Business online safety piracy

School connectivity and filtering – google translate

Trefor Davies thumbnail pictureDropped the kids off at school today. I don’t normally do it. It’s out of my way and gets in the way of my early morning swimming regime. It’s the last GCSE so it was only fair that the run in would be comfortable. Let the lad get in the zone.

I mentioned that last night I had sent their headmaster an email. This of course naturally sets off the alarms bells but I explained that I am planning a talk on connectivity trends to a room full of headmasters and school IT staff and thought it would be a good idea to chat to a horse’s mouth. Get my drift.

The car heaved a sigh of relief and someone mentioned the fact that the school had added Google translate to their list of blocked sites. The kids were somewhat puzzled at this and thought it might be to stop them cheating with their French translation homework.

I then explained that it was almost certainly because Google translate could act as a proxy to bypass their school filter. They didn’t know this. Oops. It was also mentioned that it took the school 5 days to realise that FIFA13 was out and to block that.

It goes to show that the whole blocking and filtering game is one of a constant war of attrition. It’s too late for the kids to use Google translate now, not that I want to encourage such things (get yer dictionary out). However you can bet your booties that someone in school will have another way around it, expellable offence or not.

To finish off on a different note a school’s connectivity need is changing. These days pupils need to use video conferencing suites to access lessons given by specialist teachers on other sites, in some schools sixth formers get given iPads for use in lessons and at breaks etc etc. These all add up to the need for more bandwidth, just like it is at home and in the office. Gimme a bell. I can help;)

End User piracy

Alternative ways of bypassing the Virgin Media filter to access Pirate Bay – Google Translate

google translate can be used to bypass Virgin Media web filters to access Pirate BaySince publishing the original post on this subject that described how to access Pirate Bay using free proxy servers I’ve had a few people point out other ways. Some were left as comments on the post itself. Some came in by email.

The most innovative is where Google Translate service is used as a proxy server. Take a look at this link:

That page is the normal Pirate Bay running though the Google translate servers, translating any African on the page to English. Obviously there is only English on the page so it displays like normal.  Apparently, according to “umm hmm” from the who fed me the info, this is not a preferred method as it can sometimes be slow and a bit clunky if the Google servers are experiencing high traffic (fwiw).

Many sites have been also set up as proxies to provide easy filter bypass to get to Pirate Bay – some have been pointed out in the comment stream of my earlier post – others will be easily findable online if you look – it won’t be hard.

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How to bypass the Virgin Media web filter to access Pirate Bay

How to bypass the Virgin Media web filter to access Pirate Bay

Before you start reading this post, and many thousands have, take a look at Broadbandrating – if you are looking to move ISP then the site will help you choose which one to go for.

Now the post:

Industry colleague Gary Hough left a comment on my blog post on Pirate Bay the other day. He has now written a guest post (tagged on to the end of this one) outlining how easy it is to bypass web filters to access “blocked” sites. I asked myself whether this was a responsible thing to publish. After all it flies in the face of the process of Law and Order and I am not in favour of promoting unlawful activity.

However the process described below is such common knowledge1 and there are so many sites out there providing proxy services used by millions of people that I feel that the story needs to be told in an environment/on a vehicle that promotes sensible discussion of the issue. We certainly need those in places of power to have the opportunity to read about and properly understand the problem.

The issue is not just Pirate Bay or any other site promoting the music downloads that have engendered such emotion within the Rights Holder industries. The issue is the fact that the same process can be used to bypass any web filter. This means that were we to enforce blocking of other types of website – pornography, for example, or sites promoting racial hatred or extreme political views the blocks would be ineffective.

Moreover in encouraging the move underground,