Talk:Websense/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

(various comments that had no section header)

--Rob; Hell fucking yeah i hate this damn program, it doesnt even let me surf with firefox, i think it closes its ports or something —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to say... i hate websense with every inch of my being. i hope this company rots in hell.

Mofos... I hate these &(%&*(*%^*!! Ggrrrr.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

"This is due to the fact that the use of Websense violates the 1st Amendment." - Clearly POV and also misleading/inaccurate. Getting rid of it. RegBarc 21:32, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

On interesting thing that might want to be looked into, is providing critical links that are not blocked by websense.
Dappergeek 00:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think Websense is trying to stop all its opponents. I should know -- it locked off some of my favorite sites promoting a free internet (without any reason)! --Aussie Evil 17:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I did put in a request to get unblocked, which resulted in it being moved to Information Technology, a less-likely-to-be-blocked category. Currently my anti-censorware/anti-WebSENSE pages aren't being blocked,but that's probably a matter of time (plus, I didn't feel proper in adding them). EstiRose 17:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Can I just add that the picture where amnesty is blocked is wrong; on this school computer, where EVERYTHING is blocked, works. WEBSENSE=BOO -- 08:53, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't cuss. It's also so annoying how Websence blocks all "uncategorized" sites. Freewebs and iGoogle work. so does :D EinsteinBaby (talk) 13:44, 9 May 2008 (UTC) I'm still thirteen but i can't resist the urge to............ DAMN YOU WEBSENSE!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:29, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Websense is the biggest piece of crap. the mans always trying to keep us down —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Proxy Avoidance

new filtering category, apparently. The Websense installed where I work filtered out citing that category ;) Dunno where to add it, though. TKarrde 00:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

It is a WebSENSE sub-category, but I felt the list was big enough without putting every subcategory in (it's a subcategory of Information Technology, per the cited link). Feel free to pull the list from the link and add the subcategory in, though. EstiRose 05:38, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I've run across this too. [1] --Explodicle 23:04, 28 November 2006 (UTC)


I have added an image of Websense at work blocking so people see what happens when it happens. Hillhead15 09:36, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Possible spam

I've taken out the Celestix, Inc link that was at the top of the page, because it seemed like spam/advertising. EstiRose 18:44, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Blocking without notice?

I'm at a school running Websense, and recently numerous pages that were never blocked before have stopped working. They don't deliver a notification of any kind, the page simply stops loading and the progress bar freezes. This happens with Google video, Penny Arcade, Megatokyo (pretty much all webcomics), and numerous other areas. Can anyone verify whether this is a Websense block? I think it might just be a local block by the district but I'm not sure. 18:53, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Reply--The administrators at your school can see what sites students visit. Administrators can also block sites.EinsteinBaby (talk) 12:11, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Unlikely - Websense tends to serve up a sort of naughty naughty page rather than just blocking it. I see Livejournal is now banned under Personals and Dating. That's going to make a lot of people happy... Sciamachy 13:53, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Websense only blocks what your local network administrator wants to block....sooo.... at my company LJ isn't blocked... remember folks, websense only blocks what your network admin chooses to block... its like hating on the gun company that makes the gun that you got shot with... John.t.singh (talk) 21:21, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


The way the article is phrased suggests that the link to Websense's categories is a link to all the categories blocked by Websense, but in reality I think those are categories in which all sites, blocked or not, are grouped. Is this correct? Theshibboleth 03:10, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing in text of article that makes distinction between categories that are blocked and those that are not. Could someone who knows Websense separate blocked categories please. Shinhan 17:16, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
There is no difference. This is a list of categories that *can* be blocked. Each organization chooses to block certain categories, though there's a good chance some categories will be blocked (such as "Sex" or "Proxy Avoidance") by most of WebSense's clients, and some that will almost never be blocked (such as "News"). But as I've had WebSense tell me numerous times, of course, they don't block pages, they just *enable* their clients to block pages. If I can improve the wording, I will. EstiRose 20:46, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Try to reload the page, Usually it works.

I just discovered a new category apparently blocked by websense. "URL Translation Services" Huh?

just today i found "yahoo" blocked what the hell isnt that going too far?

Wikipedia Blocked

Has anyone else had Wikipedia blocked for them? My school is running websense, and as of yeserday has been blocked.

With ye. Sign your name with four tildes. ~~~~. Anyway, it's likely that your teacher has some control over the block, and he/she decided that since you (or your colleagues) have been vandalising wikipedia of late, and so it was added to a block list.
30px ~ Flame-viper 12 12:05, 13.06.06

websense a form of spyware?

It seems reports are numerous of websense up an blocking internet pages with proir promission or programming to do it. if one were to go to a website that say it might not like. then it detects on your computer that you went there and then it blocks it.

you know there is another type of program that can change something on your internet without approval. that is called spyware. like spyware it rederects your internet page to another. and like spyware websense has been known to do so without permission from the owner.

