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Accordance 12 bypasses pornography filter and productivity software

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#1 ricketyroad

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 03:48 PM

I currently use Accordance 9 on MacOS Sierra, and given that the newest version of MacOS would not run Accordance 9, I tried downloading Accordance 12 Lite and realized that it has a browser. Accordance 9 does not have such a web browser (that I am aware of). I also use Cold Turkey (www.getcoldturkey.com), which allows one to set white and black lists for sites to block and to block sites on a schedule. After I realized that Accordance 12 has a web browser, I tested it to see if the sites blocked by Cold Turkey would also be blocked inside Accordance 12 in its web browser. They are not. I contacted Cold Turkey's developer (Felix), and he indicated that he does not have access to block web sites in Accordance. That alone would stop me from upgrading to Accordance 12, and would keep me from upgrading to the newest version of MacOS.

 

My parents have the Covenant Eyes pornography filter on their computer, and I wanted to see if Accordance 12 would also fail to block a site that the pornography filter would block. YouTube was added to the block list for Covenant Eyes, and Covenant Eyes would block a YouTube video in a regular browser, but I was able to access the video through Accordance 12's web browser. In short, Accordance would allow someone to get past Covenant Eyes pornography filter. I have not tested the web browser with Net Nanny or some other pornography filters.

 

Accordance, I was somewhat shocked that you would include a web browser in your latest version of Accordance that takes away someone's ability to use productivity software that helps them get work done and that would let them bypass the protection of a pornography filter program. That is shocking. You need to offer a version of Accordance without a web browser. Will you do that? If you refuse to do it, and if you continue to let the program be as it is, I will make it my personal mission to get stories published on different Christian news sites in the hope that you would be shamed into protecting the purity and productivity of those who wish to study the Bible without distractions and the sexual temptations that the internet offers.


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#2 dandennison

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

I can confirm going to http://www.covenanteyesfilter.com yields the intended result on Accordance 12.3.6rc1


Edited by dandennison, 13 October 2019 - 05:00 PM.

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#3 Jordan S

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 05:26 PM

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a parent, I'm always concerned about these sorts of things.

 

The addition of a web browser to Accordance was so that our users can more easily access sites like the Dead Sea Scrolls Library, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae or the multitude of resources within various theological library databases, all without leaving the Accordance program. When a website is viewed within Accordance, it gives Accordance control of the contextual (right-click) menu which allows the user to move back and forth between Accordance resources and those on the website. In this way you can read and search Scripture or look up words in a lexicon within Accordance. The Accordance web browser also detects scripture references.

 

I can't speak to the web filters you mentioned, but I'm using Accordance 12.3.6 and Qustodio's web filter seems to work as expected. It blocked the website and I received the notification in my email inbox.

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 4.56.54 PM.png   653.73KB   2 downloads

 

 

 

 

 


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#4 Unix

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 06:40 PM

Three IMPORTANT points I'm making:
1) It is very common for ANY category of software to have incompatibilities with other softwares, this can be complex and impossible to resolve, by this I'm NOT referring to that it bypasses many of those filters and productivity softwares, but I'm referring to that, but I'm referring to that it is solvable by that there ARE two solutions. You can not have any software that is completely free of any kind of incompatibilities whatsoever, an incompatility can also be things like insufficient integration. By that I'm certainly not insensitive to the concern, I just need to make these three points in my comment right here.
2) Jordan S has the actual excellent solution: Since Qustodi's software has compatibility with Accordance EVERYONE who need the filters and productivity help, need to switch to Qustodio! It is very common that softwares have prerequisites, any very complex software (which Accordance 12 is) has prerequisites. Qustodio will hereby be officially listed as Accordance's prerequisite! Staff: Please update System Requirements!
3) Besides, and this is fairly important to point out in this context: All users with either an Accordance 12, Accordance 13, 14... license and so and so fort who never bought Accordance version 11 license can and may request Customer Service to for free add them a license to the Accordance 11 engine, just request with a somewhat important reason/need for Accordance 11; and EVERYONE who need it, except those who only bought version 10 or earlier or can't/won't or can't afford to upgrade to version which is current at any given time, everyone, is welcome to make such a request for version 11! As You can see it is also the version I use myself, and since it will load all my purchases I suffer no direct harm or detriment by using version 11 instead of a more current iteration. Since version 11 doesn't have a web-browser You won't be browsing the web with it! If You already have version 12 or later major version release installed - just uninstall it first (manually if needed), before You run the version 11 Installer. Just merely running the version 11 Installer first before You uninstalled a later major version, won't work. If You have a fresh machine or one on which Accordance 12 or later has never been installed, You don't need to uninstall any Accordance version first (unsure though if the version 11 Installer will recognize version 9 or earlier as installed on the machine, I doubt it does with very old versions so it may be safer to first uninstall Your version 9 or earlier software first before You attempt to run version 11 Installer):

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a parent, I'm always concerned about these sorts of things.

