T-Mobile filters my web browsing

I know I’m late to the smartphone party so this could be something everyone has dealt with and gotten over. If so, I’ll return 2006’s call. But in the meantime, WTF?

I’m on a working getaway and need to do some light research for a document (laptop is tethered to it). Google is giving me slightly different and less responsive results than I’m used to—then I notice Safesearch is set to “strict.” I try turning it off (or to moderate), but it stays on strict. A few of the sites that I did find won’t come up either: all I get is a blank page. I try monkeying with my laptop’s settings, but nothing changes. Then I start poking around the Web and find this T-Mobil FAQ:

** Why am I not able to view certain Web sites?**
Web Guard is automatically active on Web Day Pass purchases and cannot be disabled. Some Web sites may be blocked due to the nature of the site, including but not limited to:
[ul][li]Abortion, Alcohol, Ammunition, Criminal Skills, Cults, Drugs, Firearms Accessories, Gambling, Guns, Hacking, Hate, Knives, Lifestyle, Martial Arts, Mature Content, Occult, Pornography, Suicide, Tobacco, Violence, Weapons. [/li][li]Partially-restricted content includes the categories of Personals/Dating and Sex Education.[/ul][/li][/quote]

WTF? Hacking and malware-prone sites I can see, but look at the list of subjects. Abortion is off limits? Violence? Sex education?* Gambling*? (The last is particularly absurd since we’re working in Atlantic City at the moment—would be nice to look up basic strategy, but T-Mobile’s nannyware is making that difficult).

Again, this could be an old complaint, but still … if it’s not a common feature of smartphone web access, I will be leaving T-mobile shortly.


There goes my weekend plans of attending a martial arts tournament where the contestants are porn stars who have had abortions and the losers have to committ suicide while the winners get to smoke a joint and throw knives at the audience while drinking themselves to a stupor

…gay porn star members of the Church of Scientology…

(you forgot to include lifestyle and cults)

T-Mobile doesn’t seem to censor my results. I’ve looked at plenty of porn on it, at least.

Your quote specifies:
“Web Guard is automatically active on Web Day Pass,” although it’s really weird that people who want to buy a day of web surfing would have it censored. “Web Guard” is T-mobile’s internet filtering meant for your kid’s handset, and I believe it isn’t enabled by default.

Just to check, I just went to several of the most controversial websites I could think of, as well as some tobacco and alcohol websites, and all went through fine. You seem to have a weird situation.

I wonder if it’s just the day pass. Can you get to Google with safesearch off? I’m going to give them a call and whine.
Day pass is because we rarely use our phones and are on the pay-as-you-go plan (~$150 per year in bills). We buy maybe 15 - 20 day passes per year.

It’s webguard. If you call customer service, they should go through an age verification routine and then turn it off. However, it probably will reset every time you buy the day pass.

They don’t want to deal with parents whose teens bought a day pass for watching porn while their girlfriends get abortions. So webgaurd is enabled by default for their day pass and other services. The thing is, if you’re on a regular plan, you only have to disable it once.

Wow, I take it back. No whining or anything, a simple phone call to customer service and they disabled it. My post was based on the “cannot be disabled” wording in the FAQ.

Reporting the OP because it’s misleading.
ETA: Merneith was right too – exactly as s/he said. Only side note is that I asked the rep if it would be permanent and he said yes. He also said that I should be able to disable it on my own (if I need to) via my T-Mobile account.


All is right in the world again! (No, seriously – I’d be pretty pissed off, too.)

She. :slight_smile:

Glad it worked out. Sounds like they updated their process.

Now go look at some porn.

Scientilogist porn!

Here’s T-mobile guide to diasble web guard.

Is there any other kind?