Websense is censorware and should be labelled as such

Cut the bullshit. Theres a definition of censorware on wikipedia, and websense fits it. This is most certainly not security software. If you can't link the the wikipedia article explaining the definition of "enterprise security software" to explain it to people, don't bother. --CalPaterson 00:17, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Where to place this?

Under "See Also", there's this text: Websense is often considered to provide tools for Internet censorship. Websense allows administrators to electively block access to certain sites. In most of the world, a private company is entitled to set whatever policies it wishes on its IT infrastructure and hence this would not be considered censorship as traditionally defined.

Not that it's bad, but the section header needs to be renamed or it needs to be moved somewhere else in the article, or the text needs to be edited so it belongs under the heading. One of the three. Unfortunately, I'm drawing a blank on what to do with it. Any ideas? EstiRose 20:41, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I fully expect this to be ignored/deleted, but hey. It’s worth a shot. X.x Are there any ways to get around web**** that A, don’t require downloading anything, and B, aren’t blocked? (I have no home internet and a serious desire to know if my sister is alive or not, which sort of requires e-mail/livejournal/devART/something…)-- 18:26, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I have a trick to getting around it. However, I'm not about to post it, as I don't want the Websense people, or any network admins for that matter, reading it and blocking the way. If you'd like me to send you the method, send me an email at the address shown in this picture: And no, it's not something with those proxies that get blocked 5 minutes after you use them. It's a method you won't find anywhere on the internet, as I created it myself. Answerthis 17:03, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I tried to be nice with providing people a method for bypassing Websense, and what do I get in return? My inbox spammed like crazy with everything imaginable. Now, I'm going to give you guys the benefit of the doubt here, and say that spam bots, not humans, saw the email address and decided to spam me. So, instead of just posting my email address in text, I've made an image of it. If I find that my inbox is still being spammed, I'll remove my email address for good, and then you guys will be out of luck, as I won't help anyone anymore. Answerthis 20:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Proxy Section

I noticed that the section referring to bypassing Websense via proxies was removed. I strongly object to this, as it represents the "other half" which views Websense as a breach of the First Amendment. However, the way in which the proxy factor was presented I think was wrong. I believe that a revised, and less "attack-Websense" viewpoint could be used to re-present the proxy factor into the article. Answerthis 17:20, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

What does the admin see?

I would like to know if the websense admin sees just the ip of the machine that goes to (or attempts to go to,) a restricted site, or if the admin sees the ip and the login of the user. If it only tracks the ip, then those that have citrix sessions can at least try to go to whatever site they want without worrying about consequences.

I would be really mad if I had Websense on my home connection that I pay for; however, I am wise enough to realize that my employer has every right to block whatever they like. It is up to me to be wise enough to know where I can surf for what. There's no such thing as a free lunch, if you want an unrestricted internet connection: pay for it or hack it yourself, don't disguise your lack of ambition as employer oppression. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC).

I think you're misunderstanding the concept of Websense... Organizations that want to use the software purchase it and install it on their internet routing server (the "hub" for all the computers in the network). From then on, they can control Websense's B.S. from an administrator computer (with the correct credentials). For the most part, categories are the only thing administrators check for. However, if need be, Websense keeps a record of all internet activity (past week? month? I dunno) and knows what programs access the internet, what sites/IPs/servers you visit, and takes screenshots of your entire screen every x minutes (if the administrators enable this feature - only works with some versions of Websense issued by Bradford Technologies (or somebody with a similar name) that require a client to be installed on all computers on the network). Plus, Websense knows if you use proxy servers (whether HTTP, FTP, SOCKS4 or SOCKS5) so don't try it. --StonedChipmunk 18:22, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Overly Opinionated?

"It still is a gargantuan piece of crap." -- First paragraph. I'm not sure that's entirely appropriate. 08:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

It may not be appropriate (and is vandalism anyways), but all I can say as a response is: "Damn straight." --StonedChipmunk 18:08, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't know where/if to add this... escapes blockage by Websense, which could be very useful for a lot of people who rebel against authority -- like me! <3 -- 19:01, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it seems doesn't show up anymore... server issues? (Damn you, Webs*it - er, Websense!) Down with Websense! (My school blocks every possible category except things stupid like Web-Based Email...) --StonedChipmunk 03:36, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, there are nw sites being set up by peacefire and stupidcensorship like of corse those will be blocked but more will be made which will be blocked followed by more and so on...A perpetual arms race.
yeah i would try if my websense didnt block "Proxy Avoidance".the juggreserection 16:21, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

A question

At school I have websense blocking some sites. One problem I have is that I take online classes and school is the only time I can work on them. I have no idea how to get around it so I can get to websites found to be "inappropriate". I have tried some proxy servers but they are usuakky blocked I never tried yet though. Does that site work? -DogPHman 02:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

As I just said, it doesn't work for me. Obviously, it's really easy to find out if it works (CLICK THE LINK). I think our school noticed that any sites starting with https:// always get through Websense, so they just don't allow any https sites anymore. (BS!) --StonedChipmunk 18:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Added custom categories, blocking times, and spelling checks

