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Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the manufacturing-antipathy dept.

Censorship 1716

cluge writes "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 were notable anti-gun rights sites 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." Read on for more.

cluge continues: "My rather informal test still raises the spectre that a large corporate entity may be clandestinely trying to sway you or your child's political views by censoring content from one side of a political debate. This is indeed chilling, especially considering that such software is required to be used in libraries to protect children. Is this political slant common in censorware? Have slashdotters found similar glitches in other 'parental control' software?"

Slashdot has certainly covered censorware before, but reports like this are still valuable as the world evolves.

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1716 comments

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Hypocrites. (2, Interesting)

anaphora (680342) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371901)

I will never buy another Symantec product again, if this is true. I don't care whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun, this is wrong. Can anyone recommend a good non-symantec antivirus and software firewall? (Please, please, please don't say ZoneAlarm.)

Re:Hypocrites. (4, Insightful)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371918)

>> Can anyone recommend a good non-symantec [...] software firewall? (Please, please, please don't say ZoneAlarm.)

Linux.

Re:Hypocrites. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371924)

Check out Kerio Personal Firewall [kerio.com] .

I second this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371931)

Kerio is great. I hate ZoneAlarm, loved AtGuard (which eventually became Norton's firewall) but got sick of the Norton bloat.

Re:Hypocrites. (-1, Redundant)

FrankoBoy (677614) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371948)

Can anyone recommend a good non-symantec antivirus and software firewall?

There [redhat.com] you [debian.org] go [gentoo.org] .

Re:Hypocrites. (3, Insightful)

Popsikle (661384) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371996)

Hmm. Because linux out of the box is a GREAT firewall. no shh bugs, no apache bugs, nothin. Straight SEKKURE!>?!?! man.
Oh and there are no linux virus's out there. hmmmm. Linux is not the answer to everything guys.

Yea, i know +5 Flaimbait for being honest and knockin zealots down a peg.

Re:Hypocrites. (3, Funny)

velocipenguin (416139) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371959)

Can anyone recommend a good non-symantec antivirus and software firewall? I hear unplugging your computer is great for stopping hackers and viruses.

Re:Hypocrites. (4, Funny)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371981)

But if you unplug it, doesn't that leave open ports in the back of it?

Sure: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371977)

(Please, please, please don't say ZoneAlarm.)

ZoneAlarm Pro

WinXP Firewall (1)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371980)

HAHAHAH JK!

Re:Hypocrites. (2, Informative)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372008)

firewall [tiscali.dk]
antivirus [grisoft.com]

Re:Hypocrites. (3, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372012)

If you object to laws that prohibit certain types of objectionable content AND you object to programs that give parents controls, then YOU'RE the hypocrite. You can't have both.

ACLU to help out? (5, Informative)

mr.henry (618818) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371902)

I doubt it. Check out ACLU policy statement #47:

The Union agrees with the Supreme Court's longstanding interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.

Re:ACLU to help out? (3, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371942)

I doubt it. Check out ACLU policy statement #47:
Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.

Personally I hope they prove such suspicions wrong.

Re:ACLU to help out? (1, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371973)

Well, if the ACLU does not fight this then it would confirm suspicions that they care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.

I thought this was already a known fact?

Re:ACLU to help out? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372043)

The ACLU used to be so much more interesting when they were beyond-left, beyond-right libertarians -- things like defending the KKK and Nazis as well as supporting Abortion rights. Now, they are just so boring.

Basically anybody who I can predict what they are going to say before they open their mouth (Charles Heston or Michael Moore) just bores the shit out of me.

Re:ACLU to help out? (0, Flamebait)

davidylin (581724) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371943)

It is constitutionally protected. How in heck do you plan to form a well-regulated militia when you need it if NO ONE knows how to shoot a gun?! Starting off in the ROTC, I could tell immediatly which kids came from the liberal families. The ones that had absolutly no idea what they were doing. Ever.

Re:ACLU to help out? (2, Insightful)

davidylin (581724) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371970)

For that matter, how do you get a well-regulated militia together if no one has a gun. Are we going to maintain facilities around the nation stockpiling M-16's like they do with AK-47's in Communist China?

