Monday, December 9, 2013

IE Tracking protection lists

Where I'm at we have a web filtering device that will display a full pdf with the employer's terms of service if you go to a website we have blocked.  Problem is one of those is facebook, and if you go to say a news site and it has a facebook like button, the news site isn't blocked, but you still get a huge pdf file come up on your screen.

Thankfully if you're running a newer version of Internet Explorer, there is a feature called "Tracking Protection Lists", while meant to improve your privacy, they can also disable the facebook "like" button that you find on many websites. Problem is digging through all of IE's settings can be a pain.  So here is a simple internal web page for users to go to load the page (just have to click a button on the page).

note: If you're using IIS to serve this you will need to go into the server's "MIME Types" and add
the .tpl extension.  I labeled it as "application/ie", IIS apparently won't serve unknown MIME types.

First file is the tracking protection list file that we want IE to load.
#------------------don't include this line in facebook-block.tpl ---------------------------
: Expires = 5
# blocked strings
- like.php
# domain rules
# from
#------------------don't include this line in facebook-block.tpl ---------------------------

------index.html --- don't include this line ---------------------
<!DOCTYPE html />
<html >
<!--- from -->
    <title>Internet Explorer 9 Tracking Protection list loader</title>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    function checkTP() {
    //checks whether Tracking Protection has been enabled (any list is on)
        if (window.external.msTrackingProtectionEnabled())
            document.getElementById("results").innerHTML = "Tracking protection is: ON";
        } else {
            document.getElementById("results").innerHTML = "Tracking protection is: OFF";

    //loads a list specified by input field
    function loadTPFile() {
        var URL = document.getElementById("tplfile").value;      
        var description = 'Facebook blocking Tracking Protection List';      
        window.external.msAddTrackingProtectionList(URL, description);

<!---- First check that you have tracking protection enabled by click the
"check tracking protection" button
  <button onclick="checkTP();">Check tracking protection</button>
  <span id="results">Tracking protection is: </span>
<p />
Remember that you need to have tracking protection "on" for this to work
if tracking protection is off, go to: <br>
tools, tracking protection, select "Your Personalized List" and click enable, close, <br>
then click on the "check tracking protection" button again.

<p />
This is for blocking the facebook like button (and facebook's other tracking mechanisims),
that are on many websites nowdays, which cause the company's usage policy to pop up.  To stop this: <br>
click on "load TPL file"
and click on the "add list" button
<p />
  <button onclick="loadTPFile();">Load TPL file</button>
  <input id= "tplfile" type="text" value="facebook-block.tpl" size="60" />

<p />
Remember if you go to the website itself you will still get a copy of the company's
Internet usage policy poping up.

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