Added: "System administrators can also set up custom categories, which allows the administrator to block websites that they deem inappropriate if they do not want to block the website's entire category." Anyone can expand on this if they can. At my school, they have categories like "McCallie Blocked", "McCallie Faculty", and "McCallie Blocked During School". Blocked = all the time blocked, Faculty = available only for faculty, and Blocked During School = blocked during school and night study hall (boarding school). Also added "Separate categories can be blocked at all times or only during certain times of the day." See Blocked During School above. Also did a spelling check and a few grammar corrections. --StonedChipmunk 18:40, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Web Sense is NONSENSE

Websense is one of thoise worst of the worst companies. In plain simple English, it sucks. Today I was blocked from going to checkt out an Italian Love ballad on a site called lyricsandsongs. Why was it blocked? Because Web(non)Sense thinks that site is a malicious content site. This isn't just a first amendment issue, its just plain SUCKWARE. And the worst part is that our tax dollars go to this company. too many governemnt agencies use it and guess who pays for that abuse? We(non)Sense should be shut down because their product stinks. 00:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

This isn't a place for your rants or opinions, and I should think you wouldn't have placed it into an article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC).

Actually most government agencies use it because it restricts the traffic coming in and out and protects vital information. For example, if you worked for the IRS and wanted to email out peoples SSN websense will stop you.

The fact that the program works so well maybe is a testament that it isn't so suckaware? Majority of the time you get blocked from a site that shouldn't be blocked, blame your network admin, its there job to categorize where you can go and when. John.t.singh (talk) 21:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Advertising a way to bypass Websense

In case you didn't see my above advertisement ( for getting around Websense, and pretty much every other filtering program, I'll post my email address again. The reason I'm doing this is because I disagree with Websense's policies and believe it violates our rights. So, if you want me to send you the method which is 100% guaranteed by me, send an email to me at: or In addition, to those who I've already helped out, feel free to post your reviews of my system. Answerthis 19:12, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Dude, you're missing the point: there's no "violation of our rights." The government's not instituting this on everyone's computers. Our employers and schools have a right to keep us from looking at porn all day because of the liability AND from their capitalistic standpoint it's wasted time. As a user said earlier, all Websense is actually doing is categorizing websites, but every organization can customize their policy as much as they want to. Cs92 23:29, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
That is, of course, if your WebSense policy doesn't block photobucket. Insanelymute 2:46, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
If you can't get my email address from photobucket because of Websense, then good luck trying to send an email. Answerthis 05:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

odd blocking message

"This website has been blocked by Websense in accordance with School Committee Policy and Federal Law." federal law? what? it says this as its new error message at my school, doesnt really make sense... why would sites blocked by websense go against federal law? (it does this for all sites.)

Because the Websense asministrator at your school a) is trying to scare you, or b) has a sense of humour. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 15:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Websense provides the network administrator an html page where they can modify the block page message. If you look at the html code for the block page its two seperate frames. The top frame is referred to as a banner, and can be modified by network admin to say whatever they want to convey to the end user. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


I guess it is worth to make the statement that Websense is not some kind of "evil Software". We all should consider that Websense just offers the technical platform to restrict and control a way of communication. The actual rules, administration, blocking alerts and so on are set by the administrator, nerveless if working for a corporate company, a government, a school and so on.

We also should keep in mind, that Websense is blocking such things as racism, child porn and others. That is not a bad thing, is it? If company’s, country’s, organisations decide to block more content, the critics should be discussed with the responsible person.

There is a former article that Websense is some kind of spyware. Again, it is up to the administrator to allow the recognition of unknown sites and therefore it is not to categorise as spyware. In addition this information will be send without a sender’s address, so the source is unknown to Websense.

To make it short: When a dog gets aggressive, you blame the dog or the holder who trained the dog to do something wrong?

Agreed whole heartedly. Please direct future complaints with regards to blocked web pages to your oranizations IT department.

I JUST WANNA USE FACEBOOK U GOOFY GUY TO MAKE IT SHORT: WHY DONT I SICK MY DOG ON YOU?? WILL YOU BLAME MY DOG, OR ME?!?!?!?!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Way to miss the point... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Blocked viewing of a wiki page but not editing and saving it


It let me edit and save the new sex kitten article but wouldn't let me view the saved page. That's interesting. 19:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


This article looks mostly like advertisement. The sections are one-line pointers to the company website. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


I hope that "Tacos" is not a real blocked category. Although coming from Websense, I wouldn't doubt it. Miggyb 10:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Tacos are dangerous to our youth and the workers of America! Psh. Websense blocks everything except so yeah, tacos is prolly blocked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Analyst coverage of WebSense

Gartner RAS Core Research Note G00168012, Eric Ouellet, Paul E. Proctor, 22 June 2009, RA4 06242010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

"HAEM" category

Does anyone know what the "HAEM" category refers to? It's started coming up at work when I try to get to Google docs. --jwandersTalk 11:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Most likely a custom category from your company. There is no default HAEM category. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Some of these complaints make me laugh...

