Straight Dope Blocked at Work?

Yesterday I had a small panic attack.

I was blithely going about my afternoon, sipping a cup of tea, doing a bit of work, and relieving minor bouts of boredom by browsing the SDMB. Until…

I was locked out of the SDMB by that most unscrupulous of departments, IT.

Yes, it seems they were mucking around with something, because any attempt to access the Dope was met with:


You cannot access the following Web address:

The site you requested is blocked under the following categories: Forum/Bulletin Boards*

No! Not only do I use the boards here and some others for the occasional work-related question (the web is a great resource), but it also helps me keep my sanity.

Well, needless to say, it was a dull and dreary afternoon.

I came into work this morning with a heavy heart, sure that my care-free days of SDMB-dom during the day were over. It took me a few hours to even attempt it, and lo and behold! Aparently it was a minor glitch, and all is actually well with the world. Hopefully.

Now I’m just nervous that they’ll do it again, and make it stick next time.

Anyone else suffer from having the SDMB ripped out of their lives at the hands of a cold, unfeeling IT department?

*Surf Scout * from the sound of things - no friend of any good stuff. Luckily, where I work we only have it running on the Proxy Server, which I bypass for work reasons (and because I used to be the security administrator) but I fear your guys may be getting ready to make your life more boring.

Smartfilter was the name of the offending software.

cowers in fear

I use to surf sites that are blocked by my employer. Woo hoo! Try it out.

I would make a request to make it accessible. This board can potentially be useful for all sorts of work-related questions, regardless of what you do. Does the word “dope” have anything to do with its banning?

If that happened here, I would probably have to quit or risk dying by my own hand at my desk. On weeks like this one, when the accountant is away and thus I don’t have any cheque-related work to do, I literally do nothing but answer phones all day. It can get pretty boring.

Please, God, don’t let them ever do that to me!

The horror! When our infrastructure department was setting up the internet policy they sent a memo round asking specifically for any forums we wanted access to. I named the SDMB and they passed it. So I think I’m safe ::crosses fingers::

I found it was once, in 1960, for twenty minutes.
Shuddering at the memory of Cold Turkey Day of a little while back.

Not if the IT department expects to keep their [well, his] jobs [job]!

Yep. I’ve been blocked for a couple years now. Which is for the best, actually. I’m too busy at work as it is. But I miss surfing the boards while I eat my lunch. My company is pretty strict about any web access involving message boards, chat clients, etc. We’re a subsidiary of a much larger corporation and we follow all their blanket IT policies.

In a way I’m kind of glad. In the past I had to reprimand someone in my dept. for spending too much time on fantasy football sites. If people on my team were able to stumble onto the Dope, we’d likely never get any work done at all.

Man, you guys don’t know what IT gestapo is until you work on an Air Force base. Jebus, these bastards block EVERYTHING except some news sites and search engines. SDMB is blocked, my home email server is blocked, all sports websites, all financial websites, anything with video, you name it.

The Dope is blocked for me. It makes me weep.

Not even at lunch!
Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck!

You could go worse and have all your internet blocked like my company does. We used to have regular internet access on our work computers, but some airheads ended up messing this up by trying to download massive computer files and thus introducing viruses. Now only management gets to use the internet.

I don’t think they’ll ever block the SDMB here. I’ve been surfing this

I’m honestly surprised that my company hasn’t blocked it as they generally have a pretty aggressive filter. I can’t even look at sites that review video games because the word “games” is blocked.

On the plus side, we have a business agreement with Google at the moment and since they bought YouTube, suddenly Youtube isn’t blocked anymore!

My current company doesn’t seem to block anything, but since we don’t have our own computers (or, rather, each monitor is attached to two computers, one “personal” and one for instruments, and the instruments are always in use) I don’t have time to read the boards at work anyways.

My old company blocked the SDMB, so I passed the time reading things from Project Gutenberg or Fark. When I worked there as a student, though, I discovered that I could use the MSDOS command prompt to log on remotely to my university’s server (they had a really old text-based email set up running alongside the cool web-based one) and that had Lynx, the text based browser. I was able to read the boards that way. That was cool, though a little tedious.

The filters at work sort out “web chat”, which apparently is the Dope. Yet I can cruise an Age of Empires III forum.

I’m baffled by the logic.

Just email your tech guy and get him to enable it. All sorts of useful stuff gets banned by filters. Include the SDMB with Arstechnica and Slashdot, claim that they are for serious research purposes, and you’re sorted. Honestly, your admin will be white-listing stuff all the time.

I’ve often wondered about over-zealous IT departments and sites like this. Why aren’t these the first sites that are blocked?

This question comes to you from a not-so zealous IT guy, who really doesn’t care what sites you visit as long as you don’t screw up your computer such that I have to fix it, or fill up the shared drive with your downloads.

I’ve wondered that myself. It seems like blocking sites like would be the obvious step. But it’s not blocked at my workplace, even though the blocking system at my university is really a bit out of control. (Once I was prevented from looking up someone’s e-mail address on another university’s website because the directory was hosted on a server named “spanky”).

Damn your ilk! is blocked!

I must find out who is in control of the machines…and give him a peace offering.