428705)

Why is everyone so paranoid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_documents [wikipedia.org]

Even if they don't allow it, maybe they would rather their employees donated in their own free time and not on their network?

You could at least read and understand the summary (RAUTFS?). It is not just Microsoft's own network; this is something a Microsoft product that is used on numerous corporate networks is doing.

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428713)

Except it doesn't seem you understand... It's not that they are being blocked for people coming from Microsoft.com, but they are being blocked for *anyone* running the Microsoft corporate software (ie: if your employer was using it, you wouldn't be able to access the fsf's page.

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (1)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428717)

Stupid much? Most likely it was no problem with the fsf website and the correction was a form with a details section that said d.f.o is a domation site not a gambling site. Has it been adequately spelled out for you now?

And that being said I doubt MS did this out of malice. I had seen in websense false positives because one ip address shared multiple named vhosts, with one being porn or something else unsavory. There is probably an equally mundane explanation here. Hell maybe they got their hands on a block of addresses that used to belong to a gambling site. I can come up with more possibilities just brainstorming if you like...

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (1)

Crasoose (1621969) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428827)

This comment accuses me of not knowing things I was already assuming in my original post, nonetheless, thank you and everyone else replying to me for posting your ideas on the matter.

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428905)

They didn't submit a correction of a faulty website. They submitted a correction of a faulty website classification. FSF has done nothing wrong; the only problem here is Microsofts amazingly self-serving mistake.

Re:Microsoft is the bad guy, how exactly? (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429117)

Because if I labeled every Microsoft email "spam" in my Gmail would they get blocked for EVERYBODY on Gmail? Obviously each filter list has a SECRET way of keeping high profile organizations from being put on Filter lists no matter how many Slashdot admins try to get Microsoft.com blocked.

So WHO decides to put the Big Guys on that "untouchable" list that are known honest sites? This is the "secret censorship" of the modern corporate-run world. Just find a label like "Gambling" and you shame people from even REPORTING there is an error. The list is private so "facts" have nothing to do with said rating.

MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428653)

What a load of anti microsoft tripe. Calm your tits, it was likely a mistake, seeing how its obviously not a gambling website.

Re:MS (1, Informative)

xiando (770382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428677)

> Calm your tits, it was likely a mistake, seeing how its obviously not a gambling website.

How do you explain that a "mistake" was made when the site is so "obviously not a gambling website", eh?

Someone put that "gambling" tag on that site, eh? Is it likely that the person who put that tag on donate.fsf.org did it purely by mistake when it is so obviously not a gambling site?

Re:MS (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428743)

You think there is a person in Microsoft who tags every web page out there?

The list is made by a computer to try to catagorize them based on words in the page and other links. Sometimes software makes odd mistakes.

Oh there is an exception then they fixed it.

Re:MS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429095)

Sometimes software makes odd mistakes.

Especially when that software is written by... Microsoft.

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429607)

At least if you're paying Microsoft for the service, they're obliged to fix it. If it were open source and you filed a bug report, you'd probably be told to fix it yourself - if anyone bothered to take any notice of you at all.

Re:MS (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428759)

How do you explain that a "mistake" was made when the site is so "obviously not a gambling website", eh?

Someone put that "gambling" tag on that site, eh? Is it likely that the person who put that tag on donate.fsf.org did it purely by mistake when it is so obviously not a gambling site?

Oh, so you're one of these people who think malware, spam and virus filters are edited exclusively by humans?

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428765)

The processes that create and maintain these lists are largely automated. I'm guessing it probably triggered some heuristic, not unlike legit email getting tagged as spam on occasion.

Re:MS (3, Interesting)

Haxagon (2454432) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428787)

Yes, that's pretty likely.
If Norton can mark critical system files as collections of viruses and delete them, I believe that someone at MS can mark a website incorrectly. This doesn't seem deliberate at all, given the gambling tag. It might have even been an automatic move, if MS is too cheap to hire someone to do the work.

Re:MS (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429603)

Anyone is "too cheap" to hire people to do the work. You just write the bot and have a small team or two go over the reported false-positives and such

Re:MS (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428791)

How do you explain that a "mistake" was made when the site is so "obviously not a gambling website", eh?

Because it's using an IP address (or is within a range) that is/was also used by a gambling site?

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429253)

Because it's using an IP address (or is within a range) that is/was also used by a gambling site?

Let's see...
$ dig +short donate.fsf.org
member.fsf.org.
208.118.235.131

$ whois 208.118.235.131
...
Free Software Foundation, Inc. TWDX-208-118-235-0-1 (NET-208-118-235-0-1) 208.118.235.0 - 208.118.235.255
...

I doubt you'll find many gambling sites in that IP-range.

The IP-range has been assigned to FSF for the last 4 months (if not longer), so it's a bit late to tag anything in that range based on its former use.

Re:MS (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428771)

What a load of anti microsoft tripe.

Pretty much sums it up.

Non-proprietary options? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428739)

John Sullivan warned corporate about Microsoft's proprietary network security programs.

Are there any non-proprietary corporate network security options?

Re:Non-proprietary options? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429301)

I used to do some work with Untangle. And it is MUCH easier to set up than and Microsoft product...

Legal Response (3, Insightful)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428741)

The FSF should sue Microsoft for loss of donations and ask for punitive damages for monopolistic anti-competitive behavior.

Re:Legal Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429093)

And loss of productive work time suffered by users of their unbelievably slow desktop file search featuring Tippy the Dog.

Rocky's Response (3, Funny)

archer, the (887288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429109)

Ah, Bullwinkle, that trick never works.

