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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sconfire's Avatar
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    Exclamation Fire station heats up after porn found on computers

    Fire station heats up after porn found on computers
    Associated Press

    Published December 24, 2003 HOT25

    ANDERSON, Ind. -- It got a little too hot at the fire station, so Anderson Fire Chief Mike McKinley pulled the plug on Internet access.

    A computer technician discovered adult pornography sites on the hard drive after it crashed.

    McKinley immediately blocked Internet access. Computers in other fire stations are also being reviewed and will be reformatted.

    ``We are checking to see what has and hasn't happened,'' McKinley said.

    The fire department may have a hard time determining who accessed the porn sites.

    ``Unless someone steps forward, we have no way of proving it,'' Capt. Dan Dykes said.

    McKinley and incoming Fire Chief J.R. Rosencrans said they planned to meet with all firefighters to tell them pornography was not allowed.
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    When are these dumb arses going to learn...

    You always window wash after looking at naked pictures...

    http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/w...sher/index.php

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    Good policy. Coverup after unpermitted activity.

    For those departments that would like to do it the right way, written acknowledgement of the Department Internet Access policy should be obtained from every employee receiving the PRIVELEGE of Internet access.

    A designated employee, with the requisite knowledge, should serve as System Administrator and routinely and randomly audit the system for unauthorized website access.

    A zero tolerance policy, clearly stated, should be the norm. Anything less leaves the FD open to legal problems if the wrong situation occurs.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    It would have been too easy to assign everyone a log on.
    I,m sure that the email filter wasn't picking up the 40-50 emails a day about "male enhancement" that was getting sent. No hints there.
    You have three choices; allow access to everyone, but control it; restrict access to a few; or no one has access.
    Foolish and stupid are at play on this one.
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ff7134's Avatar
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    When we recently got High-speed braodband..everyone had to sign a computer use policy. Then everyone got thier own login that the Chief can check each persons profile for inappropriate websites. But it is mostly a monitor yourself program. You can alos have a firewall, but those are a pain in the butt.
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    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Viruses are everywhere, but are especially rampant in porn downloads. Some of them can cause major damage; some of them are just annoying. Aside from the right/wrong issue, a good anti-virus program should be used and updated often to protect your computer. It's not a bad idea to scan your downloads, either, even if it means slowing the machine down somewhat.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Good policy. Coverup after unpermitted activity.

    Get a life.

    And for the record there is no internet access or computer at my VFD.

    Merry Christmass.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES


    Get a life.

    And for the record there is no internet access or computer at my VFD.

    Merry Christmass.



    This is not terribly difficult to prevent from happening. A router with a built-in firewall can be setup with keywords to filter out. It works wonders. Having individual user accounts on the computer AND DISABLING THE GUEST ACCOUNT is also an easy deterent. It also allows people to keep their personal buisness (other than porn) in their own account rather than one giant shared one for everybody.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nmfire





    This is not terribly difficult to prevent from happening. A router with a built-in firewall can be setup with keywords to filter out. It works wonders. Having individual user accounts on the computer AND DISABLING THE GUEST ACCOUNT is also an easy deterent. It also allows people to keep their personal buisness (other than porn) in their own account rather than one giant shared one for everybody.
    Fine and good...

    Now explain to me what this has to do with me and my VFD?

    Merry Christmass.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    Now explain to me what this has to do with me and my VFD?
    Have no clue - but after reading the entire thread to this point (twice) - The only person who specifically mentions you and/or your VFD is you. Looks to me like you're the one who keeps dragging them into the conversation but that's just my opinion.


    As to the topic at hand - both my VFD & Volly Rescue Squad have broadband access. Hardly anyone ever uses the computer at the firehouse so no policy has been established.

    On my RS - We have a simple policy - if you wouldn't print it out & show it off in a meeting - don't look at it on our systems. That applies to anything from bank statements to porn.

    Also - our system(s) are behind a router/firewall and also run a software firewall on each system as well as up to date Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware software.

    Merry Christmas
    Last edited by N2DFire; 12-24-2003 at 09:55 PM.
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    Interesting topic.

    This highlights another case where the legal system has yet to catch up to technological advances.

    The article isn't sufficently clear whether the computers were on a government server or independently hooked up to the internet from a phone line. Also who pays for such service? The men or the City?

    Some of you might be interested to read JOHNSON v. CTY. OF LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPT., (C.D.Cal. 1994)865 F. Supp. 1430.

    The ruling came before the internet was as widespread as today. So therefore the relevancy isn't clear as it delt with magazines and print medium.

    However what is clear is that when firemen are on their own time(after traditional working hours in your firehouse if so perscribed.) they have the right to read and watch and discuss any topic that they see fit.

