Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Secure Computing: Trustworthy and Honest

So there's this American software firm called Secure Computing, that sells filter proxy software to fun-loving tyrannettes like the rulers of Saudi Arabia so they can keep their citizens from reading any of that awful, awful stuff on the Internet. (At least, those citizens who can't afford an Inmarsat BGAN terminal.) Turns out their stuff's also being used to keep US servicemen and women in the Middle East from reading BoingBoing, Wonkette and quite a few other blogs...in fact, here's a list that you won't be able to read behind an SC proxy.

Secure Computing are very keen on pushing their product, even if some might consider it unethical. Take this report they put out back in 2004. Apparently there were 307,000 pages of feeelthy pictures in the .st domain, Sao Tome's TLD. Which would have been mildly interesting, if it had been the truth.

.st was managed at the time by a major Swedish ISP, Bahnhof.net. According to their vice president and General Manager, Jon Karlung, the claim was absolute nonsense. "We had at the time only 6,000 .st domains, of which 1-2 per cent contained any porn. A simple search on Google could have confirmed this. I wrote two letters to them but they never removed this info," he says. If those figures are accurate, each host would have needed to hold 5,116 pages of smut for SC's numbers to add up.

Clearly, these are honest and trustworthy people. Kathryn Cramer has details on how and where you can offer them praise for their honesty at the first link in this post.

Update>: Seems Sao Tome wasn't the only small island they were fibbing about.

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