I’m stunned. Ever since the last school year ended, my Gmail-powered domain-based email account is blocked inside De La Salle University – Dasmarinas‘ content filtering system. This dastardly act of evil is evidenced by the screencap below:
The University uses DansGuardian as its content filtering system within its local area network. Basically it:
DansGuardian is an award winning Open Source web content filter which currently runs on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X, HP-UX, and Solaris. It filters the actual content of pages based on many methods including phrase matching, PICS filtering and URL filtering. It does not purely filter based on a banned list of sites like lesser totally commercial filters.
DansGuardian is designed to be completely flexible and allows you to tailor the filtering to your exact needs. It can be as draconian or as unobstructive as you want. The default settings are geared towards what a primary school might want but DansGuardian puts you in control of what you want to block.
According to DansGuardian, my email is blocked because it found a banned phrase in the URI “http://mail.google.com/a/jrocas.com.ph/” the strange thing is, what is the “banned phrase” in this URI? Is it “mail.google.com/a/” or my domain “jrocas.com.ph”?
If it’s Google the ITC department is blocking, why then can anyone else access their Gmail accounts? And why would the school block access to Google from inside campus? Is the Chinese government the new owners of DLSUD now?
Now if it is my own domain “http://jrocas.com.ph” that they’re blocking, how come I could have full access my blog using the school’s computers? If they are really blocking my domain, what’s their reason? Is it because I’m starting to blog more about my criticisms of the University’s administration or is it because I’m known at campus to be one of the very few left-leaning activists who are anti-GMA? (I know a handful of faculty and school administrators who are die-hard pro-GMA’ers.)
On top of all this, isn’t it an act of stifling my rights to freedom of expression and access to information? Hmmm, this is really driving me nuts as denying me access to my email is like taking away half of my brain. Now that the new school year is about to open and my activities both inside and outside the classroom will soon pick up again, I would really need access to my email using the school’s network of which I pay for with my tuition money!
Now I know some of the good people from the ITC department reads this blog once and a while, and if you do, please get in touch with me regarding this matter, and please respond to the email I sent. Lastly, unblock my e-mail account please!