Research: Online Service Provider Assessment Project: Methodology: Web Browsing
First, try accessing web sites that have video, audio and Adobe Acrobat (pdf) files
available and see if the online service provider will permit download and display of the
Appendix E: Special Files).
Next, try accessing the list of category A, category B, category C, and category D sites to see if they are accessible from each access level (see
Appendix A: Web Sites).
The web site categories represent the following:
- Category A: Web Sites Commonly Used by the Constituent Community
- Category B: Web Sites Commonly Against the Constituent Community
- Category C: Most Popular Web Sites
- Category D: Random Web Sites
The web sites listed in each category will be rated according to the RSACi rating scheme
(see http://www.icra.org) so that a
more objective sense of the type of content in each site is available. RSACi raters for
the project will be drawn from a pool composed primarily of members of the constituent
community. Comparisons of RSACi ratings from this project and other projects
may help to clarify if there is any systematic bias built into the RSACi rating design
or its use in various communities.
Visiting only the front page of a site does not detect the filtering that can occur on
other pages of a site, so make sure to visit the list of underlying pages provided in
the appendix. Use the web addresses known to trigger filtering software in
Appendix B: Web Browsing Details in order to provide a
consistent test of web sites of all categories identified in this section. Because web
sites are always changing, also browse around a bit and record whatever pages you find
that are not accessible. For notable examples, a screen snapshot of the results of
filtering on a given page is an extremely effective illustration of the problem.
Make a note of any other sites you come across that are fully or partially filtered. Try
to determine how the filtering software works. Run tests on a homegrown web test suite
site as needed (see
Web Test Suite section).
Check to see if any proprietary web site content from the online service provider is
filtered any more or less severely than filtering of the web sites external to the
Check performance of the filtered service against unfiltered service by timing access to
the exact same sites. To obtain the most reliable results, perform controlled tests from
the same machine(s) with the same configuration(s) and at the same time(s) if
Revision 1.000 of July 28, 2000
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