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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Effectiveness of a Web-Filter on Domain Specific Users

The Effectiveness of a Web-Filter on Domain Specific Users
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Author(s): Geoffrey A. Sandy (Victoria University, Australia) and Paul Darbyshire (Victoria University, Australia)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 4
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch043
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


As the amount of content on the Web grows almost exponentially, one of the new growth industries is that of filtering products. The effectiveness of web-filtering software depends on a number of factors including the architecture of the software itself, and the sophistication of the users operating within its application domain. The main use of filtering software is to “block” access to controversial content such as pornography. This paper reports an investigation of the effectiveness of a filter called squidGuard in the real-world environment of an Australian University. The product is used to “block” pornographic material. This investigation simulates two classes of web users in trying to access pornography. While squidGuard did have limited success in blocking such material from novice users, the blocking rate dropped dramatically for the more experienced users using access lists. In all cases however, access to supposedly filtered material was gained in seconds. Under such testing, the effectiveness of squidGuard as a specific-content filter for “pornographic” material can only be seen as superficial approach at best.

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