26.2.11

What is 'Content Filtering'?


Your normal web filter such as Cyber Patrol, squidGuard, Net Nanny, etc, has a very large list of bad sites. If you try to go to these sites you will get blocked. I.e. your web access is filtered by web address.

The web is a fast changing place and even large web search engines such as Google or Altavista or Yahoo don't even know of half of it. This makes filtering by web address (URL) difficult as sites change and new ones come up all the time. It is impossible to have comprehensive filtering using just URLs. What is needed is something to check every page you (or your children) ever access for 'bad' subjects such as drugs, profanities, hate, pornography, etc, and disallow it if it's not suitable. This is called 'Content Filtering'.

This is why you need DansGuardian as it makes the web a cleaner, safer, place for you and your children.
As a side effect, DansGuardian also helps maintain freedom of speech by moving the censoring to the choice of the individual rather than imposing a specific ideal on the whole world.

What is DansGuardian?
DansGuardian is an award winning Open Source web content filter which currently runs on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X, HP-UX, and Solaris. It filters the actual content of pages based on many methods including phrase matching, PICS filtering and URL filtering. It does not purely filter based on a banned list of sites like lesser totally commercial filters.

DansGuardian is designed to be completely flexible and allows you to tailor the filtering to your exact needs. It can be as draconian or as unobstructive as you want. The default settings are geared towards what a primary school might want but DansGuardian puts you in control of what you want to block.

DansGuardian is a true web content filter.

DansGuardian is an award winning web content filtering proxy(1) for Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X, HP-UX, and Solaris that uses Squid(2) to do all the fetching. It filters using multiple methods. These methods include URL and domain filtering, content phrase filtering, PICS filtering, MIME filtering, file extension filtering, POST limiting.
- The content phrase filtering will check for pages that contain profanities and phrases often associated with pornography and other undesirable content.
- The POST filtering allows you to block or limit web upload.
- The URL and domain filtering is able to handle huge lists and is significantly faster than squidGuard.
The filtering has configurable domain, user and source ip exception lists. SSL Tunneling is supported.
The configurable logging produces a log in an easy to read format which has the option to only log the text-based pages, thus significantly reducing redundant information such as every image on a page.
Pretty much all parts of DansGuardian are configurable thus giving the end administrator user total control over what is filtered and not some third-party company.

(1) Technically DansGuardian is more of a filtering pass-through than a true proxy - but don't let that worry you!

(2) DansGuardian should work with any proxy, not just Squid. For example, it is known to work with Oops.

Features
The main features of DansGuardian 2.4 are as follows:
    * Significantly cheaper than IGear (one of the best commercial filters).
    * Can block adverts by the use of an advert URL block list.
    * Can filter text and HTML pages for obscene (sexual, racial, violent, etc) content.
    * Uses an advanced phrase weighting system to reduce over or under blocking.
    * Can filter sites using the PICS labeling system.
    * Can filter according to MIME type and file extension.
    * Can filter according to URLs including Regular Expression URLs.
    * URL filtering is compatible with squidGuard black lists.
    * The URL filtering is able to filter https requests.
    * Can work in a 'whitelist' mode where all sites except those listed are blocked.
    * Can block all IP based URLs.
    * Is able to block sites when users try using the IP address of the site instead.
    * Produces a log in a very human readable format.
    * Optionally produces a log in CSV format for easy import into databases etc.
    * Is able to log the username using either Ident or basic proxy authentication.
    * It has the ability to switch off filtering for specified sites, parts of sites, browser IPs and usernames.
    * Can block specified source IPs and usernames.
    * Can block or limit web uploading (e.g. attachments in Hotmail).
    * Has the ability to work in a stealth mode where it logs sites that would have been blocked, but does not block them. This allows you to monitor your users without them knowing.
    * Uses a very intelligent algorithm to match phrases in web pages mixed in with HTML code and white space.
    * Big5, Unicode and top-bit set characters can be used in search phrases.
    * DansGuardian 2.4.0 is over 6 times faster than DansGuardian 1.x.x.
    * URL filtering is significantly faster than squidGuard.
    * The configuration lists use the same incredibly fast code that allows them all to be hundreds of thousands of entries long.
    * 100% C++ and can compile on GCC 3.
    * Can be made to re-read config files with a HUP signal.
    * Works perfectly in conjunction with Squid and Oops. Also see this important information.
    * Has no 3rd party library requirements (no nb++ as was used in version 1) so can be installed much easier and so is also provided as an RPM.
    * Supports (adds) the squid X-Forwarded-For header line.
    * Supports compressed (Content-Encoding gzip and deflate) HTML.
    * Can be made to only listen on 1 IP.

About URLBlackList.com
This is a commercial managed URL blacklist service. The bulk of the entries are downloaded from various free sites. The managed part of the service provides:

    * A blacklist considerably larger than most unmaintained blacklists
    * Human verified user submissions
    * A maintained 'remove' list which avoids common accidentally listed sites such as msn.com
    * A maintained 'add' list which ensures common 'bad' sites are always included
    * All you need for your squidGuard and DansGuardian blacklists

Not Just a 'Blacklist'
The blacklist is automatically generated usually daily and with each build increases in size from submissions and input from other sites. The quality of the list improves continuously with each feedback and provides the best online URL blacklist. The blacklist does not only contain sites that are considered 'bad' but it also contains many other categories that can be used as white or grey lists. Being listed does not infer that the site is 'bad' - these are just lists of sites.

Disclaimer: URLBlacklist.com does not provide a categorised list that is completely inclusive of all web sites in existence - that would be impossible. We provide no warranty or guarantee of the service. We can not be held responsible for the sites or URLs listed in the blacklist. The blacklist does contain sites which are wrongly categorised which is due to the bulk of the entries being collected using automatic scripts. However we will do our best to improve the 'remove' list via submissions so the incorrect categorisation will be minimised and the most common problem sites are unlikely to have a problem.

From various sources in the Internet

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http://www.squidblacklist.org

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