    Now what is pornography? Is it the hardcore stuff? Sure, but how about playboy, Maxim or even the SI swimsuit issue? What about Art Books, or Photography books? What about a National Geographic? Or even the cover of Time Magainzine? Or a Sears Catologe with underwear and lingerie adds?

    "If it is Speech that can fairly be considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community is constitutionally protected."

    I've seen a number of anti porn-policies from Fire Depts, some I've worked for and others that friends worked for. None met constitutional muster and all were null and void.

    I worked for a dept that tried to ban all potentially offensive TV shows, magazines, news papers, etc. A call to the ACLU changed their mind and policy as they infringed on our inailiable constitutional rights.

    This is an interesting and important subject for firefighters and fire Chiefs alike as they should all know their rights and also for Chiefs so they can avoid costly litigation.

    I encourage anyone who is interested becoming educated on this subject to research the above court case and ruling.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-24-2003 at 10:07 PM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES


    Fine and good...

    Now explain to me what this has to do with me and my VFD?

    Merry Christmass.
    Idiot. The " " were directed to you. The rest of it was regarding the situation at hand. None of it has anything to do with your VFD. I think your the only one that apprently had a hard time understanding it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Geez Boys,

    It's Christmas (or Christmass, whatever). How about a little good will towards men?
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  14. #14
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default Lets try to seperate fiction from reality

    please allow me to seperate some of the speculations from reality:

    porn sites can spread viruses. so can other sites. examples of non-porn site are the realphx and talksocks viruses. usually the viruses are activeX or javascript viruses that are easy to remove, once you recognize you have it (often by clearing the cache). An even easier way to spread and recieve viruses is by using Peer-to-Peer software, like Kazaa and Morpheus. Spyware often comes through these programs too.

    to the best of my knowledge, routers with firewalls CANNOT filter out certain words. If you want to be technical (or are just a big geek), routers work on the 3rd and 4th level of the OSI model. web browsers operate at the 6th or 7th. router firewalls generally deal with the securing of ports and limiting access that way. however I believe some routers and switches can prevent access to certain websites. router firewalls generally deal with the securing of ports and limiting access that way.

    a software firewall CAN filter out filter out certain words, as they operate at the 6th or 7th level too. however they can accidently limit what you can acess. and you can't lock out every dirty word.

    anti-virus is a good thing to have on all computers. however, even more important is to keep computers up to date with all the windows update critical patches. this can often limit your vulnerability to viruses. but an anti-virus software (with a valid subscription to ensure you get the latest updates of the virus .dat files) is neccessary in light of the recent virus outbreaks.

    assigning each person an individual login will work. however, in a dept with 100 people, with people joining and leaving, on multiple computers (each computer needs it's own account per person), this can be a lot of work for whomever acts as the system administrator. plus, depending on how you set up the accounts, they can provide not enough access or too much access to get work done.

    in addition, if someone knows what they are doing, they can erase all traces of them surfing certain sites. that is assuming they don't track each and every site that you and everone else access, which can be a huge pain in the *** as well as a s**tload of work for the sysAdmin.

    ok, enough technical geekiness.

    As fred pointed out, the definition of pornography can be a gray area. well, let me rephrase that. what someone finds sexually arousing or involving scantly clad women isn't always pornography. but it can still be considered inappropriate for the work place.
    On my RS - We have a simple policy - if you wouldn't print it out & show it off in a meeting - don't look at it on our systems
    again, what I consider proper and what other consider proper are two different things. is it proper for me to show the guys a picture of my girlfriend? I will gladly show everyone what she looks like, because she's absolutly stunning. and I would have no problems printing out the pic and showing it at a meeting. I also have a pic or 3 of an ex of mine in a bikini. and she looks damn good in it, and I don't mind showing anone what she looks like (and she has posted it on the web for all to see). and again, I wouldn't have a problem printing it out and showing it at a meeting. now some other people on my squad might disagree, but I woudln't have a problem doing it.

    I love having broadband at my station, both fire and rescue squad. it's a good way to kill time when on a long standby, as well as do research for academic things. and I can chat on AIM with all my out of state friends.

    I have no problems with the female body. In fact, I think it's one of the greatest items in nature. But I must agree that if you want to check out porn, do it on your own time, not at the station.

    sorry this post is so long, I wanted to try to be complete in my technical explanation. oh, and for my credentials in this area, I have a BS in Information Management & Technology from Syracuse University, as well as have worked at Computing and Media Services of Syracuse University.
    Last edited by DrParasite; 12-25-2003 at 04:20 AM.
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    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lets try to seperate fiction from reality

    Originally posted by DrParasite
    examples of non-porn site are the realphx and talksocks viruses.

    to the best of my knowledge, routers with firewalls CANNOT filter out certain words.

    assigning each person an individual login will work. however, in a dept with 100 people, with people joining and leaving, on multiple computers (each computer needs it's own account per person), this can be a lot of work for whomever acts as the system administrator. plus, depending on how you set up the accounts, they can provide not enough access or too much access to get work done.
    Three quickie's:

    1. I'd consider realphx and talkstocks to be more trojan horses and adware, as they do not damage any files. Granted, they are annoying (and I'd have to disagree, they're often not that easy to completely remove for most).

