Behind the Scenes of Censorship

Why I Plan on Uncovering the Secret Behind iboss: Part 1 of 2

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Behind the Scenes of Censorship

School wifi has certain websites blocked.

School wifi has certain websites blocked.

School wifi has certain websites blocked.

School wifi has certain websites blocked.

Picture it: an average Tuesday. Your teacher instructs your class to use chromebooks in order to research something. You type into the search field “https://www.poptropica.com/” because you have no intention of furthering your education when your computer suddenly claims to have “lost connection,” displaying a depressing off-white screen with a melancholy paper in the top left corner. Although you are disappointed, you decide to follow your teacher’s initial directions and look up the website you were meant to. For the purposes of this scenario, let’s use my Newspaper Class. I searched “http://www.losangelesnewspapergroup.com/” and I was greeted with the familiar “YIELD” symbol accompanied by a message from iboss and the intimidating acknowledgement of my current IP Address.

iboss is very intimidating.

This is a common scenario. CCSD censors a lot of information on the internet while connected to school wifi. However, I am not surprised by the fact that I am often blocked from websites at school, I am confounded by the different messages I tend to receive. What qualifies the server to “restart” its connection rather than give me a stern iboss warning? That’s what I would one day like to learn. Of course, before I delve into this research I would like to share my top theories: 

  • iboss Isn’t Actually Blocking Anything: I know this sounds crazy, but give this a moment of thought. When the connection restarts, it is because the server is blocking your access to whatever website you are attempting to reach, but if it has an iboss warning, it uses threat and scare tactics to confuse you so that you don’t click past its thin guise only to realize the website you are after is not truly blocked by the server! Obviously, I have yet to get any evidence for this theory, but I think it would be a nice outcome.

    My computer “reset its connection.”

  • When the Server “Restarts,” It’s Some Other School’s Fault: Usually, when the server “restarts” it looks as though you have lost wifi connection. Maybe the website you are trying to reach is not actually blocked, but has such high CCSD traffic that it “restarts” your connection and freaks out before you can enjoy an innocent game of poptropica. Of course, I have yet to find anything to back this theory.
  • It’s Arbitrary: I personally love a good scandal or mystery or anything of the like. But, as a senior in high school, I have succumb to the understanding that sometimes things happen and there isn’t really an interesting reason why. Maybe the website distinctions are… “just ‘cuz.”

Regardless, in the next issue, I plan to discover the true reason. Is it a theory above? Is it going to be surprising? I hope so, but you’ll have to wait about two weeks to find out, so stay tuned!

 

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