OIT: Omitting Intelligent Technology

As many of you may or may not know, recently Clarkson’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) implemented a firewall that blocks all incoming traffic to most machines. Being a Linux junkie, I have a number of machines in my dorm that act as servers of many types, from web servers for my projects and web development server, SVN/DARCS repositories for my code, a number of OSP servlets that I’ve been testing and having to connect to distant OSP instanced to test latency. However, OIT seems to want to stop me from being able to experiment and play around with networking and servers. Perhaps there is a psychological flaw for all IT administrators that makes them all be control freaks. I emailed OIT to have my servers removed from the firewall 2 weeks ago, and heard no reply. I re-emailed on Monday, and finally I heard back, that I need to fill out this form (for each machine), and get it signed by a professor before they will unblock me.

I find this absurd, do we now need professor’s permission to use our computers? Is OIT going to implement a list of acceptable websites we can visit? Do we need an academic reason to think certain thoughts? I find this completely off par with Clarkson’s condoning of partying, however, we need a professor’s consent to open a port on our computer to the outside world?

I hope that OIT will rethink their firewall policies, and see how it affects students. Also, when they make network wide changes, they should notify the students, and also update their website which still shows that only a few ports are being filtered.

Peace and no packets,

Ranok

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