T-Mobile Web Guard blocking un-naughty sites


T-Mobile customers have probably heard of Web Guard. This is a web filter meant to prevent the kiddos from accessing adult content. But it seems it is not perfect, as OONI has come to find. The service seems to be restricting a plethora of websites that are not related to blocked categories.

Such categories include the following: Alcohol, Mature Content, Violence, Drugs, Pornography, Weapons, Gambling, Suicide, Guns, Hate, Tobacco, Ammunition. And while these categories seem pretty clear, Magenta’s system seems to have some issues recognizing the nature of certain sites.

OONI has found that sites like cosmopolitan.com, newgrounds.com, sportscn.com, bbcprofit.com and livesports.pl are restricted from users under 18 with Web Guard activated. The list goes on to include other women advice, sports, finance, music, news and computer security websites.

As expected, parental controls are not always perfect. T-Mobile’s system probably picked up certain keywords that classifies these as adult sites. And maybe a few exceptions like these may not be very worrisome, but what if we turn the tables around?

Certainly, a system with such notorious flaws probably doesn’t restrict all sites that are, in fact, for the adult audience. It is unknown if T-Mobile will be doing anything about the matter. After talking to a customer service representative, OONI found that T-Mobile’s solution was to deactivate the service. Something that may leave both children and parents in a difficult situation, regardless of the decision.

Hit the source link for more details and the full list of restricted un-naughty sites. Also, don’t forget to hit the comment section to let us know if you have experienced this issue with T-Mobile’s Web Guard. Do you have a good solution for it?

[Source: OONI Via: The Verge]

Edgar Cervantes

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    the question is why the F&@* does Timmy have a data plan? or a phone cool enough to even support such a feature?

    1. Because it’s 21st century… 

      1. You’re missing the point. Its not about having the means to provide said child with such a device. Its about NOT spoiling a child with something like that. I get it. The argument on “I want to be able to contact my child” blah blah blah. Get them a cheap pay as you go phone.Serves the same purpose.They want something better? Have them save up their own money. When they have earned the privilege of having such a device then reward them accordingly. Teach them the value of a dollar. Angry Birds and mobile tits should NOT be the most awesome thing this kid has to look forward to. Do some parenting people. Wake up.

        1. I completely agree. I had a smartphone at age 16, but i was paying for my data also.

        2. Agreed, and well said.

        3. You do know you can get a smartphone for $0 right? I mean, what if they did that? And don’t forget, even simple phones have web features.

      2. i agree here – the OP (in his later posts) seems to think that kids young enough for their parents to want to block adults sites from them just shouldn’t have phones capable of displaying adult content.

        that’s just ridiculous. from a policy standpoint, how long do you think this is remotely possible? when i was a kid no one had cell phones at all – by the time i was in college cell phones were common place, but the displays could only show basic text and digits. here we are just a decade or two later and i can watch netflix on the cheapest and crappiest smart phone out there (i’ve got an LG Optimus S that i think fits this description).

        so, you want to tell parents everywhere that they shouldn’t spoil their kids with smartphones capable of consuming adult content in the first place? how much longer do you think such phones will even exist?

        yes, there are special purpose ‘kids’ phones, that can dial police, parents, and one or two other numbers only. yay. that’s great until they are about 6 years old. after that you’ll never catch a kid actually carrying one of those around.

        i’m a computer engineer, so maybe i’m biased here, but i want future generations to have been exposed to current technology on a regular basis throughout their lives. i want to reflect on my childhood as compared to theirs and say “wow, look at all the exposure you got, i sure wish i had the same things at my age”. smartphones are a part of that package.

        scared that your kids will watch porn? good, you should be. your reasons for being scared might differ from mine, but the reality that they might be exposed to adult content at a young age is very real and something you should be wary of. want to protect your kids by ‘not spoiling them with smartphones’? that won’t effectively protect them, and it robs them of technological culture, which today is about as important as knowing the rules to ‘four-square’ from 3 decades ago (that’s a game, kids, not a location based service where you check-in to places).

        in my world timmy has a data plan. he has a phone cool enough to do the latest and greatest things coming out of the tech community. he also has basic content filtering enabled that may very well block some benign sites, and might just let a few real skanky ones through. that’s the imperfect world we live in. timmy also sometimes plays in the mud, eats with dirty hands, swears, and talks back. all of these are discouraged of course, with appropriate reprimand, but they happen. life. it’s messy. you don’t fix it by removing things, you fix it by cleaning things.

  2. Mmmmmmm, Carley……

  3. Who cares what the article is about…the T mobile chick is smoking hot. There enough said.

  4. Meh, if the children are desperate enough, they’ll find ways around it. I’ve always found ways around parental controls ever since I was 11 so they should be able to do the same.

    1.  Yes.

      My solution: Keep an eye on the kids and try to gently guide them through what is or what isn’t permissible. Let them know you’ll be able to see what they access, via History or whatever (but you don’t have to say how).

      The size of the web, and the various ways around it mean “Nanny” programs will always block good stuff and won’t block all objectionable content.

      For now, my 9 year old son has no Internet on his computer, due to previous excessive viewing of Mario related videos.

  5. Ok, why are we talking about the article. The T-Mobile chick is in a bikini! Seriously, I would love to tap that.

    1. Tap? Like click on her pics from your phone? O_o

      1. Not exactly what I had in mind lol.

  6. Someone that’s old enough to have their own smart phone shouldn’t have certain sites blocked.

    1. You haven’t noticed all the kids apps ? I’d guess you’re not a parent.

      For better or worse, some 5-10 year olds are getting smart-phones these days. Sometimes temporarily to keep them quiet in the car or whatever.

      There are even cheap tablets designed for kids, and likely to take over from the other cheap kids laptops and V-Smiles and similar “learning toys” etc.

  7. VPN clients and Proxies, baby. Then I’m free from… well, ANY block.
    DroidVPN/Masqed Crusader works well.

  8. Newgrounds has an adult section that features cartoon porn. It’s not the only thing on the site, but it’s there, so that’s why it would fall under the category of not safe for children under 18. I’ve never heard of the other sites but I’d assume it’s a similar situation.

  9. idont get how someones thinks the T mobile girl is hot…ijust dont see it…

  10. Wow!!!! This is a very strangle feeling I’m feeling right now…..I mean the T-Mobile is so smoking hot and I’ve thought so ever since I saw her in her 1st TMO commercial BUT now that I see her body in that bikini I’m just not as attrached to her as I was before. I mean I still think she’s amazing in every picture I see her in but her body is a little too skinny. Lord what’s happening to me!!!!! Am I actually attracted to this girl’s FACE more than her BODY?!?!? Jesus, next thing ya know I’m gonna want to “get to know her” or say I really “lover her personality”…..what’s happening to me?

  11. You guys need to move to the USA if you’re not already here. We got “tons” of well-fed women. They’re “thick” on the ground.

  12. Child protections tools will always be close to worthless, no one is more inventive than a young boy trying to find what he’s looking for lol. and they will always block sites that shouldn’t be blocked, the solution for that seems obvious to me though, enable a override control that is access to the parent via the web site where they can put in url’s that shouldn’t be blocked if they find a legitimate site their childs phone can’t access. Of course my solution is that parents need to remember that they are the parents, not t-mobile lol.

    As to the real question the t-mobile girl in the bikini, the answer is totally HOT! she could gain a few pounds and look even more HOT, but she’s no a skeleton and still totally HOT.

  13. Undead…that comment is old buddy. imean by now in life it seems like you would realize that, just because someone finds a chick you drool over borning and plain …dose not spell G A Y…guess this all depends how old you are though…

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