A few people like to blame and criticise Websense it seems. In my opinion Websense is not the problem, as they simply produce a tool which their customers use to apply policy on which websites are allowed or not. It's their customers who define what their employees can and can't access not Websense.

Occaisionally Websense will categorise a site in a certain way that people may disagree with and in these cases administrators can redefine the cateogry to something they deem more suitable for their circumstances.

People also shouldn't expect that their Internet connection at work is for their own personal use. It's a business as well as educational tool and therefore people shouldn't complain if they can't access at work or school. Some websites are clearly more appropriate for surfing at home. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Need source for Israel-Wensense link

"The fact that, according to the company's own website, WebSENSE PreciseID technology was first developed for the Israeli military (see above) now takes on a possible new significance." Removed until you find a WP:RS reliable source. The way it stands right now, it's a speculative unsourced statement based on original research. Probably some peacefore page stating this will serve as a source. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:07, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

links to proxy sites

I saw a link to a redirection for the ceasefitre proxy, and I replaced it with the actual direction of the ceasefire proxy [2]. I didn't remove the link altogether because it could be relevant for people to see how it works. Also, wikipedia should not be a place to get the latest uncesored link to get around websense, right? :P (Not totally sure if this the only and official proxy avoider, btw) --Enric Naval (talk) 10:35, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't matter. Websense just launched its version 7.0 and its going to get rid of proxie sites altogether. Before, proxy sites would get block once they get categorized ( every time you visit one it gets logged by Websense reporting) and eventually there database team will categorize it. Now they have real time analysis which will see that its a proxy, and shut it down right away. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Ad warning

I'm no friend of the shysters at Websense, but this entry no longer reads like an ad, so I'm removing it.Wingspeed (talk) 20:07, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is being blocked too

I assume this is a universal block by Websense. I cannot access certain articles here such as "Anonymous". Are there any articles here that have been blocked?-- (talk) 10:06, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I just noticed this today. It's paranoid and Orwellian to say the least.

"Controversy" section

I'm removng most of this. Websense does not block sites. It categorises sites. It is then up to a network admin in whatever organisation has installed Websense to decide what categories are browseable, or are blocked, or can be 'clicked through'. Is Amnesty an advocacy org? Absolutely. Does that mean Websense blocks it? No. Only if the software is told to do so. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 13:50, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

WP:NPOV say to represent all significant viewpoints, and the viewpopints of Amnesty International and ACLU are quite significant. Also, that section includes notable facts like being used in China in its notable censorship efforts, or how a report on its inaccuracy influenced the striking down of the Children's Internet Protection Act.
About the link you removed [3], the page has links to the english, french and spanish versions. I added a direct link to the english pdf.
I put up a notice at the NPOV noticeboard for interested people to comment. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:34, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
That seems like a good idea, Enric. Apologies on removing the original Amnesty link - I didn't spot the link to the English-language reports up beside the body of text, just the foreign-language links under it. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 20:56, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

(As posted on the Noticeboard): I don't feel the Controversy section (or, indeed, the article as a whole) is neutral and it gives undue prominence to very minor matters.

  • Websense is a software product that gets installed on web gateways - it can be done by companies (or schools, or libraries, or public service/government organisations) to stop their employees/users browsing for porn, or non-work sites, or illegal download sites, or whatever.
  • Websense, the company, filters websites into predefined categories (and administrators of the software can put any site they wish into any category they wish). The categories get downloaded onto the local copy of the software at predefined intervals.
  • The administrators of the installed software decided what categories get blocked, or don't get blocked. (Or, IIRC, that some categories get blocked during working hours but are fine on lunch/after hours).

So why is the article NPOV?