    2. I just purchased a wireless firewall/router capable of keyword filtering (albeit in the http address... client-level control is needed for content filtering typically), activex/cookie/site tracking, e-mail alerting of sysadmin, restrictions by time/day/url/computer, etc.

    3. And if your IT person is capable, they could establish login scripts so that user accounts (log-on's, passwords, security) are managed at a server level, and merely verified at client log-on on individual computers if you have multiple sites/stations.

    I think George summed it up quite well.
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-25-2003 at 05:08 AM.
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    My .02 cents. If you have internet access at the station, it must be controlled (with something like WebSense) or, at the very least monitored (with something like Spyagent) regardless of who's using it.
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  17. #17
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    I think that George & nmfire struck a nerve!
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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I should have been more specific. When I said "keyword filtering", I did mean keywords in the URL. We use a Netgear VPN Firewall router at our "complex" and it does a pretty good job. You can just make up most of the keywords fairly easily. Just start typing all the dirty words you can think of into the keyword list and you can block a lot of the mainstream sites that have those words in the URL. If you know there are specific sites you want to block, you can type the complete URL into it. I also use it to block access to the sites where you can download the P2P programs like Kazaa. Keywords that will match the spyware and adware programs are also on the list. doubleclick.net and other advertisement companies are blocked as well. It is setup to log when a workstation tried to access a blocked URL or Keyword. It will show the date/time and IP of the computer trying to access it.

    I don't do this, but you can block the web based e-mail sites (yahoo mail, hotmail, AOL, etc) if you don't want people doing that.

    Leaving only the ports you need open also prevents P2P applications from functioning if someone does download it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  19. #19
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    Good discussion for the most part.

    For those who feel that if there is internet access to a firehouse that it must be controled or monitored (Scott I'm just using your words since they are well chosen not attacking your feelings). Why is that? What are you monitoring for and what are your reasons?

    As Dr Parasite shows it is hard to monitor these sites.

    My Personal experince from a former dept showed that without a foul up by the person veiwing such sites was required before anyone new he was watching such sites. This required someone telling the city's IT people to look deep into the system to find who might be looking at these sites after a pop up showed up when he didn't erase the history or cookies. The cops where doing it for months without knowing the city had rules against it. And no one knew.(except a few of us)

    Do you monitor the books that members read in their down time between runs? Or magazines?

    What if I were to read the The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx? Or perhaps some of the Essential Works of Lenin .

    While I am not a Communist or Socalist, I do feel that it is perfectly legal to read such texts whenever one should choose. (I've read the first one in college)

    A truckie in my house is not any of the above however his thoughts and beliefs are more in line with the above writers than those of Thomas Jefferson. Do I care what his thoughts are or the books he reads? No as long as he is there to vent the roof or force the door then what complaints do I have?

    Do I or you agree with such writings, perhaps no, but the law of the land allows such freedom.

    As I read some comments I see that persons feel that it should be at the least monitored. Then for what I ask are you monitoring for? And if so what is defined as prohibited sites?

    As some depts policies say: Any person man or woman in any state of disrobement or any site which contributes to sexual arrousal. Well as most of you are aware there are all sorts of fetishes that involve feet and those that come from watching things breaking and also arson and fire. There are many paid advertisers on Firehouse.com and other FD websites and in Magazines that have girls in bikinis in front of fire apparatus in the back of the mags...

    I think many of you can see my point that it is prohibitively difficult to ban offensive matterial since it is imposible to list everything possible.

    And if someone is viewing something that you disagree with then what? What then do you plan on doing? Who decides if it is prohibited? How does one do this in the face of the constiution of the United States?

    And the Federal case law supports the fact that you can't ban any particular type of material or writings. Especially in Firehouses' because the nature of the living situation unique to the firehouse.

    I am not attacking anyone, I am just trying to further the discussion and the exchange of ideas here. Lets try to keep this civil as this discourse means more than what color strobes do you have?

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-25-2003 at 03:41 PM.

  20. #20
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    If I recall corectly, sexual harrassment charges have been filed against FDepts for a man reading a "girly" mag. and another for a PIC in a locker. Your constitutional rights don't mean much at times
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