Re:ACLU to help out? (1)

benja (623818) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371945)

I think you're probably not doing ACLU justice here: You don't have to agree with a position for not wanting it to be censored. I'm completely anti-gun, but censoring pro-gun sites strikes me as really wrong. What was that thing about, I'll fight to death for your right to tell these utter lies?

Re:ACLU to help out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372041)

I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it.

Re:ACLU to help out? (0, Flamebait)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371954)

The ACLU has long considered the bill of rights to be a menu, to pick and choose from. They're too busy with the left side of the menu to support anything on the right.

Re:ACLU to help out? (5, Insightful)

jareds (100340) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371965)

Uh, just because the ACLU is anti-gun doesn't mean it doesn't support the free speech rights of pro-gun people. I mean, the ACLU supports neo-Nazis' free speech rights, but they're not Nazis.

Re:ACLU to help out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372026)

Someone mod parent up, as it's the only sane response I've seen in this thread.

Re:ACLU to help out? (2, Insightful)

spikexyz (403776) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371988)

While the ACLU does not support the constitutional protection of individual gun ownership (incidentally nor do I), I would be shocked if they wouldn't support the gun lobby's right to saw what the want and not to be censored.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
-- The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

Re:ACLU to help out? (1)

jebell (567579) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371995)

Relax, everyone.

Nobody wants to take your guns. [guncite.com]

We can all take solace in knowing that the government and the ACLU know what's best for us.

Re:ACLU to help out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372011)

the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'

Militia: "the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service " m-w.com

Militia: "The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service." Dictionary.com

In other words, all men (although women should be included, too!) who might be called to defend their Country are in the Militia. Therefore, all men have the right to "Keep and Bear Arms".

Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.

And as we see from the definitions above, ALL MEN (and women) of military age qualify.

I find it disheartening that the ACLU won't stant up for one of our basic Rights. I mean, the Founding Father thought that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was so important, they made it part of the Constitution, along with the Right of Free Speech and the Right to be Secure from Unreasonable searches. The ACLU defens those, so why not this?

Re:ACLU to help out? (5, Insightful)

samantha (68231) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372018)

This makes it unfortunate that they do fight a lot of fights I consider good and thus worth supporting. Only willful misreading could get such a meaning out of the 2nd Amendment. It is utterly incomprehensible that intelligent people could believe that a group of founders who had just successfully led an armed rebellion drawing heavily on the grassroots arms and knowledge of arms against an officially sanctioned armed State could have intended that only arms sanctioned by a new State and controlled by them be allowed.

Keep in mind (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371907)

If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.

Re:Keep in mind (0, Informative)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371971)

Muhahaha.The cops will have guns, too, which in turn shoot (or at least arrest) the outlaws.

Look at Europe (guns are not "outlawed" but generally it's not quite easy to get a gun owner's license since you have to pass very strict psychological tests), with a lot less guns, and a lot less violence on the street, and no stupid "let's keep guns legal and easy to acquire, so that I can shoot my neighbours and/or my family when I want to" shit.

Re:Keep in mind (1)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371999)

Or look at switzerland(I know the spelling is wrong, but i had a long night.) or certain small towns in the US where people are required to have guns, with the same effect.

Re:Keep in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371990)

Yeah!

Except for the Police.

Oh, and the army, and the navy, and the airforce, and the coastguard, and border control.

Fantastic point there!

Re:Keep in mind (2, Troll)

vivIsel (450550) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372001)

If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.
I've always found this perspective absurd. If you outlaw seven-winged dogs, only outlaws will have those.

What you're presenting is not an argument against gun control/bans, it's an argument against prohibitive laws, e.g. against murder. Hey, if you outlaw murder, one might say, then those outlaws--because they then will be--will be murdering left and right. This is, of course, totally nonsensical. The objective of most 'anti-gun' groups isn't banning, anyway--it's strict control to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the real outlaws (i.e., the ones who actually commit crimes).

And don't forget... (1)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372016)

If you outlaw nuclear weapons, only the outlaws will have nuclear weapons

Re:Keep in mind (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372035)

Outlaws and police, you mean.

