In light of CCSC’s recent crusade against, Bwog wanted to know if it were really possible to ban a website from the campus server. Apparently, it’s not. Resident computer expert and Bwog Web Master Zach van Schouwen explains why in the following bullet-pointed list:

  • It’s expensive. They don’t have an existing filter in place, so they’d have to buy expensive, unreliable software
  • We’re all forgetting the masterminds of SEAS. It would be approximately 30 seconds before any SEAS hack had a mirror of the site up that was accessible at a different address
  • Proxy server. Let’s say you’re visiting Juicycampus. Normally your PC sends them a request, and they send back a website. A site blocker would prevent this request from going through. A proxy server is just a third-party server that you make the same request to; it then makes the request to Juicycampus and sends you the results. This can all be encrypted, too, in which case there’s no way for even a smart CU programmer to know what you’re doing.
  • Google cache. You can get to any blocked site by looking at Google’s saved copy. Nobody ever thinks of this. (There are other sites like this too.)
  • Tunneling out. If you have login access to any off-campus server, anywhere, you can easily log into it remotely and view the site. (Like, say, the Bwog server.)
  • Mirroring. Juicycampus can just change their address, put up a mirror site, identify themselves numerically…
  • Copying. Some intrepid kid could just create a site that copies all their content every five minutes.
  • CUIT’s never made a practice of it, so it’d be pretty shocking if they shelled out the $1000s for a commercial-grade filter, slowed down everyone’s internet, and blocked a single site. Liberty University probably wouldn’t even do this, let alone… any real university.