What is an "anonymizer" and what does it have to do with educational films?
June 28, 2006 12:01 PM   Subscribe

What is an "anonymizer" and what does it have to do with educational films?

I went to innocently browse some old public domain footage at archive.org, which I previously had no trouble accessing at work. Suddenly, the site has been blocked and the reason my company has given for restricting access is simply: "Anonymizer." I know Anonymizer is an Internet privacy company, but I'm not sure I understand it in this context, nor do I understand why my company would restrict access to this site and supply "anonymizer" as the sole reason. They naturally restrict access to gambling and porn sites, but why can't I view the thumbnails of old educational/social engineering films?
posted by Lillitatiana to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
archive.org may archive content from sites that your companies filter thinks are objectionable. therefore, archive.org is "anonymizing" your access to banned content. Filters r teh suck.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2006

The filtering software is blocking archive.org because archive.org supplies copies of webpages in such a way that avoids certain filtering software's defenses. Anonymizer can also be used to avoid the filters.

Check out peacefire.org for ways to get around these filters.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2006

Before trying to evade the proxy, just talk to your corporate IT. As the person at my company who manages those, I'm (1) happy to punch a hole for a legitimate need (2) interested in documenting when the filtering we apply interferes with business.
posted by sohcahtoa at 12:10 PM on June 28, 2006

Further to what sohcahtoa says, you might get into trouble if caught trying to evade the proxy. If your employer has an acceptable use policy, working around their limits probably violates the policy. It's definitely worth approaching your IT deparment when you're wanting to get around their limits for legitimate business purposes. My employer even says as much right on the message displayed when you attempt to access a blacklisted site.
Status : 403 Forbidden
Description : Organizational policies prohibit access to this page.
Note : If necessary, please contact your Systems Administrator for resolution.
(emphasis mine)

Even if they don't explicitly tell you to contact them for resolution, they certainly can't harrass you for approaching them when it's for business use.
posted by raedyn at 12:49 PM on June 28, 2006

Of course you could circumvent this whole issue altogether and bring in the videos from home using a CDR or a USB drive.
posted by grapefruit at 1:11 PM on June 28, 2006

grapefruit: that will probably also violate the op's communications policy. i also think sohcahtoa has got it.
posted by lester at 1:31 PM on June 28, 2006

Thanks. I just wanted to scan the thumbnails of the videos to see which films are worth downloading for an editing project (which is why it would make no sense to bring them in on another drive). IT wouldn't be much help; I've tried getting past filters for legitimate business reasons before without any luck. I'm also not sure it's worth evading the proxy, either. (Peacefire is also restricted.) I could understand if the filtering software was trying to restrict access to the site in order to prevent people from downloading harmful material, but we can't download anything anyways since most of us don't have admin privileges. I guess I was just wondering how objectionable a site full of ancient social engineering films could really be!
posted by Lillitatiana at 3:03 PM on June 28, 2006

As many others have said, Archive.org's ancient social engineering films are not the problem. It's Archive.org's "Internet Wayback Machine".

From that link, you can view snapshots of many websites from various times throughout the years. For instance, the (NSFW) Playboy.com archive from June 06, 2004 is probably not something that your employer would like you visiting.
posted by stew560 at 6:52 PM on June 28, 2006

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