Re:Keep in mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372036)

if you outlaw cliches, only anonymous cowards will post cliches

FP and a good point. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371908)

Whatever happened to 'I disagree with what you say, but will defend to death your Right to say it'?

Re:FP and a good point. (2, Informative)

Pingular (670773) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371953)


The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996.

NUMBER: 63040

QUOTATION: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

ATTRIBUTION: Voltaire [Francois Marie Arouet] (1694-1778), French philosopher, author.
[note: the first part of the following sentence is missing in the online original]
what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

Real name Francois Marie Arouet.

7. Along the line that the quote may be spuriously attributed to Voltaire (thus explaining why none of the above attribute it to a specific work or date), is the following found at http://public.logica.com/~stepneys/cyc/l/liberty.h tm

Beatrice Hall

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
-- The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

The phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre. ...

Hall wrote: ...The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvetius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. 'What a fuss about an omelette!' he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now. ...

Hall herself claimed later that she had been paraphrasing Voltaire's words in his Essay on Tolerance: "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." -- http://www.plexoft.com/SBF/V02.html

I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to mis-attribute this quote to Voltaire.
-- Avram Grumer, rec.arts.sf.written, May 2000

8. Finally, the pertinent section from the page Grumer cites (http://www.plexoft.com/SBF/V02.html) that purports to explain how Beatrice Hall came to attribute the quote to Voltaire:

The phrase ``I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'' is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude.

It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre. Chapter VII is devoted to Helvetius (1715-1771), whom she depicts as a kindly, generous person, with a hint of more talent to raise him above mediocrity. He married and settled in the sticks, with a new wife who was unfashionably old (32), and they were happy. This was ended by his tragic aspiration, to earn some small glory for himself as a philosopher.

In 1758, he published ``De l'Esprit,'' which Hall renders ``On the Mind.'' From the little Hall says of it directly, I take it that this was a moral-relativist tract, adducing bad social conditions as the cause of immoral behavior, regarding humans essentially as animals, and skeptical of the validity of moral claims generally.

This was unpopular with everyone - secular philosophers, all of the church, the government. It certainly got him noticed, but not by all at once. Voltaire immediately regarded the work as a serious disappointment from one who had been a somewhat promising protege. He was most insulted to have been compared in it with lesser intellectual lights (Crebillon and Fontenelle). It was widely criticized by other wits of their enlightened social circle. For a few months, however, it escaped the notice of the government.

Then the Dauphin read it.

The privilege to publish was revoked; the censor who approved its publication was sacked. A rolling wave of official condemnation began, culminating with the Pope (Jan. 31, 1759) and the Parliament of Paris (Feb. 6) and public book-burning by the hangman (Feb. 10), an honor shared with Voltaire's ``Natural Law.''

On the principle that anything so unpopular with the government must ipso facto be pretty good, the official condemnation permanently established Helvetius's philosophical repute among the fashionable salon crowd, and rehabilitated him among the intellectual elite as well, to a great extent. He became popular in Protestant Germany and England.

Hall wrote: ...The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvetius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. `What a fuss about an omelette!' he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! `I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now. But he soon came, as a Voltaire would come, to swearing that there was no more materialism in `On the Mind' than in Locke, and a thousand more daring things in `The Spirit of Laws.'

(Boldface added here for emphasis.)

Friends is not a scholarly work, but Hall is fairly scrupulous throughout the book to state within the text whether she is quoting speech or text, and whether various reports are first-person or likely hearsay. I believe it was reasonable of her to expect that `I disapprove ... say it' would be recognized as her own characterization of Voltaire's attitude. I think some readers were confused because of the way she follows this with paraphrases of his spoken criticisms.

In any case, the phrase was too eloquent, so it became quoted, and famous names attach themselves to quotes, to the detriment of the less well-known originators.

Hall herself claimed later that she had been paraphrasing Voltaire's words in his Essay on Tolerance:

``Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.''

Hall died in 1919.

In his A Book of French Quotations (1963), Norbert Guterman suggested that the probable source for the quotation was a line in a 6 February 1770 letter to M. le Riche: ``Monsieur l'abbe, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.''

Courtsey of http://www.classroomtools.com/voltaire.htm

gunz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371909)

gunz rule

Censorware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371914)

What happened to the censorware.org site? [censorware.org] It was a valuable source of information covering censorware like this.

Does anyone have any idea what happened or if it's still on operation any longer?

Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites (1)

Pingular (670773) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371915)

But does it say yes to anti-gun sites?

Re:Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371936)

Are you simple? Did you read the story at all?

Re:Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites (1)

Pingular (670773) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371984)

Are you simple? Did you read the story at all?
Simple things please simple minds.

Read on? (0, Offtopic)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371919)

Read on for more.

Not much more.

Can We Say Liberals? (1, Insightful)

davidylin (581724) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371920)

Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

Re:Can We Say Liberals? (1, Insightful)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371998)

Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

Yes, but it is more difficult for people to kill people with their bare hands.
We can do without devices whose sole purpose is killing.

Re:Can We Say Liberals? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372003)

Guns don't kill people. Bullets kill people.

Re:Can We Say Liberals? (2, Funny)

azzy (86427) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372020)

So let's keep the guns, and get rid of the people.

Similarly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372027)

Biological weapons don't kill people, people kill people.

Re:Can We Say Liberals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372039)

Thanks to their guns!

Mixed Emotions (1, Insightful)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371921)

I have mixed emotions about this. I dislike the NRA, and I am even creating a DooM 3 mod [sourceforge.net] , lampooning them.

But they have a right to free speech.

Re:Mixed Emotions (4, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371964)

I have mixed emotions about this. I dislike the NRA, and I am even creating a DooM 3 mod, lampooning them.
If you tolerate the censorship of those with whom you disagree then you are no better than the censors.

Re:Mixed Emotions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372037)

People who play violent video games like Doom, but dislike firearms are like the pathetic little boys who look at porn, but have never had the real thing.

You're all for shooting things on a screen, but you turn yellow when doing it for real. How is a fucking videogame going to defend your wife and children when the gang down the street decides your home is the next target for home invasion?

Whoever is responsible (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371922)

deserves to be shot.

Who? (2, Interesting)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371923)

It has been my experience that ultimately, a decision that affects a great deal of people or one person is usually made by ONE person.
Who would that be at Symantec? I wonder if the software blocks porn and anti-gun sites as well?

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372009)

probably this dude.

http://www.symantec.com/corporate/ceo.html [symantec.com]

Re:Who? (1)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372025)

I wonder if the software blocks porn and anti-gun sites as well?

The article just said that they don't block anti-gun sites.

Hell, it's in the summary. Christ!

Yay Symantec... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371925)

Some good can come from the corporate bullshit afterall...

Consider it a blessing you ingrates.

Maybe it makes sense (2, Troll)

Hi_2k (567317) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371926)

Think about it: NRA and other gun sites are about how to find weapons and use them. Anti Gun sites arent, in fact they discourage their use. what theyre trying to block is not the advocacy of gun rights, its the advocacy of GUNS THEMSELVES.

Re:Maybe it makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371963)

Score this one a Troll. Read the article. All pro gun sites were blocked, only one anti-gun site was blocked. That is not free speech.

You don't know much do you? (2)

bubbazanetti (544237) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372013)

The NRA (no matter what your political spin) has been around for ages, and part of its job is instruction in gun safety. Additionally there is info on personal safety. I am not an NRA member nor do I care if you are for/against the organization. Just get your facts from a blocked website...or perhaps a neutral website. BTW I know more people who were killed by motor vehicles than guns...5 to 0.

Re:Maybe it makes sense (4, Interesting)

RevMike (632002) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372030)

Think about it: NRA and other gun sites are about how to find weapons and use them. Anti Gun sites arent, in fact they discourage their use. what theyre trying to block is not the advocacy of gun rights, its the advocacy of GUNS THEMSELVES.

Read the article. The sites blocked include the NRA's lobbying site. That most certainly falls under the category of "advocacy of gun rights". This certainly falls under the umbrella of "view point discrimination" and goverment supported entities, including libraries, have no business using this software.

