Election 2016, News

SecureCanes Wi-Fi blocks Trump website, IT cites technical issues

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s website appeared to be blocked on campus, according to students from UM College Republicans.

The student organization tweeted a picture Friday night showing Trump’s website was blocked while using SecureCanes, the university’s secure Wi-Fi.

“The site you are attempting to visit was found to be unsafe or pose harm to your system and/or device,” the page blocker said.

Chris Dalton, president of College Republicans, told The Miami Hurricane that different members within his organization tried entering the website to no avail.

“You can’t see the website. We had multiple people try the website from different locations around campus and it was not working,” he said.

The student organization took issue with the block because SecureCanes users could still access the website for Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Members said that they can’t see Trump’s website but they can see Clinton’s,” Dalton said. “This isn’t even about Trump, the website should not have been blocked.”

A statement issued by UM spokesperson Megan Ondrizek said:

“The issue was addressed immediately and we whitelisted the site as soon as this was brought to our attention. We are still investigating the main cause, but it appears that there was malicious activity on the host server which caused it to be blocked automatically.”

Ondrizek said the host server was the problem, not the website itself. The Information Technology (IT) department said it uses a service called Spamhaus to vet servers.

“UM subscribes to a service called Spamhaus, which is an organization that tracks spam and related cyber threats such as phishing, malware, and botnets. Spamhaus provides realtime actionable threat intelligence which UM uses to protect its network.”

TMH reporters who tried accessing the website Saturday on their desktops or laptops through SecureCanes Wi-Fi were able to access Trump’s website. Dalton said those who tried on their phones through the school’s Wi-Fi were still unable to.

An IT worker who did not want to be named said the website was not intentionally blocked, but it was due to a technical issue if the website could be accessed on different devices.

 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

September 10, 2016

Reporters

Marcus Lim


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.