  • Inaccuracy: The lead says "This enables its clients, businesses and governments, to block user access to chosen categories of website." Websense's clients are organisations. Businesses, schools, colleges, ISPs, libraries, voluntary and public sector organisations. Not governments. I'm not aware of any government that acts as an ISP.
  • Bias: A screenshot is captioned "Having been set up in this instance to filter the category "advocacy groups," Websense is seen preventing access to the human rights organization Amnesty International at" That would be because Websense (the company) correctly placed the Amnesty site in the category "Advocacy groups". Some admin in the organisation where the screenshot was taken decided that the category "Advocacy groups" should not be available from that organisation's web connection. I.e., not the fault of Websense (the company). A fairer screenshot and caption might be of Websense blocking access to some adult/porn site...
  • Undue weight: From the reference, Norman Finkelstein's blog was apparently placed in some category that got it blocked - by some unspecified organisation. A user complained to Websense that the blog was in the wrong category. They fixed it the next day. Websense categorise thousands of sites every day - I'm sure they'd admit they're not 100% accurate, but when it was brought to their attention, they changed it. How is that noteworthy? They've mis-categorised several sites I've needed for work, and an admin either changes it themselves, or gets Websense (the company) to do it - no real hassle, or conspiracy. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 21:21, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
About "innaccuracy", Opennet reported in 2006 that Websense was used by Yemen (reported in Usa Today[4], NYT[5], [6] International Herald Tribune (same story as NYT) [7] Yemen Times (complete detailed account, google cache), and other newspapers, and Electronic Frontiers Australia [8], link to report, the Yemen government was using Websense and Antlabs and something about "BlueCoat"), and in "state-controlled service provider in Iran, ParsOnline" (see NYT link), one of the non-profit links explains its usage in China, the "Case studies" page in lists three non-bussiness entries[9] (2 schools, 1 city). Their "industry solutions" page talks about "Government and public sector agencies" [10]. I'll add to the article that websense states in its legal info that it doesn't give service to governments or ISPs that implement government-imposed censorship [11].
P.D.: It appears that websense has really cleared its act: it would seem that the Australian Communications and Media Authority is not using them in their "Great Firewall of Australia". (although it's one of the filters that people can use because it's in the Internet Industry Association "family friendly" list, but that's a different matter)[12]
About "bias", I agree. Months ago the image had a neutral caption, and was placed out of the controversy section:
"Websense classifies websites and allows customers to block access to certain categories of websites. Here it is restricting because it was setup to filter the category "Advocacy Groups"." (emphasis added)
I readded this caption with a bit of modification. Feel free to take a new screenshot of the software blocking a porn site. (can you make a screenshot of websense blocking because of being in the category "time wasting"? lol, just joking :3 ) (hum, maybe we can use the screeenshot from the The Register link below, but that would be to illustrate the mistake)
It's notable because the dumb frequency-of-certain-words based websense software had classified an Norman Finkelstein's and frigging Noam Chomsky's websites under "Racism/Hate Speech", which is just the most remarkable of the multiple blunders made by this software. I think I should reword that with more sources, like websense filters as a "hack site" (The Register). Something like,
"the filter has mislabelled and blocked notable sites in occasions, like blocking Filkelstein and Chomsky's websites under 'racism/hate speech' category for a day until the israeli intellectual complained and it was fixed, and briefly classifying router company cisco's website under 'hack sites'. Errors are solved in short time, but they illustrate that the problem of false alarms is not restricted to antivirus software."
I added the text above with minor tweaks. --Enric Naval (talk) 15:29, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, if you google for "wensense mistakes", the first 33 hits are for the mistake (lol) John C. Dvorak also complained that his blog "Dvorak uncensored" had been blocked as a sex oriented website[13], he later complained in his famous column[14] saying "Countless companies use Websense. Apparently Wall Street likes the company because it's lean and mean.". Mind you, none of those errors come from some IT guy blocking a website at their company, they are all from websense itself incorrectly blacklisting a site and then propagating the error to all their clients when they update their lists through the internet. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:02, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


...but the Websense robots themselves disregard any robot.txt files and META TAGS that are supposed to exclude robots. (talk) 12:30, 23 August 2010 (UTC) Kriwis

Article under attack by Websense illegal astroturfing campaign censoring criticism, the word "censor" or "filter" and disparaging Amnesty International

This article has been subject to a longterm Websense illegal astroturfing campaign ([15]) spanning years, please see here: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Websense,_Inc.

If anyone else finds suspicious editing in this article's history, please report it to Wikipedia's neighbourhood WP:PAIDWATCH Face-smile.svg

When dissenting statements are removed but the Wikipedia:Wikipuffery-like stuff is left in, with WP:weasel words like "security gateway software" (as opposed to web filtering) in the article becomes biased, as WP:NPOV is meant to be that all sides are meant to be represented, not that no criticism is allowed - as Enric Naval (talk · contribs) above pointed out a couple of posts up Face-smile.svg

More issues arise when most of this stuff seems to have been all been originally added by the company themselves against every rule Wikipedia has on Wikipedia:Conflict of Interest using numerous WP:sockpuppets, with their main account banned, it's worth checking out Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Websense, Inc.. :/ --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 10:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Since you reverted problematic content back into the article, I'll assume that you didn't read the reply at my talkpage, so it's copied here for convenience:

You have ensured that one side is already lavishly represented. Does NPOV really require us to point out that software is used at guantanamo bay? Ooh, it must be evil, it's used at guantanamo bay! And then there's the nonsense about definitions of "security" and "censorship", and the huge controversy section (the lede is practically all "controversy" content, even after I removed the worst of the ranting). Who added that content? You can't blame pro-websense sockpuppets/meatpuppets for that. Neutrality does not mean giving the subject a repeated kicking.

