We, two engineers working as IT professionals for more than 10 years, were trying to read the most popular newspaper of our country by using our computers at the office. I was sitting just beside his desk and watching his actions...
He tried to check the headlines of the paper. Corporate web access filter denied his attempts due to the category of the pages he wanted to open. Some of the forbidden categories were "Provocative Attire", "Entertainment" and "Media Sharing"... Too dangerous!
The paper was Hürriyet. The year was 2011. He was 38 and I was 33 years old. Our arrogant and nitwit web proxy controller application was very persistent about disciplining us.
My friend strived to open 10 headline links on the newspaper. The system allowed only 3 or 4 of them. And the things we saw on the pages, we succeeded to reach, were ugly guys and their boring words and some depressing news like that.
My friend's witty statement was outstanding:
"Hey Bora, what sort of a security concept is it? It blocks all the pages with joy and cheer but shows every possible disgusting men and their stories! Do we really pay for this system? It is a psycho! It must be broken. Look at that thumbnail: If it is a smiling lady, proxy stops that link; if it is a fat serial killer proxy lets me visit the page! "
After a simple black box test, his conclusion was correct: "It must be broken."
I know that it is a common story.
I discussed the problematic perspectives of this prevalent protective approach with my colleagues who are responsible for network security of the company several times. Unfortunately, we were not talking the same language :) So nothing got better.
We demand free communication everywhere! School, home, office, street...
What is the solution?