What if Covenant Eyes had their own proxy server to support devices incapable of running CE?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Under Consideration
I've seen several posts about Accountability for numerous devices, such as Kindle/Nook, Nintendo DS, Wii, Linux, etc... New devices are coming out all the time and it seems impossible for CE or any other company to keep up. However, most, if not all, devices have the capability to use a proxy server for an internet connection. What if Covenant Eyes provided a proxy server that supported/required authentication, such as the user's CE username and password? Their internet activity would be logged when they go through this proxy server.

The tricky part would be forcing users to go through this proxy, but I think it's something worth thinking about. This has the advantage of being platform-independent and is a catch-all solution for the wide array of devices out there. I also think it would be entirely reasonable to charge an additional fee per month to use this service, as running a proxy server has a cost to it I'm sure.
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Chance

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  • excited about the possibilities

Posted 7 years ago

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Dave Caswell, Developer

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Thanks for the idea, Chance.

This is something that we done quite a lot of research on as we evaluated potential solutions for various mobile devices. The deal-breaker we found was in forcing the device to use the proxy, as you pointed out. As platforms evolve, this is an idea that we will keep evaluating, as possibly the ability to force the use of a proxy may present itself.

We did receive a similar suggestion that could address this issue. The idea was posted by one of our employees here and I'm surprised it hasn't had more discussion.

Check out his idea for Complete home based accountability:
http://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/cov...

Thanks for the discussion and please keep the suggestions coming!
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aggieben

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Dave, why would you not do this? Users with devices that support covenant eyes can use the application and they're forced to go through your system but for people who don't have devices that supported like iOS a proxy would be a far better solution than what's possible right now. You may not be able to force them to use the proxy, but why not let them make their own arrangements to enforcement mechanism on themselves when there's no other alternative?
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Joshua Smith

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I like this proxy idea too, but I can see the challenges (I am a software developer).

The difficulty with internet filtering and content is that devices and software aren't designed with filtering in mind. Filtering is not a "first class" feature. This is especially true of the mobile devices. You can't tap into the networking stack of the phones, which forces you to come up with creative ways to gather web traffic. Unfortunately, it is not foolproof. In the iOS case, all it takes is one app that includes the built in web browser, and now you are surfing outside of the CE browser. And this is very common -- even Google Maps has the browser embedded in its app with a one-click away experience.

I'm not sure how this can be solved, aside from putting pressure on companies to build in filtering capabilities when designing device software. And that means convincing people at Apple, Microsoft, and Google that such an investment in worthwhile.
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aggieben

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Good to have more developers weighing in. I thought I was the only one.

However, this doesn't make much sense: the point of using proxies is to leave applications and devices unaware of their presence, but still manipulate or observe network traffic in some way, and ultimately this is the only way CE is ever going to get multi-device, multi-app coverage.
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bjgross

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I would love a proxy service. You could also consider selling your own router with built in rules.
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tiapa

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I use CE for the filter and accountability features. I use OpenDNS in my router as a secondary filter for my own moral reasons.  OpenDNS filters more items like alchohol, violence, visual search engines. It is not an accountability program but it adds a second layer of peace-of-mind.
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Patrick Smith, Official Rep

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Thanks for weighing in. This is under consideration presently.
Patrick
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firstknight117

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Just adding my vote for a proxy service, as I have at least one device (Windows Phone) which is completely missing browser protection or accountability from anyone. I'm sure there are many of us who would be grateful for a proxy service!
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Chris

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Here's another vote for a proxy server or some other device-independent solution. CE for linux would be great, too.
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Sparticuz

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+1 on the proxy, The ONLY reason I'm using Windows is for CE, otherwise I'd be on Arch Linux. (My wife and I would love to be able to protect our Roku as well)
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Patrick Smith, Official Rep

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Heard and noted. We're working on something along these lines. Stay tuned.