Re:Legal Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429397)

Yeah, great idea...take a company will a multi-billion dollar war chest to court because their heuristic-based proxy server didn't exempt your site from the get-go and before you get a response from your own request to update their software. Throwing away money is a great way for a non-profit to keep afloat.

Re:Legal Response (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429511)

Yet I wouldn't be surprised if the FSF saw a small increase in donations due to this story bringing the FSF to the front of people's minds. How many readers here are thinking right now, "Oh yeah, I haven't donated to the FSF in a while, maybe I should go do that"?

Re:Legal Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429689)

Yeah, just like Wikileaks.

If it's electronic, it's NOT YOUR MONEY ANYMORE. How long till people get this??

Keyword: vomited

Are they using IE ? (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428757)

All's fine until you try that. Like this guy, he can browse smoothly, usi .. see ... right pages using cleartype ...
oh, wait... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1zxDa3t0fg

Never attribute to malice... (2)

vanDrunen (1075573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428763)

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Or incompetence in this case.

Legal issues? (1)

SlashRAH (1236462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428795)

It seems that this could be considered an anti-competitive practice that might have some legal consequences for Microsoft. They are basically using their privileged position to prevent their own clients from donating funds to an open source 'competitor'.

Computer error (0)

sir-gold (949031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428797)

It's very unlikely that Microsoft would pay humans to manually create a filter list. They most likely wrote a custom Bing spider that searched for sites to block, with no human oversight. And we all know how accurate the Bing search engine is....

breast cancer web sites some times get flagged (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40428839)

breast cancer web sites some times get flagged as sex / pron sites.

maybe some thing on the site trigger a bot to flag it.

brosefs let me ax u (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428881)

why is pornbb.org suddenly gone from the internet, i mean the hostname is gone, the dns seems to have been scrubbed, no redirects to the fed and no domain jacker serving spam so what happened? who took it down? is it blocked for everyone or just verizon? what the fuck is going on?

Re:brosefs let me ax u (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429299)

Why don't you ask someone who cares?

$ whois pornbb.org | grep -i email
Registrant Email:owner@pornbb.org.whoisproxy.org
Admin Email:admin@pornbb.org.whoisproxy.org
Tech Email:tech@pornbb.org.whoisproxy.org

share/freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40428911)

Hmmm... www.ubuntu.com and www.debian.org lists a scary red shield with a white x in the middle designated for the Shareware/Freeware catagory while www.redhat.com, www.suse.com, www.opensuse.org and www.fedoraproject.org do not.

Re:share/freeware (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429233)

Well Ubuntu is the Fisher Price of Linux.

It's not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429017)

I always figured OSS was gambling on the human nature in an indirect form; you never know how software developers turn out. The project you liked may flourish or just die away. By giving money to a project you're betting on the human nature of the developers. Some might just pocket the money and take a vacation. Some might actually dedicate more time to the project. It's not like they're contractually required to do so.

Of course, non-free software is even worse; the people there are only in it for the money. More they can milk out of you, the better for them. Sounds more like extortion than gambling :-)

Who edited this article? (1)

mpbrede (820514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429025)

The last sentence doesn't even make sense - apart from the random closing quote.

However, John Sullivan warned corporate about Microsoft's proprietary network security programs."

Abusing their monopoly??? (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429097)

Way too many people are hung up on the idea of Microsoft "abusing its monopoly" by accidentally blocking the FSF's donation page. Let's pretend Microsoft had a monopoly on web filters or something. Does preventing people from donating to the FSF make it more likely that people will donate to Microsoft's Open Source charity? Since Microsoft doesn't have an Open Source charity, I'd guess no.

Re:Abusing their monopoly??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429143)

You don't accidentally add sites to block lists. Someone made the decision, they need to be named, and told to explain themselves. Microsoft didn't do this, an employee did. An employ has a name, job title and role to perform while at work. The issue here is why. Were they told to by a superior, was it from company policy?

Re:Abusing their monopoly??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40429503)

I believe the appropriate /. response is: Interesting that you know so much about their product. Do you work for Microsoft?

Shocked?? (2)

Yew2 (1560829) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429157)

Microsoft has ALWAYS behaved this way. How many 3rd party applications or features have /.ers discovered dont work properly in Windows when there is anything remotely resembling a competitive product offered by Microsoft...anyone ever try to use hotmail in non-IE browsers or chat on msn via trillian? Browsers in general for those of us that remember the big IE integrated with windows debate/doj case and the resulting minor concession MS was forced to make. I am not just talking about when MS updates Windows and your display drivers start causing bsods and you grab a vendor update and its fixed, I mean real anti-competitive practices in Microsoft's consumer and enterprise products... If I sat here and thought about it I know I would have a long list - what about u? How many times have you all looked straight up and raged GAAAAAAAATES!!

Re:Shocked?? (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429215)

anyone ever try to use hotmail in non-IE browsers or chat on msn via trillian?

Er, yes. It works fine.

I don't think I've ever had problems with Hotmail and non-IE browsers since the service was founded. Of course, I usually just use Hotmail for throwaway junk accounts but I've never had any issues.

I don't use Trillian, but Pidgin works fine with MSN chat.

Microsoft has done some shady things in the past, but it'd seem rather foolish for them to screw around with their major services like Hotmail and MSN Chat...

Re:Shocked?? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429643)

I've never once had any trouble running any 3rd-party software on Windows. Apple's walled garden worries me WAY more than anything MS has ever done.

Microsoft network security tools (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40429223)

Microsoft have a terrifying security history, who is using their network security tools?

Can someone give me a list of those companies so I can make sure I don't deal with them?

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