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aBenG
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Talk Talk Homesafe Reply with quote

So yesterday I got an email from my isp Talk Talk. At least it claims to be from Talk Talk - it reads like an installer scam.
Quote:
You may have seen that child internet safety has been in the news again this week following a spam attack of indecent images on a social network. While this instance was due to malicious hacking, our Life Online research has shown that the risks of exposing children to inappropriate content is very real – at least 14% of children aged 6-10 have encountered adult content whilst surfing the web, unsurprising when half of all children's internet activity (aged 6-17) is unsupervised.
Activate HomeSafe™, our free online security, and not only can you help stop your children accessing sites containing inappropriate adult content, but also help prevent distractions like online gaming and social networking.
Over 200,000 TalkTalk customers have activated HomeSafe™ already - blocking over 1 million undesirable web pages.
Now it’s your turn!

The next line in the email appears to link to a direct install.
The only information I found about HomeSafe™ comes from Talk Talks' own site which gives, erm, practically no information - but does suggest that in addition to a blocklist it includes some sort of AV.
Now I don't install unknown programs just because some email tries to scare me into it - though no doubt many people do. But I would like to know what HomeSafe™ actually does/is? Is it safe/effective? Would it interfere with any part of my multilayered security setup?
Anyone here have any information about it?
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard of it before now, and I can't find any substantive 3rd party information about it either.

The best I found was in the FAQ section at Talk Talk .... http://help.talktalk.co.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/2071/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvc2lkLzhPUCpjQkpr

It would seem it's a server based scanner that pre-scans any web pages that subscribed Talk Talk customers may wish to visit, then presumably uses some type of algorithm to determine which are safe to connect to.

Fine if the page is one that's already been scanned and assessed, but not so good if it's a page that's new to the server's scanner, or one that has been changed since it was last assessed.

Better the User learns to surf safely than depend on 3rd party solutions which induce a false sense of security and encourage them to click on anything and everything.

Personally I'm not a great fan of server based malware solutions for the reasons stated above in blue.
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aBenG
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Gary. I thought it looked at best unnecessary as far as I'm concerned. I'm no great fan of Talk Talk (being a default customer since they took over Tiscali) thanks to their frequent marketing calls and rubbish service, so I'm not inclined to trust this even as an extra security layer.
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I'm not a fan of Talk Talk either. Their customer support is dreadful, or at least it was when I was trying to resolve a connection problem for my brother-in-law not too long ago.

He wasn't impressed either, and now uses a different ISP.
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aBenG
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar experience with their 'helpline' after losing my connection. They effectively told me to work it out myself - I did, but no thanks to Talk Talk.
More annoying is that they seem to block access to a number of sites that I used to visit with no problem. Blogs and news sites in particular. I have to use a a proxy to access a major archaeological news site for example, and many of the articles it links to.
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aBenG wrote:
They effectively told me to work it out myself - I did, but no thanks to Talk Talk.


Yes, that sounds familiar.

As for blocking web sites, IMO that is not, nor should it be the province of an ISP.

If necessary the ISP could post a warning, but IMO it should be up to individuals to choose what sites they want to visit.

If a site is illegal then it should be reported to the appropriate authorities who can shut it down, if it is not, then IMO they have no right to block access to it.
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aBenG
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a bit of rummaging online I find there are quite a few complaints about Talk Talk blocking access to websites - mostly it seems p2p and other download and TV sites. Of more concern to me is the blocking of some news sites. It appears that Talk Talk deny blocking anything so generously assuming that is true perhaps it is something to do with the IWF service they use? Quite why IWF (or anyone) should block, say, the Archaeologica news site is a mystery to me though.

On the subject of Homesafe and Talk Talk here are a couple of links which may prove informative and/or disturbing. Hope it is ok to post these.

http://www.hotlaptop.co.uk/anti-virus/seven-reasons-to-avoid-talktalk-homesafe/

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/05/13/uk-isp-talktalk-accused-of-abusing-homesafe-service-to-censor-news-website.html
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mikey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys,

Curious.

