I am a big web user. I get on my website and write or podcast everyday. I get most of my information through many places. I Twitter and Plurk and Pownce and many other social keywords.
Today I am in the car dealership getting maintainence on my car. The process was going to take 3 hours to do, so I asked if they had Wifi. They said yes, and so I made plans just to work from the dealership.
I got connected and opened up the usual stuff (web browser, twhril for twitter, friendfeed). I entered a code and got a “You are logged in for 1 hour” from Websense Enterprise. That is all well and good however when I tried to get to some of my social network sites, I kept getting the block message: “The Websense category ‘Social Networking and Personal Sites’ is filtered.”.
Now for most, this is not a big deal. However for me, I live my life on Social Networking. I use it to find tech information and new articles, and even contact friends to get quotes from them. With this being blocked, it really is like I am working without a limb.
MySpace and Facebook is blocked which is not a big deal. Twitter, Pownce, Plurk, Jaiku and Tumblr is blocked. Fark and Digg are blocked. What is worse is I cannot get to some of my email like Yahoo and personal. Thank goodness the Gmail account is still going.
What is worse is that when I go to pages like Cnet, this connection blocks the CSS. Why? I understand with email disable the CSS and scripts so malware doesn’t get in. I am searching through many sites and it it’s not being blocked for filtering, the CSS-less page is making it difficult to read news.
This makes me wonder if they connect their wifi to their network and the filter is to protect the corporate computers from malware and connection bandwidth. Maybe they have an employee issue connecting up to the free wifi and checking their email?
No matter the reason, I have lost a lot of functionality and pretty much don’t have my usual resources. I understand in blocking certain sites, however these sites are not porn or questionable material. They are so I can get information to turn around and report it to you. When it comes to the dealership, I am glad they offer Wifi, but I don’t think it should be this limited.
If they have this Wifi connection on their main network, they have to move it off. If they have an employee issue, they should deal with it. They shouldn’t block me. We don’t have bandwidth caps and I’m not trying to run illegal business through their connection. It really concerns me when I cannot get into a simple page like Cnet properly.
Good thing I don’t need to VPN into a system or check important information on what they consider a questionable site. Thank goodness I could get to this interface to report about it….