Teresa Kok’s list of porn sites

June 17th, 2009 | by Sean |
The Malaysian Insider

The Malaysian Insider

Well, pardon me for keyword whoring, but I just had to write something about the article in The Malaysian Insider: No porn please, we are civil servants about the Prime Minister’s reply to a written question from Teresa Kok. It’s no good, while I’m painting bullseyes on this article with keywords, I have to express my gratitude to TMI for specifying that the question was written, and not oral. I now include the word ‘sex’ for no other reason than to equip this article with a full set of the Internet’s most enduring popular keywords. Now… if only I could think of a reason to include 5318008.

TMI gives a few examples of sites that are allegedly banned from civil servants’ browsers. Out of professional interest, I checked the domains – all subdomains in blogspot.com – and discovered that they’re blocked for me too! Not only are they blocked, but they’re blocked by Streamyx and not reliably by DiGi. Here’s a dig on Streamyx:

Site blocked by Streamyx

Site blocked by Streamyx

And here’s the same dig on DiGi:

Site not blocked by DiGi

Site not blocked by DiGi

The method Streamyx is using to block the sites is DNS Poisoning: their name servers return an IP address which is the special address 127.0.0.1 which means ‘your own computer’ (localhost). When you attempt to load a page from this domain with your browser, your browser ends up sending the request to your own computer, which of course refuses to reply.

It’s quite an effective technique in this case, as very many websites are hosted by google on a single IP address, so you can’t access the site just by using the IP address: you’ll get a google search page. Of course, you could still load the page by ‘innoculating’ your local nameserver, if you have one, or by adding the domain to your local ‘hosts’ file. Most operating systems provide a way of statically matching names to IP addresses. Alternatively, if you’re a HTTP hand-crafting wizard, I’m sure you could construct a HTTP request yourself, I’m sure there’s probably a Firefox plugin that would help you.

Of course, you’d have to be fairly desperate to track down the civil service’s official porn sites. It’s certainly not high on my list of priorities. It should be obvious to most people that if (as TMI’s report suggests) the list has only 38 sites on it, the sites are just a drop in the ocean. The reason I’m writing about it is that TMI suggests that the sites are blocked for civil servants. This is an under-statement. I am not a civil servant, and yet the sites are also blocked for me. I don’t want to see them, but then, I don’t want my Internet Service Provider secretly selecting what I can and cannot access on the Internet.

This should be effective - from Lady Mariah's blog

This should be effective - from Lady Mariah's blog

Attention TM! You can block all the porn sites that are not to your taste, and I really don’t mind. I don’t trust you to make the right choices though, so I would be greatly reassured if you were to publish your blacklist, or at least the fact that you are operating one. Since that would be tantamount to providing an Official Malaysian Porn Site Directory, how about poisoning your DNS with the address of one of your servers that has a single page informing your customers of your blacklisting policy, without naming sites? You could even tell them their IP address had been logged. You could even show them an animated picture of the PM shaking his head and wagging his finger – they would never look for porn again!

The TMI also mentions a site that’s blocked for being ‘seditious’. Google has removed the site from its blogspot service, but you can see the site’s content on The Wayback Machine – I hope they’ll keep the archive available as a public service. I do wish the Malaysian Government hadn’t played the ‘sedition’ card: the site was unarguably intended to incite violent crime. The site’s content was very different from other cases currently labelled as ‘seditious’, but they are not at all comparable, in my opinion.

Be Sociable, Share!
  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Oct 28, 2009: 11 sites shut down by MCMC - Webmaster Malaysia Forum

Post a Comment