By: Gary K. Pino, FMP Recently, I learned from having two (2) back-to-back meetings with the Federal Government and a well-known financial institution that they had difficulty accessing our idoincorporated.com website. In fact, when they tried to look at our website, both of them received blocked messages stating “ACCESS DENIED” and “This website is categorized as: Education; Blogs/Personal Pages”, respectively. According to AXIOMPORT resource, Scott Johnson, “Some warning messages contain more detailed explanations than the ones previously mentioned, such as “This website has been blocked by your system administrator/security filter” or “This site was categorized as social networking/entertainment/retail/etc. If any additional message information is available, it might provide a specific reason for the blocked status.” Needless to say, our government and financial institution contacts simply couldn’t retrieve the information that we were trying to communicate to and with them. Thanks to another valuable resource from AXIOMPORT – Cindy Lory, her research revealed that the issue is probably related to how the website is categorized by web-filter services. We further learned that “many government agencies and large corporations block internet content for security, productivity, control and bandwidth considerations, and they may do so at their discretion.” In fact, one of AXIOMPORT’s developers found this article that was very informative and pertinent to our government related incident. For your immediate reference and review, here is an EXCERPT from the beginning of the article:
Filed Under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips This guest post is by Rick of morebettersmarts.com. “Filtering software may be blocking your blog from being accessed on government computers. When I first put my blog online, I discovered that my friends on the local military base were prevented from viewing it by the government’s filtering service, Blue Coat. As none of my posts contained any questionable content, I was interested to find out why my blog was blocked. More importantly, as there are literally millions of federal workers worldwide, I wanted to ensure blog was seen by this audience. While this information pertains specifically to the Blue Coat filtering service, it no doubt applies to other filtering agencies. Blue Coat just seems to be one of the more popular services used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies. Also note the information provided isn’t a way to circumvent the filtering service. The method used is perfectly legal, and I worked through Blue Coat to get it resolved. The problem: When my friends on the military base attempted to access my blog, a very official-looking page popped up with the heading, “ACCESS DENIED.” Further down the page explained that my site was blocked as its “Webfilter Category” was classified as “Blogs/Personal Pages.” Cindy further advised us that although there are multiple filtering services available, according to the article, Blue Coat is one that has been used by various government agencies. With regard to our blocked Government related communication efforts, we are probably going to petition to change the categorization of the site with Blue Coat using this link .