bobrayner (talk) 10:43, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Your comment that "it must be evil, it's used at guantanamo bay!" is POV, personally I think Guantanamo Bay is a difficult answer to a difficult problem when the worst people often don't wear uniforms - Precisely because it's a picture published by the governemnt it's more impartial than using any commercial material - a lot of Wikipedia articles do this, because so much of the stuff from US government is freely released as public domain Face-smile.svg
The idea of censoring content being a "security" issue is a red herring, there is no security issue in the vast majority of things Websense allows blocking of (I know what security means), by and large it is used for enforcing a particular dogmatic view (for example its use in Bible Belt public libraries and education systems to censor information giving advice about conflicting political views, religions, sexual health, etc, and then you have its use in countries like China and Yemen to do the similar (something WebSense seems quite keen to hide from their article). Granted, it does provide security services on the side, but that is not its main business and the company itself is named after their most popular Websense internet censorship software for a reason. --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 10:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I've reverted the changes. While astroturfing may be a problem, it seems we need to proceed a bit more carefully than changing the internet security terms to web censorship, primarily on the back of - which isn't the most neutral of sources. I think you may have a point about the article as a whole, but the article also isn't exactly avoiding negative claims, so I think we will need to proceed carefully so as to avoid going too far in the other direction. - Bilby (talk) 11:13, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I'll say that "computer security" is a very weasel label for this software. It doesn't secure anything, it merely prevents people from visiting certain websites at the internet. The neutral name is "Content-control software", I think.
Guantanamo has no secondary sources, only an article at an internal magazine from the base. If it has neutrality problems, just get rid of it. This the controversy section, and there is no source saying that its use at Guantanamo is controvesial. There should be screenshoots of websense making controversial blocks, hosted in more-or-less reliable secondary sources.
That it's sometimes called "censorware" by detractors should be in the controversy section.
The "Internet Censorship" bit is sourced to a primary source 44 U.S.C. § 3542(b)(1), needs to be backed by a secondary source or removed as WP:OR. --Enric Naval (talk) 11:15, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm getting at Face-smile.svg I know a thing or two about security and "Websense" is not trying to sell security, it's being used as a euphemism in this case which is against the weasel words policy Face-smile.svg Stopping people reading about things they want to is not "protecting" them, it's internet censorship by the very definition, effectively providing an insitutionalised form of point of view enforcement for whoever runs the system, as per it's use in Stasi-like police states like China, Yemen and in education systems where it's largely left up to individual computer administrators to run the system and decide what is filtered... Bilby, your userpage states "I'm a lecturer in Information Systems"? o_O --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 11:39, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
The neutral (and more accurate name, and more descriptive) is "content-control software" or "web filtering", or combinations of it. Wikipedia has chosen to group everything under the first name for whatever the reason. You can see the name on PCMag[16] or you can search google books for several examples of this labelling[17]. (Being a webmaster of a forum website for a few years makes you a quotable expert on security??? Because publish your name via a reliable publisher, or make yourself a name on the security industry, reputation checkeable in secondary sources, please, and then we can discuss it.) --Enric Naval (talk) 11:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec) Wikipedia Review is about security or is significant to the security industry in some way? That's news to me; I never covered it in the CISSP or CISM or CEH exams &c nor discussed it with any of my clients, and have only ever encountered it as part of wikidrama. Which brings us back to spurious claims of censorship...
  • Any argument that content filtering is not part of CIA is difficult to take seriously. No doubt some people are frustrated that their favourite webpages are blocked at school or at the library, but that's no excuse for wallpapering "censorship" all over the article, to the extent of removing more neutral terms. Websense is genuinely used as a security tool by security teams in many organisations.
  • I'm pretty disappointed that opposition to the rabidly POV content is labelled as "illegal astroturfing campaign censoring criticism". Smearing people who disagree with you is a Bad Thing. Since the editors now disagreeing with MSK's stance are not censors or part of an illegal astroturfing campaign, would MSK like to change the section heading to something a little more AGF? bobrayner (talk) 12:05, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict × 1) @Enric, Hey hey, I was agreeing with you, why the confrontational stuff with "???"s? Face-smile.svg I am not claiming to be an expert of anything, if you read more about WR you'd know it's been involved in uncovering a lot of dodgy Wikipedia activities before Face-smile.svg If are claiming Wikipedia Review is not reliable (by the same way no journalistic source ever recognised Wikileaks as reliable — that's a joke :p ;)) and you want a reliable source, Seth Finklestein from The Register has wrote some good stuff on the subject, some of it on Wikipedia itself: [18][19][20][21][22][23] {[smiley}}
Basically it looks like the term on Wikipedia has got changed "content control" because of the overwhelming pressure from sockpuppets/meatpuppets of related companies, whilst you had people like him standing on the sidelines unable to edit because they are trying to be ethical and avoid editing on articles that they have a Wikipedia:Conflict of interest over Face-sad.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉)
@bob: Since you are claiming certifications and having "clients" to try back up your viewpoint, but is that your real name or a pseudonym? Otherwise we have no way to know if you are not another Essjay, per Enric's points to me - there's assuming good faith, but it's not a suicide pact to believe anything. Face-smile.svg "Any argument that content filtering is not part of CIA is difficult to take seriously"... I believe you meant "Any argument that content IS part of the CIA is difficult to take seriously"? Because if so, I would totally agree. I never even suggested that so far as I know, that just seems to be a personal attack, attacking the contributor than the argument?
The fact is no one outside the security industry would classify internet censorship software such as Websense "security", and well, a lot of people IN the security industry too - I'm pretty sure you would be laughed out of most serious neutral conferences that aren't just corporate jollyfests if you tried to claim that :p
On the subject of WP:AGF and the POV pushing, again, this article has been subject to a longterm Websense illegal astroturfing campaign ([24]) spanning years: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Websense,_Inc. - AGF is not meant to be a suicide pact for Wikipedia Face-smile.svg Obviously, since you claim to be part of the security industry, you have a substantial Wikipedia:Conflict of interest in promoting the purchase of software that needs continual maintenance such as this, is that not true? --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 12:34, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I prefer just "filtering software", as the seems to be the major role, but there is something to be said for content control software. Censorship may be appropriate, but I'd like good sources to support that, partially because the software is applied more widely. At any rate, my main issue is that we're going to need good sources to develop the article in order to keep it from moving too far to either side - and given the position of Websense in the market, there are a lot of good sources around. - Bilby (talk) 12:43, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • CIA stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability. MSK, I assumed that you had at least a rudimentary knowledge of IT security, because you said "I know a thing or two about security"; if my use of a common industry term caused any confusion, then the best way to avoid confusion in future is to avoid claiming competence when you don't even understand the basic tenets of a topic - no matter how strongly you feel about it. Still, thanks for assuming that something you didn't understand was a personal attack.
  • This is not the first time that you've assumed that industry expertise equates to conflict of interest; it is false and harmful, and should stop now. Pretending that I might have an interest in encouraging Websense sales is just more ad hominem sniping.
  • People aren't essjay just because they disagree with you. Your ongoing sniping and assumptions of bad faith really aren't going to bring consensus any closer or win people over to your point of view. However, it is absurdly hypocritical to complain that an editor using a real name is pseudonymous, whilst hiding behind an actual pseudonym yourself.
  • Returning to the article content, I've discovered more misuse of sources; using them to support statements which don't fit what the source actually says. That really ought to be stopped too. bobrayner (talk) 12:55, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • And now, after I fixed some other problems, yet another revert - knowingly restoring content to the article which misrepresents sources, and that's even before we get to the POV problem. MSK, you're in a hole; let go of the shovel. bobrayner (talk) 13:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

