[K12OSN] blacklists -- paid vs. free

Mark Sarria mes4294 at lausd.k12.ca.us
Fri Jun 17 16:47:28 UTC 2005

This is a good question and it happens to tie in with the comparison I am
performing. Our district purchased Websense Enterprise, and I have Squid
running SquidGuard locally in my school.
I don't have full control of Websense so it might not be a far comparison.
Our procedure for adding website to our blacklist is to call the district
office ITD and have them add it to the Websense blacklist.

My squid server updates its black list every night. The past few weeks I
have been testing for filtering. In my testing I found that Websense blocked
more sites than my squidguard filter. It was able to block sites in the
google sponsored links section. In order to block those sites using my
squidguard server, I had to add them to my blacklist. This could perhaps
mean that the district hired someone or is paying Websense to create a
custom filter rule for the district. Since all 2000 plus high schools use
the same filters.
Don't confuse the fact that squidguard does not do proper filtering, in deed
it does. There were a few sites that squidguard did block that websense did
not and squidguard does a pretty good job of blocking adware and spyware,
were websense does nothing to protect us from that.

To answer your question, it will depend on how much administration you are
will to do or in your case charge for. You will always have to add your own
site to the blacklist regardless of solution you choose, paid blacklist or
free blacklist.


-----Original Message-----
From: k12osn-bounces at redhat.com [mailto:k12osn-bounces at redhat.com] On Behalf
Of Rob Owens
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 8:37 AM
To: k12osn at redhat.com
Subject: [K12OSN] blacklists -- paid vs. free 

I'm setting up a content filter and was wondering what
everybody's opinions were on the free blacklists
available on the web vs the ones you can buy from
various companies.  I don't have experience using
either.  This particular setup is for a company that
has money to spend, but if the free lists are just as
good as the paid ones, then I'll have the company
spend their money elsewhere.



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