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Microsoft blocks Free Software Foundation web site

Labels it a gambling web site
Mon Jun 25 2012, 15:05

THE FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION (FSF) has told Microsoft something that most people realised decades ago, that it is not a gambling web site as Microsoft's web filters claim.

As part of Microsoft's network security programme companies can sign up for a web filtering service that censors parts of the web. According to the FSF, its primary donation form was being blocked by Microsoft's web filters, which identified it as a "gambling site".

John Sullivan, the executive director of the FSF said he submitted a correction to Microsoft asking the firm to re-categorise the web site as being a "Non-Profit/Advocacy/NGO". Sullivan added that the FSF is not regarding the error as a malicious act at this point.

Sullivan also had some wise words for those who rely on security vendors to protect them, saying, "We strongly suggest you avoid using proprietary 'network security' software from Microsoft. If you need to provide evidence to someone else to illustrate why using such software is a bad idea, feel free to use us as an example. If your workplace uses the software currently, please point to this post and ask them to drop it. Proprietary security software is an oxymoron - if the user is not fundamentally in control of the software, the user has no security."

Microsoft is unlikely to be foolish enough to block an organisation such as the FSF, which has run high-profile campaigns against some of its products. However the firm's web filter ended up blocking the FSF's donation web site, it has helped the FSF gain a lot of publicity thanks to Microsoft. µ


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