(too many replies to indent anymore)

(edit conflict × 1)

If you want to say you meant that now, I'll assume good faith, re-reading it makes it seem like you were trying to mean that. It just seemed odd so soon after your accusation of "point out that software is used at guantanamo bay? Ooh, it must be evil, it's used at guantanamo bay!" (sic)

If you read my reply before to Enric, you would know why I raised the question of your pseudonym, since I was previously accused of it. You can't have it both ways, accusing me of making claims whilst making them yourself Face-smile.svg

You claim to be part of the "security" industry, which is widely regarded to be more akin to a protection racket (Antisec Movement), so yes, of course you have an interest in promoting software such as these, if I said otherwise I would be denying what the security industry is about...

(RE the edit conflict whilst I was replying here): Please stop Wikipedia:edit warring whilst a discussion is in place, I've told you twice now in the edit summaries that you need to take a look at WP:BRD, it's not "post, go revert, post, go revert" ... --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 13:13, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I've changed the description to "networking software" -- this is intended as a placeholder until consensus can be achieved on final wording. If you're unable to come to consensus please consider WP:RFC or WP:DRN et. al. Nobody Ent 14:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

@Mistress Selina. The "???" was in reference to your [[Wikipedia Review|I know a thing or two about security]][25]. My reply tries to drive the point that you need to cite sources or authors that are considered reliable for the computer security topic.
I cited such sources above (PCMag and assorted books. You didn't cite any source for this software being usually categorized as "internet censorship software" in reliable sources. You don't cite any secondary source for the Guantanamo usage being notable or relevant to understanding the article's topic. You are inserting lengthy original research in the first sentence of the lead about the labelling of its main product. You are moving into the lead a couple of detailed controversies of how their software is used by some of their clients. You are unbalancing the article away from neutrality, towards full-blown criticism.
You called people's attention about certain problems in the article. Good. Then you started making not-neutral edits, and edit-warring to keep them. Bad. You are also misunderstanding WP:BRD: you were bold[26], someone else reverted, now you are supposed to discuss, and the discussion includes the providing of sources that support your changes. Could you please voluntarily step away from the article, very far away, really far away, maybe remove it from your watchlist, and let other people make edits based on secondary reliable sources, and let them fix the lead so it's in accordance with WP:LEAD? --Enric Naval (talk) 15:48, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I believe that was her intent [27] Nobody Ent 16:06, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

It's not meant to be "what you can get away with" whilst paying lipservice to the idea behind the rules, the ones that aren't fixed are just as important... The discussion should have been here in the first place not turned into an edit war...

