Pirate Bay has been in the news quite a bit of late – access being blocked by UK ISP Virgin Media, and a DDoS attack just yesterday, to name a few. However, one story that caught my eye was the news that a Dutch court has ordered a political party in the country to remove links to proxy websites. (A proxy server or site allows you to bypass any traditional blocking or filtering controls).
Now while that might remove one source of these, a simple google search for “Bypass Web Filter” lists over 1.5 million hits. So not all of these hits will allow you to circumvent blocking, but a court making a website remove links is not going to prevent users finding and accessing proxy servers.
The reality is that it’s now so easy and simple to create a proxy server, that there are many hundreds of new ones appearing every day. Here’s a nice little tutorial on YouTube that explains how to create a Proxy Server on your home computer (a favourite trick of students to bypass filtering in schools and colleges around the world).
The vast majority of legacy Web filters rely on updating a list of Proxy sites that have been discovered. Most filters we have looked at will find these sites after a few days. That’s a long time.
So the technical challenges around preventing access to sites that a court wants blocked, is huge. You may also be aware that the UK government wants ISPs to provide an adult filter for users. This is another big technical challenge. With at least 7.5 million new URLs being created every day, how will an ISP, with filtering that relies on URL lists, keep this up to date?
Bloxx Web Filtering and our new Secure Web Gateway deliver genuine real-time classification of web pages and is excellent at blocking access to brand new proxy sites. This zero-second protection has proved invaluable in schools and colleges. With Generation Y entering the workplace, many organisations are finding that these new employees are quite adept at bypassing filtering which has meant a renewed interest from enterprises in what we can do to help prevent this
To find out more about how to stop the use of anonymous proxies, and reduce network and reputational risk, download our whitepaper: