It Was Inevitable: Location-Based Porn Filters

Need to control what content gets through that iPhone based on where the user is standing? Welcome the very government-y sounding “Mobile Active defence” from M.A.D. Partners, LLC.

This mobile firewall with “contents filtering mechanisms” enforces controls based upon the physical location of the mobile device using the company’s Mobile Enterprise Compliance and Security Server (MECS) for controlled access, security and compliance enforcement mechanism echoing “fixed” policies.

With the addition of geolocation controls, Mobile Active defence (M.A.D.) offers organisations around the world a new range of flexibility over the content filtering and access rights of iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablet devices.

Says the company:

Government and private organisations face an increasing risk to their smartphones and tablet devices as employees travel around the globe. Often the cultural requirements of certain countries or regions differ radically. For example, Saudi Arabia and many other countries deem any adult content to be extremely offensive. With MECS’ geolocation, the enforcement policies automatically change when arriving in Saudi Arabia, or any other location that has similar cultural sensitivities.

Rob Smith, co-founder and CTO of M.A.D., remembers a meeting in which a U.S. government agency had a specific request.

“They essentially asked us to have a virtually unlimited number of firewalls for each iPhone and iPad, so they could enforce different security policies depending upon the physical location of the user’s device.”

Smith subsequently met with Middle East representatives who had similar requests for Regional Location Controls. “I showed them Playboy.com on my iPad with no geo-enforced controls. Then I turned GEI controls on and Playboy and other sites returned a blank page. Needless to say, this is exactly what they were looking for.”

The applications for M.A.D.’s geolocation enforcement are many. Healthcare companies require different rules if doctors are at a medical facility or when travelling. Some companies need to restrict access to corporate assets when their employees are travelling to places where industrial espionage is a concern.

MECS’ geolocation contains three different components:

  • real-time mapping
  • geo-location, rule-base option
  • reporting

These elements can also add up to a cost savings, according to the company. Consider travelling employees for instance: data costs can skyrocket, but by restricting access to certain capabilities based upon location, these can now be kept in check (at the risk of pissing of your people, however – Playboy notwithstanding).

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