I was not "bold and reverted", I was reverting to a previous version - and then "bobrayner" started writing his own edits in, and I reverted him and tried to start discussion - then he reverted me, then in the discussion kept reverting too in some kind of bizarre "post, revert, post, revert" interpretation...

You want a source for internet censorship or censorware, there are tonnes, honestly Face-smile.svg no one outside people in the "security" industry uses euphenisms like "content-control" to refer to programs that censor the internet... That's not an allegation, that's common sense:

  1. WebSENSE Examined, Peacefire — "The first published report criticizing WebSENSE came from the Censorware Project in June 1998: Protecting Judges from Liza Minelli: The WebSENSE Censorware at Work"
  2. Websense censors Cory's podcasts, Cory Doctorow, Boingboing — "Websense, an Internet censorship company that I've criticized here, has apparently decided to punish me"
  3. More on Internet Censorship in Libraries: ACLU vs. Salem Public Library, Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation (this one is not primarily about Websense, but about similar censor-by-selected-ideological-categories-software called Netsweeper and mentions Websense as being another example of it)
  4. wikiHow:Bypass-Websense, WikiHow — "A new bypasser that should work with most censorship systems, for now."
  5. a look at China's increasing ability to control what its citizens can see and read online, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) — "China has the most extensive Internet censorship in the world [..]Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, Sun Microsystems, and Websense -- have provided important technologies that help the Chinese government censor the Web"
  6. Political Repression 2.0, Evgeny Morozov, The New York Times — "A March report by OpenNet Initiative, an academic group that monitors Internet censorship, revealed that Netsweeper, based in Canada, together with the American companies Websense and McAfee (now owned by Intel), have developed programs to meet most of the censorship needs of governments in the Middle East and North Africa — in Websense’s case, despite promises not to supply its technology to repressive governments."

--Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 17:13, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Selina, you were reverting to a version that you wrote yourself a couple of weeks ago, over 20 different edits. That's when you were bold. The version you were reverting back to is very similar to what you wrote[28].
Those are sources for clients of the company using the program for internet censorship. For the classification of the actual software we should use sources reliable in the classification of software, like software magazines and software books. Also, a web filtering tool has more uses apart from censoring internet. For example, preventing your workers from browsing time-wasting websites at the workplace. Your edit blurred the difference between the tool itself and the usages of the tool.
Now, are you going to stay away from the article while I try to fix it with reliable sources, like you appear to say in User_talk:Mistress_Selina_Kyle#Websense? --Enric Naval (talk) 21:21, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
The edits made were by the self-admitted marketing manager of the company and associates, that was cleaning up wp:Conflict of Interest vandalism/sockpuppetry per the rules, there was no new change, nothing "bold"... It was "bobrayner" that came and started revertin in support of the malicious sockpuppetry, after I posted about it on WP:PAIDWATCH — I noticed today that though they are not members, both he and Bilby seem to have came from a group supporting malicious paid editing which is against all policy...
The use for which it is used is POV whether it's justified or not, the word censorship is not a POV term but one used historically and in paper dictionaries to describe suppressing material:


Pronunciation: /ˈsɛnsə/ noun

1 an official who examines books, films, news, etc. that are about to be published and suppresses any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security: the report was approved by the military censors the movie has been given an adults-only rating by film censors

Psychoanalysis an aspect of the superego which is said to prevent certain ideas and memories from emerging into consciousness. [from a mistranslation of German Zensur 'censorship', coined by Freud]

2 (in ancient Rome) either of two magistrates who held censuses and supervised public morals.

[with object]

examine (a book, film, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it: the report had been censored ‘in the national interest’ the letters she received were censored

Pronunciation: /-ˈsɔːrɪəl/



mid 16th century (in censor (sense 2 of the noun)): from Latin, from censere 'assess

censor/censorship, Oxford English Dictionary
Those sources are all valid sources per WP:V/WP:RS, there is no "magazines and books" rule, because Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia Face-smile.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 20:22, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Those sources are all advocacy sources from advocacy groups, they are reliable for sourcing the opinion from advocacy groups, not for making statements of fact in "wikipedia voice". For the neutral classification of the software, you want to look at reliable sources on computer security and at sources that classify and review software. Those sources classify it Content-control software / web filtering. I made a more accurate book search that includes the term "internet censorship"[29], and I still get similar results. Then I forced that the books included the sentence "internet censorship", and I only got 4 hits,[30] a minority compared to all the other books that give it a different label. So, a minority view, so it should be given less space in the article (per WP:FRINGE). --Enric Naval (talk) 22:37, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


In the lead, the article stated:

It has also come under controversy for ignoring the robots.txt standard to crawl websites, removing the option for website owners to opt out of censorship.[31]

The source for this appears to be a blog post. As it isn't mentioned elsewhere in the article, is only sourced to a blog post, and there is no evidence that this is regarded as particularly controversial (and I'd find it surprising if it was), I've removed it. - Bilby (talk) 03:49, 18 February 2012 (UTC)