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Websense makes hash of MS classification

Mistook downloads for doobies

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Microsoft's software download site was briefly categorised as a marijuana-related site and blocked by censorware outfit Websense on Monday. Websense blamed human error for the slip-up (or should that be splif-up), which it was able to quickly correct.

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Here is the news - Bong

"For a brief period of time on Monday, the Websense database categorized www.microsoft.com/downloads incorrectly. Our system detected the error immediately," Websense said in a statement.

"The error was corrected via a Websense database feature called real-time database update (a free service included with the latest version of our product - Websense Enterprise v6.1) within approximately 15 minutes of discovery," it added.

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Patrick Swisher, director of database ops at Websense, explained that one of a number of new URL locations on Microsoft's download site was mis-labeled by one of its staff. "Other variants were correctly identified. Somebody slipped. The person involved has a good heart and not up to any mischief, even though it might look that way."

Only a few people were blocked by the misclassification, according to Swisher, who said such mistakes are "rare". ®

Many thanks to Reg reader Richard for drawing this amusing SNAFU to our attention. He came upon the error while trying to download components needed for an x64 CAD application.

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