Microsoft's internal network censors Torrentfreak

Microsoft's internal network has begun censoring Torrentfreak, an excellent investigative journalism site that reports on file-sharing, censorship, copyright and Internet regulation around the world. Torrentfreak, which does not host or link to infringing files, is identified as a "security policy violation" by Microsoft's corporate spyware/censorware, supplied by Edge. Microsoft employees who try to read the site are shown a message that says, "The requested resource has been blocked as an identified risk to your client and the Microsoft corporate network."

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  1. This isn't new, and it's probably not even news. Are people surprised that company networks block a lot of sites?

  2. I'm not surprised but I am always up for criticising that behaviour, especially when sites are blocked by mistake (again!) or if it is censorship.

  3. My corporate blocking software blocks Macys but not Dillards. Conspiracy?

  4. Yeah, pretty much that - MS subscribes to some service that has recently changed the rating of the site.

    I can't read the linked article either - my work's filter blocks it as "Category: Peer-to-peer File Sharing" even though, as noted, it's a site with reportage on subjects centered around peer-to-peer file sharing, rather than a site used itself for the purpose. The intent was to prevent file sharing; a side effect that no one is too distressed about is that it blocks some journalism about file sharing.

    Similarly, online game sites are blocked under the same rating as game review sites.

  5. When I worked at an unnamed place one might compare to MS, corporate filter would block work-related stuff all the time. Usually it would evoke laughs from people nearby when someone would trigger the block page. Most legit stuff blocked was under "hacking", which is precisely what my work-related task would entail. It would be less hacky with better docs, but you work with what you got.

    Getting around it was trivial. Couldn't send perl scripts through email either, so you'd just name your file "virus.txt" to send it through.

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