We employ content filtering through FortiGuard, a product of Fortinet, our firewall vendor. FortiGuard puts web content into one of dozens of categories. Those categories are further grouped into six labels:
- Adult/Mature Content
- Bandwidth Consuming
- General Interest - Business
- General Interest - Personal
- Potentially Liable
- Security Risk
These are our three campus networks, along with which content is blocked in each:
- wired: Security Risk
- wireless, snc: Security Risk
- wireless, sncguest: Security Risk, Adult/Mature Content, Potentially Liable
We also monitor and log much of our traffic (both wired and wireless) for possible future use in troubleshooting.
The above-mentioned block lists are maintained by security experts and law enforcement officials. If a web site or resource is on such a list, it will be blocked not only here at SNC, but also by any other company who subscribes to filtering services like this.
What about a specific blocked site?
If you're trying to visit a specific web site that is blocked, you'll have to do so using another network (your smartphone, coffee shop WiFi, etc). However, due to the fact that the site is blocked, we certainly do not recommend visiting the site at all via any network.
We must protect our network. The site is on the blocked list for a reason, therefore we can't consider removing a block or using a white list.
What can a web site owner do?
If a web site owner finds that their site is blocked, the first thing to understand is that SNC is probably not the only place where it's blocked. Any company who uses services like those explained above may also be blocking it.
Work with the web host company to figure out what's wrong. A common issue is that your site is on a server that is shared with many other web sites. So even if your web site is fine, it may still be blocked if other sites on that same server are having problems. Talk to your web host about other options, like having your own server (instead of shared).
You may also find some helpful information in the FortiGuard FAQ.