At work they force us to use a web proxy. One of the things they do with this web proxy is block access to “inappropriate” web sites. Kind of embarassing when somebody sends you a URL and you paste it into your browser only to find that it’s blocked with the category “Adult Content” – especially since your manager gets a report of blocked sites you attempted to visit. Recently, I’d hit a bunch of sites that are blocked with the category “Music”, and an explanation that they’re blocking music sites because streaming and downloading music is taking too much bandwidth. Ok, I was actually looking for lyrics for songs I’m listening to on my iPod, but ok, not a big problem. (Usually now I remember to use the Google cache to look them up instead.)
At least it wasn’t a problem until I came back from lunch and hit “Refresh all tabs” on my browser, only to find that The Register is blocked as a “Music” site. WTF? Then somebody sent me a link to a story in The Guardian, and it’s blocked as a “Music site”. Putting two and two together, I tested and found that the other “The Register” link still works, and it appears that every .co.uk site is blocked.
The “access denied” message says you can get it unblocked if you can produce a business case why you need it unblocked. Hard to make a business case for The Register or The Guardian. But I discovered another site that’s blocked – our own company’s UK division. Hmmmm.