Microsoft Flags Free Software Foundation as "Gambling Site"

Microsoft Flags Free Software Foundation as "Gambling Site"

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Charity group left puzzled by blocks on its donation page.

Potential donors to the Free Software Foundation have recently been greeted by an odd notice - Microsoft's Threat Management Gateway service, used by some employers to filter corporate Internet access, had somehow marked the group's donation page as a gambling site. The flag caused a number of companies to automatically block their employees from accessing the page. FSF, a non-profit organization that campaigns against DRM and sponsors the GNU project, has said that the block (now lifted) had prevented a large number of users from making donations to the foundation.

Executive director John Sullivan was understandably displeased by this turn of events. In a blog post on the FSF site, he took the opportunity to criticize the reputation system, saying that "If Microsoft's 'reputation' database can't tell the difference between a gambling site and an independently audited registered nonprofit public-interest charity founded almost 30 years ago, it is certainly doing you and your business more harm than good". He also called upon readers to urge their employers to drop the filtering system, and labelled closed-source security software an "oxymoron", stating that "if the user is not fundamentally in control of the software, the user has no security".

Though there's no comment yet from Microsoft, it seems unlikely that the false flagging was deliberate. The blog post says that that the group will "avoid attributing this error to malice just yet", but goes on to draw possible parallels with the BadVista campaign of a few years ago, which saw its pages being filtered from Microsoft's live.com search engine despite having a high ranking on Google at the time. This, too, was corrected after a string of complaints to Microsoft.

Sullivan stated that he had submitted a report to Microsoft Reputation Services, requesting that the site be moved into the database's "Non-Profit/Advocacy/NGO" category. At time of writing, this had not happened, but the "Gambling" flag has been removed from the site.

Source: FSF Blog via BBC News

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Trying to make donations to the page of an anti DRM group who's access is controlled by a major software company DOES seem like quite a gamble.

DVS BSTrD:
Trying to make donations to the page of an anti DRM group who's access is controlled by a major software company DOES seem like quite a gamble.

Question at which point does a software company become a major software company, cause it most likely affect what you can pick in the following list ?

Cause you also have Firefox, Opera (Opera software is actually bigger then Mozilla foundation, even if their browser is much less used), Konqueror (KDE web browser), Seamonkey (Mozilla fork maintained by the community), Amaya (W3C web browser)...

hold up, did I just read "Microsoft software prevents employees from going to a website while at work"? I mean, it's not like it's blocking them from using their home computers, just the work one... and shouldn't they be, you know, working anyways?

still, an interesting story and bad form on ol microsoft's side, but really now... it's like saying it prevented people from going to the Humble Bundle site to buy and play games while at work.

or maybe I'm not understanding this right...

Welcome to Irony, people. She's a massive b***h, and when the bill comes due, out the door she goes.

Microsoft now (Haha now, how FUNNY!) think they can "decide" which website I can or cannot visit by using their browser? good thing I use Firefox but still isn't this the same thing we were trying to avoid that the SOPA was trying to implement!?

If the website known to spread viruses, spyware or any hacks that would compromise my system for that matter THEN I can see the block as reasonable, not because you Microsoft want me to avoid information that may change my view on if to support DRM or not.

And If (they will) Microsoft claim that they blocked that website "for your safety" I'll bet the unanimous response will be-

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I think the real question here is: "Why wasn't the 30 year-old foundation already in the Non-Profit/Advocacy/NGO category?"

When asked about this turn of events, Microsoft responded with "LOL! Trolled!"...

I'm calling this right now - someone was trying to torpedo the support for the anti-DRM campaign.

This was no coincidence.

iniudan:

DVS BSTrD:
Trying to make donations to the page of an anti DRM group who's access is controlled by a major software company DOES seem like quite a gamble.

Question at which point does a software company become a major software company, cause it most likely affect what you can pick in the following list ?

Cause you also have Firefox, Opera (Opera software is actually bigger then Mozilla foundation, even if their browser is much less used), Konqueror (KDE web browser), Seamonkey (Mozilla fork maintained by the community), Amaya (W3C web browser)...

probably at the point that majority of the world use microsoft products, including internet explorer?

Also, why is this news? i mean why now? micorsoft has been blocking sites they dont like without reason for many years via thier sertificate system. ever came to a site and got isntakicked by windows because "the certificate is invalid" and then after 3 hours of googling you learn how to manually delete a microsoft block on the site? why doesnt that eve make big news?

Edit: capcha: old shoes. its like it reads my mind.

Jandau:
When asked about this turn of events, Microsoft responded with "LOL! Trolled!"...

best trolls ever. Aside from homoeopaths

Really, this isn't surprising. This is business as usual. Look at all the times Microsoft has been to court for trying to control/dominate the computer industry. They've always gone to great lengths to buy our or suppress anything they don't like...

Wait, so the list is controlled by employers to filter what their employees look at?

Surely then it's kinda ridiculous blustering over how this has "prevented a large number of users from making donations to the foundation." I mean, the people which couldn't make donations would have been, y'know, working at the time. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding something here.

 

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