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mhurron 418 days ago | link | parent

Apple has always been against Porn on their devices. It's no surprise they're against it on their services as well.

Of course this could be a really poorly working spam filter, but I'm inclined to believe this isn't the case.



TallGuyShort 418 days ago | link

Apparently they're also against criticism of their products, but not against forging network traffic, which is why you get fake 404's if you try to visit "The Best Page in the Universe" from an Apple Store. Interesting sense of morality they have...

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mistercow 418 days ago | link

That's probably just done via host file (or otherwise at the DNS level) for filtering undesirable sites. It's rather sensationalist to call that "forging network traffic". I don't even know if you can reasonably call it "censorship". What Apple does with the internet in their own stores is both inconsequential and also totally their own business.

In contrast, deleting email based on content is neither inconsequential nor their own business.

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TallGuyShort 418 days ago | link

As trivial as it may be, I consider it censorship when they stop being transparent. Displaying "Blocked!" when someone tries to access the site is, as you said, totally their business. Implying a successful HTTP connection but a missing file? Still, as you said, inconsequential. The attitude that leads someone to make it look like a 404 instead of a blocked site? That's the same attitude that makes them block emails on the presence of a text string.

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rz2k 418 days ago | link

404 is an accurate statement by the browser when the distinct hosts file maps xmission.com to localhost. A 503 error would be a forged response. 404 is the expected type of response with two separate modularized/encapsulated systems where the browser merely reports that it found nothing from the typed in URL. Saying that the site is "blocked" would involve creating a special facility just for this purpose.

I don't think this is at all like the ISP redirection pages that were more clearly non compliant with IETF internet standards.

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revelation 418 days ago | link

404 is an error code sent by a HTTP daemon. Browsers don't reuse them.

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TallGuyShort 417 days ago | link

mistercow's response explains it better. If it redirected to localhost, and there was a certain filesharing service enabled, then it's possible a browser was listening but obviously didn't have the specific file requested.

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TallGuyShort 418 days ago | link

Thank you for the clarification - I stand corrected!

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mistercow 418 days ago | link

I don't know how they have it set up, but the laziest way to block pages is to add them to /etc/hosts mapping them to 127.0.0.1 . If you do that in OS X and Web Sharing (apache) is enabled (and it might be on their machines, although I hear Mountain Lion got rid of it?), then navigating to http://blocksite.com/whatever.html will give a 404 unless the web sharing directory actually contains the file "whatever.html". So it's very likely a simple matter of a lazy configuration rather than a nefarious attempt to make you think that the blocked site doesn't exist (which, really, what would be the motivation there?).

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eridius 418 days ago | link

Why are you inclined to believe this isn't the case? What possible reason would there be for Apple to care one whit about the email that goes to iCloud accounts? The only thing that makes any sense at all is virus/spam filtering.

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cryptoz 418 days ago | link

> What possible reason would there be for Apple to care one whit about the apps that are installed to your phone?

There, fixed that for you.

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eridius 418 days ago | link

No you didn't. They don't care what's on your phone. They care about two things:

1) What's on their store, and

2) How apps get on your phone, e.g. they must be codesigned by Apple.

The former is where they apply their content standards. The latter is a (very effective) security measure.

But, for example, Apple doesn't care in the slightest if I make a hardcore pornography app, sign it with my own developer cert, and install it on my phone. They only care if I try and submit it to their store. Similarly, they don't care if I open up Safari and visit some pornographic website, even if it uses HTML5 offline mode and gets added as an independent icon to my home screen.

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cryptoz 418 days ago | link

> But, for example, Apple doesn't care in the slightest if I make a hardcore pornography app, sign it with my own developer cert, and install it on my phone.

You don't know that. They don't know you've done this and they can't know you've done it, so how you do you if they care or not?

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eridius 418 days ago | link

You're acting like Apple has some vast conspiracy to eradicate objectionable material from the face of the planet. That's ridiculous.

Apple has been pretty open about the fact that they just care about what's on their storefront. The only reason that this effectively means they control what's on your phone is because most people can't install apps on their phone except via Apple's App Store. Although, as usual, everyone in the world is free to view whatever objectionable website they want.

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glhaynes 418 days ago | link

Because they feel (rightly or wrongly) that they can practically provide a better, more secure, etc. experience for their customers by controlling/curating what executes on their devices.

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cryptoz 418 days ago | link

Right. So it obviously stands to reason that they might think that's true for the email services too.

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taligent 418 days ago | link

It really doesn't.

It is illogical to block just this phrase and not the many others that would be far worse.

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lmm 417 days ago | link

What makes you think they're not blocking other phrases?

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eridius 418 days ago | link

The security implications of only allowing codesigned code to execute is completely divorced from the decision to control what content is allowed on Apple's storefront. The former limits what's on your phone, but does not make any judgement about the content. The latter makes a judgement about the content, but doesn't limit what you can run on your phone if you can find some other avenue to run stuff (e.g. self-signed with a dev cert, or web apps).

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mhurron 418 days ago | link

Because of Apples previous stance on porn on 'their' devices. I bet all sorts of spammy messages get marked as spam and filed in SPAM or JUNK, but porn related just disappears.

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matthuggins 418 days ago | link

I wouldn't call it a "spam filter" since it doesn't get placed into your spam folder.

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ams6110 418 days ago | link

Apple has always been against Porn on their devices.

Heh. Wonder how much of it is produced with iMovie, or FinalCut.

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