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Shurely shome mishtake Surfcontrol

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

We are officially irresponsible. Surfcontrol, the Internet filtering company, has, for some reason, put us on its CyberNOT list - which means that those using CyberPatrol won't be able to see us (or even this story).

Don't believe us? Look here.

We have a few questions. The first would have to be: why? We write about IT, for chrissakes. We are the very people that tell everyone what is going right/wrong with the Internet. It seems somewhat perverse that we are therefore blocked.

Is this a conspiracy? Surely not. In fact, Surfcontrol's PR man seemed somewhat concerned when we called up to ask him if the company was really doing its job properly. Not that he's got back yet.

Another question. Is it appropriate that Surfcontrol should have - and exercise - the right to block from its customers publications which may write about...Surfcontrol.

If we were to point out, for example, that, in contradiction to what Surfcontrol said this morning, filtering software has not been as successful as everyone expected and the company looks ripe for a takeover and strip down - would it be able to simply cut us off?

Yes, it would. And despite the fact that it is proud of its openness and that you can request for a site to be re-reviewed, we couldn't find a direct telephone number for this service and our query regarding banned status found only an automated response.

We were alerted to Surfcontrol's action in placing The Register on its CyberNOT list by an employee of Citrix, bemoaning his inability to look at our site anymore.

By coincidence Citrix pays its PR company pots of money to get stories into, among others, The Reg. What if we were to offer Citrix, instead, a thin-client channel, complete with free sponsorship for a year. In return all we ask for is that it ditches Surfcontrol.

Unprofessional, huh? But nothing like as sinister as Surfcontrol blocking our site from view from its customers.

Explain yourself, Surfcontrol. And take us off your list. There: we asked nicely. Next time, tomorrow, we shall be much more forceful. ®

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