Allowed sites list is really needed

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  • Updated 2 months ago
A lot of safe sites get blocked and there's no way to unblock them other than to uninstall the program. I hope the work is being done, because it really affects my everyday pc use in a negative way.
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Вадим Гальченко

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Posted 6 months ago

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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hi Vadim. 
Thank you for your question. Our software is designed to block actual pornographic sites. Mistakes can occasionally occur but if a lot of safe sites are being blocked, then that might indicate a deeper issue and our software may not be functioning properly. I would recommend giving our Customer Service Team a call at 877-479-1119. Additionally, you can always chat with one of our representatives using the chat feature on our site. 

Thank you.

Dan
(Edited)
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EricP

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Dan, I have found that simply mentioning 'Usenet" will trigger a Highly Mature rating. Usenet is NOT an adult web site. It used to be a discussion forum like Reddit, until it got overrun with spam. There are troublesome groups there, just as in Reddit or Facebook, but it's not true of all of Usenet. A mere mention of "comp.lang.perl on Usenet" is flagged as HM. Can this be corrected?
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hi Eric. 
I am unfamiliar with "Usenet" personally. However if you believe that the filter is incorrectly blocking an otherwise safe site I would recommend submitting a reports question or a rating change request. Our team can investigate and if they determine it to be safe then the site's rating can be changed. If you are interested in pursuing that path I will provide a link below that describes how to do so. 

https://www.covenanteyes.com/support-articles/how-do-i-submit-a-report-question-or-a-rating-change-request/

Thank you. 

Dan

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Chris V

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We just started using Covenant Eyes, but like others, have found that the your blocking powered by CleanBrowsing is preventing access to a number of "safe" sites, even when set to Adult mode.  And there is no parental override and no way to mark those sites as "allowed sites."  Most recent one was www.halloweenexpress.com.  We love the screen shots and accountability, but if sites like these are being blocked with no recourse but to uninstall the software, I'm not sure it will work for us.
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Anthony

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I have another example.  I would be willing to share technical info (screen share, remote debug, etc) if that helps.

My university uses a site called Canvas (instructure.com) to manage grades and assignments and such.  We sign in to Canvas via Microsoft SSO.

Typical usage scenario:
  • Type "canvas.nku.edu" into address bar.  (This may silently/immediately redirect to "nku.instructure.com", I'm not 100% sure.)
  • I get redirected to "https://adfs.nku.edu/adfs/ls/?SAMLRequest=...", which shows a Microsoft single-sign-on page (Like this page, but with Northern Kentucky University branding)
  • I enter my password, and am redirected to nku.instructure.com (which appears to be the "real" domain for Canvas).
My issue:
  • I type "canvas.nku.edu" OR "nku.instructure.com" into my address bar.
  • The page redirects to "https://adfs.nku.edu/adfs/ls/?SAMLRequest=..." and loads for a while, but eventually fails.
    • Firefox shows an error "An error occurred during a connection to adfs.nku.edu. PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR"
    • Chrome shows the error "canvas.nku.edu didn’t send any data.   ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE"
  • While it is loading, Firefox shows "Performing a TLS handshake with adfs.nku.edu" in the corner sometimes.
  • I sometimes see a domain like "sso.canvaslms.com" pop up in the corner before getting the error connecting to adfs.nku.edu
  • I just noticed the same error when going to https://nku.edu (our homepage).  Is our entire university domain blocked?  If so, why?

This happens with both "Adult" and "Family" blocking.  The only way I have been able to sign on to Canvas is by rebooting my computer and opening Canvas immediately, (probably before Covenant Eyes starts running).

A whitelist to add *.nku.edu and *.instructure.com would be extremely useful, since at this point I essentially can't have Covenant Eyes on my primary computer because it prevents me from turning in assignments (and probably accessing my university's website, though I haven't thoroughly tested it).

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Anthony

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UPDATE:
It turns out in my case that there was a separate issue going on preventing me from accessing NKU's websites.  Warning: lots of techy details, as I'm an IT student :P

NKU hosts its own websites, and during the troubleshooting we noticed that the NKU domains we tested on a separate (no Covenant Eyes installed) device were resolving to 10.*.*.* IP addresses, since I was on the university Wi-Fi.  The CovenantEyes DNS servers were instead returning the public IP addresses of NKU's websites.  This is the correct IP address to use for 99.999% of cases, since the vast majority of users aren't connected to the my university Wi-Fi :)
The problem arises when my laptop, on the university Wi-Fi, attempts to connect to the university's public IP address.  I'm not enough of a networking expert to identify exactly why this doesn't work, but it's something I've personally seen before and it makes sense. 
It also makes sense that there's no way for CovenantEyes to reliably detect this scenario while also providing the DNS-based blocking that they do.  (They could theoretically try querying DNS from my laptop while also querying CleanBrowsing DNS and comparing the two, but there are a whole bunch of other issues that come with that and again, I'm in the extreme minority with this scenario.)

The bright side is, an easy workaround is to use mobile hotspot or any other network outside the university.  (Or edit your hosts file if you're brave/crazy enough)

I do want to express my gratitude to the CovenantEyes team who remoted in and troubleshooted for almost an hour trying to identify the issue and find a workaround.  I first spoke with Marcia (I think? I forget her exact name (even though it was at the top of my screen!), but if you see this I hope you know who you are!), and she pulled in another team member Joseph, and though they were unable to resolve my specific issue, they were very thorough in their investigation and explored all possible avenues, and we did determine that this was an issue that will only occur while I'm connected to the university Wi-Fi.
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Robert B, Official Rep

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Anthony,

Thank you for 1) the update and 2) the kind words about Marcia and Joseph.  As far as an update about the more basic issue of an "allow list," the idea has been steadily trickling in and the decision makers are discussing it. We'll post an update when we have something concrete to report.
(Edited)
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Brian Jones

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I have site https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com being blocked, and I don't understand why. I am looking to get access to it for my work.

Brian Jones
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Robert B, Official Rep

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Brian,

I've been informed that an adjustment was made. Unless there is another factor at work here, you should be able to access https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/. Please give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Robert
(Edited)
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Brian Jones

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Thanks Robert, I now have access.
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Brian Jones

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...wait, now I get 403 Forbidden.
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Robert B, Official Rep

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Clear the cache/browsing history and see if that helps. If it doesn't, please contact Customer Support via live chat or phone (989.720.8000). They'll be able to take a closer, and quicker, look at what's going on.
(Edited)
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Brian Jones

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That seems to have worked, I now have access again.