[...]

 

I can't speak to the web filters you mentioned, but I'm using Accordance 12.3.6 and Qustodio's web filter seems to work as expected. It blocked the website and I received the notification in my email inbox.

 

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2019-10-13 at 4.56.54 PM.png

 



#5 Michael Hunt

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:02 PM

Accordance, I was somewhat shocked that you would include a web browser in your latest version of Accordance that takes away someone's ability to use productivity software that helps them get work done and that would let them bypass the protection of a pornography filter program. That is shocking. You need to offer a version of Accordance without a web browser. Will you do that? If you refuse to do it, and if you continue to let the program be as it is, I will make it my personal mission to get stories published on different Christian news sites in the hope that you would be shamed into protecting the purity and productivity of those who wish to study the Bible without distractions and the sexual temptations that the internet offers.

 

 

Hi Ricketyroad,

 

I think you will find that OakTree desires to help people understand the scriptures and takes what they (the scriptures) have to say seriously. This has been my observation as a long time Accordance user. It is also what I see drives them to build the software that we use for this end. 

 

I read that you are passionate about this issue (and rightly so), but I also know that incompatibilities arise between different elements of software from time to time during the development process. Nearly always this is not intentional and where it is, it is more often than not signalled to the user base. I'm glad to see you have raised the issue and Accordance have responded. I just wanted to say that those who struggle with an addiction that you are concerned about often feel a great deal of shame. I'm not sure that OakTree actions (at least not of yet) warrant a threat of naming and shaming.

 

In Him,

 

Michael 


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#6 lesterchua

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 12:56 AM

As a question for @Rocky road,

 

Why would you penalize Accordance for not being compatible with another software, when a software that advertise to being able to block all kinds of access actually does not?

 

Is it not time to get another monitoring software that does?

 

The threat to slander and blackmark the reputation of the Accordance Team seems strange from the perspective that Accordance never advertised that you are able restrict access.

 

On the other hand, It seems fair to say that the blocking software you tried out did not work as advertised.


Edited by lesterchua, 14 October 2019 - 12:57 AM.

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#7 Paul Meiklejohn

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 02:54 AM

l agree with all the points of lesterchua above.  

 

Ricketyroad, I do feel that your approach is rather harsh and threatening.  On every occasion I have found Accordance staff to be extremely approachable and sensitive to the needs of its customers. I'm pretty sure a phone call to one of the technicians would have sufficed.   I applaud your desire to protect your family from unsuitable media content, but I question your lack of diplomacy and grace.  

 

Accordance is an excellent company to do business with.


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#8 jarcher

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 08:47 AM

Ricketyroad, can I encourage a little self-examination? Neither OakTree or Covenant Eyes is ultimately responsible for your sexual purity.

 

Unplug your computer from the Internet. Unlike other Bible study software Accordance does not require Internet access.


Edited by jarcher, 14 October 2019 - 09:22 AM.

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#9 lesterchua

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 09:56 PM

As a question for @Rocky road,

ricketyroad, I just realised that my phone's autocorrect incorrectly fixed what I typed. I was not trying to be snarky. Apologies if that came across as offensive.

#10 Alistair

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:13 AM

I was quite disturbed by the tone and content of the OP, as it seems to me that blackmail, libel and defamation are not only illegal in most countries but would be considered unethical behaviour and certainly dishonouring to Christ.

 

Still, taking the posting at face value I was prepared to write a considerate reply addressing the concerns raised in a fair way.

 

I was also going to comment that, the issue of viewing pornography is not dealt with by blocking it, shaming those who do, and encouraging them to fill their time with hobbies (which seems to be the approach of Covenant Eyes as I could gather from their website). The root issue is lust, which is sin, and no software can deal with that.

 

But as the OP indicated that he uses his parents' computer, I was concerned that he might be a minor/child, and it would be indelicate if not illegal to discuss such matters with a child, especially without the knowledge or consent of his parents/legal guardians.

 

So I will leave it there, except to ask, does this forum have a lower age limit? If not, should it?


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#11 dandennison

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:36 AM

Two things:

 

1) Non-SSL/TLS traffic is clearly blocked in Accordance using Covenant Eyes. I can attest to this. Further, I *think* SSL/TLS traffic is blocked also but I refrain from testing it outside of their official test page. So AFAICT, I think the discussion is moot.