Isn't this actually just more fallout from your gov's ill-conceived Digital Economy Act? Aren't your ISPs now forced to censor their users? Doesn't this issue reflect the behavior of multiple ISPs over there now?

Sorry about all the questions but I haven't heard much protest from netizens over there and thus not been keeping up with the issue.
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under the act, sites can/should only be blocked if they can be proven to be serial breachers of copyright, and been given notification to "cease and desist".

However, I've no doubt that it is being "interpreted" in the widest possible manner by some ISPs.

I expect the reason that there haven't been too many protests over here is because the vast majority of people haven't heard of its existence, lots of bills get passed in Parliament without so much as a mention in the British news media.
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mikey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what little I know, it seems like a slippery slope to a national firewall under the guise 'it's for your own good'.
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a distinct possibility, its amazing how many governments seem to think that their citizens are incapable of making decisions. Sad

Ours made all sorts of promises to hold various referendums prior to being elected, but none of them have been held yet (and they never will be), all we get is a mass of excuses as to why they're not honouring their promises ...... but then a politician's promise is like a salesman's promise ...... often given and never observed. Wink
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mikey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate censorship and the book burning mentality that spawns it. I hope you folk over there feel likewise.

I wonder; If I advocated responsible P2P, would my domains also get banned? What/who will be banned next? Should folk ever allow their govs to control their lives to the extent of policing what media they can view/interact with?
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Gary R
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I do, but unfortunately we Brits seem to be an exceptionally tolerant lot, and it's frightening how complacent we can be about things some time.

Most people tend to let things slide until they're affected personally by whatever it is, and then and only then do they kick up a fuss.

It's only when there's any substantial media coverage about an issue that people get off their butts and protest en masse, so the gradual erosion of our freedoms by the "do gooders" and "safety nannies" generally continues unopposed.
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aBenG
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that in the UK web censorship has been sub-let to the Internet Watch Foundation, a 'charity' set up at with government help and sustained largely by government funds. IWF maintain a blacklist to which ISP's are supposed to sign up - I'm not sure if that is yet compulsory but Talk Talk certainly use it - in fact they were involved in setting up (you guessed it) the IWF.
Supposedly the UK government has dropped plans to block p2p sites, but other download sites of the MegaUpload variety are apparently being blocked as an 'accidental' byproduct of isp's using their own proxies to implement the IWF blacklist. I can't pretend to understand the technicalities there. Homesafe on the other hand can be used to block p2p sites as well.
Quote:
...it seems like a slippery slope to a national firewall under the guise 'it's for your own good'
Yup, and it's 'voluntary', 'charitable', and hence seems unaccountable to public scrutiny.
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mikey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apathy seems to be a global condition these days. The same crap is being pushed thru the US legislature now...Stop Online Piracy Act. Perhaps it would be better described as a multi-national firewall.

It seems to me that the DRM guys have deep enough pockets to buy circumvention of The Bill of Rights as well as coerce the gov to do their jobs for them. Unfortunately, neither entity seems capable of keeping up with technology or maintaining basic human rights.

EDIT: Perhaps it's time for us to start seeking out the Chinese for their expertise in bypassing network restrictions while we still can. Smile
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aBenG
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure it's apathy Mikey - more a sense of helplessness and frustration in the face of the current oligarchs.

Meanwhile, back to Homesafe hitting the headlines...
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suzi
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! #FAIL!!
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mikey
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can still beat this in the US...

One of the ways to protest and get attention is by blacking out your site's logos as mentioned here; http://americancensorship.org/

It's an ugly thing to do to your site but that's the point. It's very eye catching.
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mikey
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEWS

Is it really a victory? It seems to me that it's just back to closed doors in order to formulate a better strategy plan.

Quote:
Statement from Chairman Smith on Senate Delay of Vote on PROTECT IP Act

Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to the Senate decision to postpone consideration of legislation to help combat online piracy.

Chairman Smith: “I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.

“The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.

“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”

The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.

Ref; http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/issues_RogueWebsites.html

Some think it's dead... http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/01/20/the-privacy-bill-web-activists-trump-hollywood/ ...not me.
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mikey
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I guess I've pledged my allegiance; http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?/topic/133950-major-victory-for-all-netizens/
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