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View Full Version : My school's IT personnel are crazies



zergberg
January 17th, 2007, 06:04 PM
My high school has a long history of simultaneously having a very nice internet connection and a group of IT managers with a God complex. They've taken meticulous care in blocking almost every proxy, random sites about cats, and anything else that strikes their fancy.

Recently they've deemed fit to block the English Wikipedia, because as is obviously apparent, nobody could use Wikipedia for educational purposes. Unfortunately, Wikipedia through any proxy looks terrible because the CSS is gone, and the alternative Simple English Wikipedia doesn't have as many articles (at least they're easy to read.)

However, it's normally possible to bypass this block by using a site's IP. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get to en.wikipedia specifically; the IP I get from a domain lookup (66.230.200.100) only points to a "Wiki does not exist" page. Is there any way to get through to Wikipedia?

Johnsie
January 17th, 2007, 06:08 PM
http://www.torrify.com/ - hacked version of firefox that uses a network of proxies. Be careful what data you submit to sites when using proxies though as you have no idea who has access to it.

Randomskk
January 17th, 2007, 06:23 PM
You need the host name as well as the IP, I imagine. It's like this: I host multiple (say, 5 different) domains on my server, the IP is the same for each, but depending on the host name you visit a different site.

If possible, you want to play an entry in the windows hosts file, but I very much doubt you get access to that. Have you tried other ways of getting around proxies? Everything from google cache to archive.org to an external SSH server could work.

rowanparker
January 17th, 2007, 06:34 PM
Get some cheap webspace, install a proxy then get a dynamic domain from freedns.afraid.org and change it everytime it gets banned.

Edit it a bit, change the title and remove all entrys of proxy on the page.

Hendrixski
January 17th, 2007, 06:36 PM
You could mention this problem to your schools principle, if he hears that his students are being denied access to the largest online encyclopedia (which studies have shown to be just as more factually accurate than Britannica) he will tell them to take it off the blacklist. Also, do this with some tact and don't diss the IT people, he/she probably won't take you seriously if you're pretentious while discussing the problem with him.

If that doesn't work, recruit your parents as crusaiders. It's their tax dollars that are paying for you to not have access to information, and money talks.

Biggus
January 17th, 2007, 06:46 PM
which studies have shown to be just as more factually accurate than Britannica

Sorry, that's simply not true.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/23/britannica_wikipedia_nature_study/

Even Mr Whales reccomends that students do not use Wikipedia as reference material

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/15/wikipedia_can_damage_your_grades/

MrHorus
January 17th, 2007, 06:51 PM
The problem is that there is a lot of content that is NSFW on Wikipedia and that since Federal money is being used for this, they are legally obliged to implement blocking software.

If you want an example (and I warn you in advance that this is NOT safe for work), say a young kid wanted to read the article on pearls or pearl necklaces, I can tell you now that the image associated with that article would get them in VERY serious trouble with the school staff.

Randomskk
January 17th, 2007, 07:16 PM
So block based on context, allow access to scholarly material but not to the NSFW stuff. If a page is being blocked by mistake, have a request form for it to be unblocked.

mips
January 17th, 2007, 07:28 PM
http://www.britannica.com/
http://www.eb.com/

irish_flu
January 17th, 2007, 07:54 PM
IMHO if they're blocking stuff, it's not necessarily because they have a "god complex". It's far more likely that they're afraid they'll get fired and/or sued if any student sees the "wrong thing".

That dosen't mean they're doing a good job of blocking, I just wanted to point out that it's probably not out of malice but rather fear.

happy-and-lost
January 17th, 2007, 09:18 PM
My IT techie says that I'm breaking the network's terms of service (Every pupil had to sign some scrap of paper) by connecting my Ubuntu machine to the network :o he doesn't actually care, but it's still a daft rule.