Furthermore, you unfairly characterize the activities of the NRA. Most of the non-lobbying work of the NRA is promoting the sports of hunting and target shooting. While you may morally object to hunting (as is your right) it is a legal activity virtually everywhere. Target shooting is an internationally recognized sport, and is included in both the summer and winter olympics. The NRA also supports the hobby of collecting guns of historical and cultural interest.

Topics that I have never seen in an NRA publication include: how to illegally acquire a gun, how to convert a gun to automatic operation, how to manufacture illegal ammunition, etc.

The solution? (4, Insightful)

localghost (659616) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371928)

Don't use Symantec Internet Security 2004. It's not a violation of anyone's rights unless it's mandated by the government.

Re:The solution? (1)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371992)

It's not a violation of anyone's rights unless it's mandated by the government.
Wrong, it is a violation of my property rights. It is just as if I hired a cleaner to clean my house, only for her to go through my library throwing out books she doesn't like.

Oh shit... (5, Funny)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371929)

...here comes another +1000-comment pro-gun/anti-gun flamewar :(

Obligatory... (2, Funny)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371932)

You don't want the King of England to just walk in here and start pushing you around, do you? Huh?

Disclaimer: I am an avid shooter and a member of the NRA.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372014)

We may not have to worry about the King of England pushing us around, but we do have to worry about Terrorists. Can you imagine how well the 9/11 hijackings would have gone if there would have been even half a dozen people on those airplane packing?

Sure, the terrorists might have had ingrams, but can you imagine them trying to secure an airplane when six passengers, all from different angles with with cover are trying to shoot them?

Default action? (3, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371933)

If its set to block those sites out of the box, surely it can be made to unblock them or remove those sites from the 'weapons' category?

Re:Default action? (2, Insightful)

Popsikle (661384) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372033)

Yes you can. There are settings on every url filter list I have used to remove/add sites based on your needs. You can probably even turn on/off categories

Re:Default action? (1)

blackdragon7777 (720994) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372034)

It may be possible to do so, but if it's schools that are mostly using this software, do you really think that they will unblock these sites? It would be even more unlikely at the more liberal "zero-tolerance" schools out there.

"My Rights Online" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371934)

What does this small issue with Symantec have to do with "rights"?? It isn't your right to use their software, it isn't their right to provide you with anything you want.

The editors really should take a Constitutional Law class or look up the word "rights" in a dictionary. They really have a warped view of what a right is or means.

Censorware? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371937)

Censorware as in Michael, the Slashdot "editor" is squatting the censorware.org domain [censorware.org] Censorware?

Censorware who, because of Michael's behaviour, were forced to get a new domain [censorware.net] Censorware?

Logic... (1, Troll)

Shoten (260439) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371938)

I think the logic behind this (not that I think it should be applied here) essentially stems from the fact that nobody's ever walked into a school and massacred people with anti-gun rhetoric. Even "pro-gun" (sorry, can't think of the right term to use here) organizations point to the danger of public disarmarment as being more indirect than that posed by a kid or disgruntled worker with a gun. And of course, kids and employees are those who are having websited blocked from their view :)

Re:Logic... (1)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372015)

Just because guns are involved in attacks by unhappy children and disgruntled workers, doesn't mean a healthy discussion of guns should be squashed.

If you think censoring sites that are pro-gun is justified because guns are involved... then it sounds like squelching sites of disgruntled workers and unhappy students is also justified. While we're at it, I think there was a technie in Massachusetts who killed some coworkers... should we ban slashdot?

A healthy discussion on any topic needs TWO OPINIONS.

Re:Logic... (1)

Diplo (713399) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372031)

The logic that says, "you can't block pro-gun sites and not anti-gun sites", is the same logic that would dictate you have to block sites that are fighting child pornography just to be balance out blocking sites that apeal to paedophiles. It's as ludicrous as as crying "freedom of speech" when you are talking about software whose whole purpose is to censor.

Re:Logic... (5, Insightful)

jerdenn (86993) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372038)

I think the logic behind this (not that I think it should be applied here) essentially stems from the fact that nobody's ever walked into a school and massacred people with anti-gun rhetoric.

Actually, no-one's ever walked into a school and massacred people with pro-gun rhetoric, either.