 

2) As for minors, I started using BBSes at age 9 (because the internet that was didn't really have widespread dialup) and in those days had QuickVerse for DOS. I don't think a lower age limit makes sense in any way for the forums. God's Word should be the light for the paths of those on this board, and His Word is clear about issues of sexual temptation. For those of you in ministry, it's well acknowledged that these issues discredit and destroy ministerial occupations as it is the work of the enemy to do so, so I see little risk in the Accordance forum being a place to turn the hearts of minors to sin.



#12 דָנִיאֶל

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 10:49 AM

I use none of these tools but I looked into them out of cat mortifying curiosity.

 

These are basically DNS based filters for the most part. Correctly configured they will inhibit conversion of names (like google.com, blabla.org etc) into IP addresses which is what the communications are actually addressed with. This is way below the Accordance browser. So basic filtering should just work, as people have stated.

 

However, ConvenantEyes and Cold Turkey both also use browser extensions to achieve additional function. I am pretty sure that those additional functions will just fail because Accordance browser, as far as I can tell does not support the deployment of plugins. Now, I could be wrong on this, and Oaktree could confirm one way or the other but I see no way to manage extensions in the Accordance browser.  All this to say that I expect that functions dependent upon browser plugins will not be available. If the OP could describe precisely what was attempted and what failed then perhaps an answer could be provided. At this point there is simply too little data to say much.

 

Thx

D


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#13 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:15 AM

Hi,

 

I think that ricketyroad may just be requesting protection against unfiltered search results, which inadvertently might contain porn images. For instance, I know someone who recently looked up a certain animal for a class project and up popped some porn images, and who remarked that it was a good thing it happened at home and not in class. Perhaps ricketyroad is only concerned about something similar happening. I don't use the Accordance Web browser, but if the things he points out about these filters are true, even to some extent, then I would be worried about using it. If it can't filter out unwanted search results, then all of a sudden I could have God's word in one pane, and an unwanted porn image in another. Perhaps I am wrong, but I don't think ricketyroad himself is worried about studying the Word on one side of his workspace and searching porn sites on the other. I think he is shocked that there is a small chance that something like this could happen inadvertently. And, perhaps, that word might get out that the Accordance browser lacks some of the parental controls and filters that protect children (and adults) from the web. I think it would be good to incorporate as many filters as possible to put the browser on par with others. Surely, we don't want anyone to buy Accordance for its browser, do we?

 

Regards,

 

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Edited: "brower" to "browser" x2


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 15 October 2019 - 01:38 PM.

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#14 Diatheke76

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 06:19 AM

Wouldn’t a porn site be blocked only if you try to access it? If you don’t try to access one, then there’s no need for a filter.
Unless you’re getting bombarded with crazy pop ups online, but then again, what kind of pages would one need to be visiting to be bombarded with porn pop ups?
I don’t have any problems with using a web browser without a “porn blocker” because I don’t need it and the pages I visit are safe.
Now bring on version 13 of Accordance! 👍😁👌
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#15 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:36 AM

I had not thought about this issue before ricketyroad brought it up, but when I think about it, I support the idea of not leaving the Accordance browser the way it is (but not the idea of completely removing the browser). I rejoice that some men in this post seem to be saying that they themselves are not tempted by porn. But, the stats are astonishing. Depending on which survey you read, up to 1/2 or more pastors/ministers and up to 2/3 – 3/4 of Christian men view porn on a daily to monthly basis, and, more than half of the men in churches seek counselling for it. The stats are also astonishing for women and minors. On that basis alone, it seems that the Accordance browser should offer the same kinds of protections that other browsers do, i.e., content blocking, parental controls, and filter programs. It seems that a lot of people need them. The Accordance Workspace should be a sacred space and a safe place.

 

Regards,

 

Michel



#16 jarcher

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:40 AM

To be extremely clear on this... the Accordance browser uses the system proxy settings which is one of the main ways content filtering systems are designed to be used.

 

In light of that... Accordance does support most content filtering solutions.


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#17 Joe Weaks

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 11:13 AM

People… I've just discovered it's even worse than we knew, the range of offensive material now viewable within Accordance:

Attached File  Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 11.16.46 AM.png   613.12KB   13 downloads


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#18 Paul Meiklejohn

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

People… I've just discovered it's even worse than we knew, the range of offensive material now viewable within Accordance:

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2019-10-16 at 11.16.46 AM.png

 

Now that is very scary!  :blink:   :D


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#19 Alistair

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 12:11 PM

Please will people who use content filtering system kindly list here which ones actually will work with Accordance?

 

That's the sort of factual data we actually need.

 

Thanks


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#20 A. Smith

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 12:57 PM

People… I've just discovered it's even worse than we knew, the range of offensive material now viewable within Accordance:

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2019-10-16 at 11.16.46 AM.png

Joe wins the thread. Close it down. There's no point in posting anything else here. 


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