-jerdenn

I guess the true test of the first amendment... (2, Interesting)

GrnArmadillo (697378) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371944)

Is to fight to uphold the rights of people we really disagree with. This is exactly what went down with Hillary's biography in China - the Govt didn't have to censor it because the publisher did it on their own. Of course, the picture of the world we get still runs through the likes of "Fair and Balanced' news rooms, but blocking off net sites in a way that users might not even realize is happening just can't be allowed to stand....

Playing devils advocate for a bit (2, Insightful)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371950)

It seems the paranoid folks think they're trying to sway childrens policital thoughts, but do you really want your child checking out the NRA and gun sites? It seems these companies are so inundated with lawsuits and complaints by all everyone under the sun. They probably felt it was easier to just censor the site and let the parents unblock if if they chose.

This stuff stinks (5, Interesting)

beamdriver (554241) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371952)

I'm actually more on the gun control side of the fence, but this shows the real danger of these types of programs.

Other "nannyware" software in the past has been shown to block access to liberal political sites, now here's one that blocks conservative ones. Maybe this will wake up our elected leaders to the fact that mandating this type of software for libraries and such is bad idea.

I can see parents going to the software store in the future, asking for web filter software and having the retail-droid ask, "Would you like a liberal version or a conservative one?"

I think its OK! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371956)

These pro-guns websites should be BANNED from the Internet, damn freaks.

I still can't understand why americans like guns so much -- are they trying to compensate for small penises?

Re:I think its OK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372024)

You Eurpeans didn't mind us Americans having guns when we came to save your asses in both world wars.

Welcome to the New Corporate States of America... (1)

hsidhu (184286) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371962)

As shown earlier or votes don't matter, coupled with this story how long until Diebold or some other company collaborates with rest of these Censorware companies to block sites critical of them? Better yet how long until Symantec blocks sites critical of Symantec? I'll up you even one more, How long until you govt. or one of the ruling parties decide to make use of software such as this to block any material critical of them?

--I could write something witty but why?

Not uncommon (1)

Popsikle (661384) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371966)

Most url filters work like this. We are looking into putting a new one in at work to replace our AV Gateway box which uses Surf Control so we have tested around 20 products, 95% do this as well. Its really not that uncommen. Some even go as nuts as blocking any site where you can purchase knifes and lumping them in the weapons category.

It wouldnt be that bad if we werent a culinary school!!

What does the software claim it does? (1)

P-Nuts (592605) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371972)

Looked briefly at the Symantec website - product appears to be a bundle of antivirus, firewall, ..., some filtering software for kids. But presumably there are options that control what gets installed, and in the filtering component, which things get filtered. So if you think it's okay to let your kids read gun websites, then can't you disable the gun filtering?

Anyone actually have first-hand experience of the software?

NRA deserves a little hubris (-1, Flamebait)

Alex Reynolds (102024) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371976)

When the NRA went to Columbine to insult and abuse the locals after their tragedy, they pretty much lost all the legitimacy they had for their viewpoint with me.

Defending the second amendment is one thing, I just don't think the NRA is a competent and legitimate organization. Certainly not a moral organization.

So basically if Symantec wants to add a filter to prevent little kids from looking at the NRA's website, well, then shit on the NRA. They deserve it.

-Alex

Re:NRA deserves a little hubris (2, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372040)

What do you actually know about the NRA, Alex?

NRA certified instructors train the police - the NRA has been emphasising safe gun use and responsible ownership for more than a century - the NRA has pushed for laws making the use of a firearm in a crime a mandatory additional sentence - which of these do you disagree with?

Most recently, the NRA is working to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, to deter the criminals (who, by the way, are already carrying concealed weapons, illegally). This has reduced crime in every one of the 45 states which allow it. Are you perhaps against that?

What, specifically, that the NRA does, are you against, Alex?

A terribly misleading headline (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371978)

Symantec doesn't say no to guns at all. The article is about the Parental Controls feature. If a parent wants to stop their kids from visiting gun sites, they click that option.

The feature is just about giving control to parents. If you object to laws prohibiting controversial content on the internet AND you complain when a company gives parents a tool to manage this themselves, you're a hypocrite.

A Loaded household handgun saved my sisters life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371979)

A Loaded household handgun may saved my sisters life from an invasion incident.

Guns save lives. All kinds of them. Every home in a rough neighborhood should have one.

I will never buy another symantec product again if I do not have to. These corporations typically are the same kind of jerks taht claim DMCA foul when their block lists are outted.

Think outside the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371982)

Think outside the box that is the US just for a moment. Symantec sell products to a whole load more countries and in these countries people do not want their children to read about pro-gun attitude sites. It is perfectly logical for Symantec to block NRA sites. This is because the majority of NRA sites are pro-gun sites that actively support people buying guns and promote gun ownership.

It's what the parents want. (1)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371983)

This is /. I thought posting a pro-guns article was considered trolling. :-)

Anyway, guns are weapons. The classification is not inaccurate. As far as I know, Symantec is trying to cater to the needs of their customers, not make a political statement. They'll have an "evolution" category soon.

-a

Sounds great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7371989)

1) I decide I don't want my kids to read about guns on the web. At least, not in an encouraging guns-are-good way.
2) I buy a product that claims to block web sites according to category.
3) I set it to block sites that are implicitly gun-positive.
4) It works.

Let's replace 'guns' with 'racisism':
1) I I decide I don't want my kids to read about racism on the web. At least, not in an encouraging, racism-is-good way.
2) I buy a product that claims to block web sites according to category.
3) I set it to block sites that are implicitly racism-positive.
4) It works.

Still sounds fine.

Where to draw the line? (1)

NetDevil (31515) | more than 9 years ago | (#7371993)

I think this is a very difficult position from the point of Symantec. Where do you draw the line of what to block or not to block?

Cognitive Dissonance! (0, Troll)

occamboy (583175) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372002)

Hmmm.... Yesterday I wrote that I'd never buy another Symantec product again [slashdot.org] , thanks to their perpetually treating me as a beta tester.

And now this!

Perhaps I will try Symantec again!

Please explain to me... (2, Insightful)

Tobias Luetke (707936) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372004)

... why this is a bad thing at all. As the article clearly states all pro gun sites are default blocked in the category "weapons" just as well as all porno sites are default blocked under the category "adult". Just because you happen to use this software in a country where weapons are allowed this doesn't mean that the creator of the software set out to restrict your freedom of speech. Do you think the Netherlands would throw a fit when the same program bans adult sites in its default setting? Didn't think so... Just enable weapon related pages and move on.

Not chilling, quite warm in fact (2, Insightful)

fleener (140714) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372005)

There's nothing chilling about this matter. The NRA sites, as stated, are in the weapons category. What the heck do you expect to get censored in that area? If you want your child to visit NRA sites, uncheck the weapons box. Don't blow smoke.

This is not censorship (1)

Sikmaz (686372) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372006)

"To my surprise I found the every NRA site was blocked and was in the category 'weapons.'"

The program can be configured to block the categories, if you select "weapons" is it any suprise that the NRA's website is blocked?! I am not against the NRA, but it does fit the filtered category!

I also want to point out that if this is the same list used by their SEF firewalls then Symantec does not maintain that list themselves so you should not be attacking Symantec until they have had a chance to resolve the issue with their vendor.

Partisan filters. (1)

giblfiz (125533) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372007)

I'm actually really somewhat surprised that no one has realized openly partisan filters. I would think that a product which could be used to re-enforce a parents political views on there child would sell quite well. Something that would redirect links to sites listed as belonging to the other set of political views back too similar web-sights which walked in lock step with the parents views.

But then maybe I have finally managed to think of something that even the worst parent wouldn't try to do to a child.

They say no to pro-porn sites too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7372019)

Blocks www.playboy.com,
But not to anti-porn sites like NOW.

What's up with that?

Ongoing discussion about this in rec.guns (2, Interesting)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372022)

Check out the rec.guns newsgroup - this was brought up a while before this story broke by a poster on that group.

Reminds me of a poem (4, Interesting)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372028)

"Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte."

Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984
English Translation [remember.org]

Quote I heard from somewhere.... (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 9 years ago | (#7372042)

"If you want assault rifles, join the army. We have lots of them" - General Clark (I think)
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