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Cloudflare has apologized for blocking LGBTQIA+ sites with the launch of the new 1.1.1.1 for Families service.

About the App 1.1.1.1 by Cloudflare

Announced this week, 1.1.1.1 for Families designed as an alternative to the 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver, which also automatically filters out adult content and websites deemed to be a security threat.  

The free app that makes your Internet safer. 1.1.1.1

“While 1.1.1.1 can safeguard user privacy and optimize efficiency, it is designed for direct, fast DNS resolution, not for blocking or filtering content,” Cloudflare said. “The requests we’ve received largely come from home users who want to ensure that they have a measure of protection from security threats and can keep adult content from being accessed by their kids.” 

Back in 2018, Cloudflare announced 1.1.1.1; the privacy-first consumer DNS service to speed up your internet connection and help keep it private, later it launched it’s Android and iOS apps. Today it has released 1.1.1.1 for Families. As the name says, the new DNS resolver is for home networks to protect your devices from security threats and block adult content from being accessed by their kids. 

The company says that it includes the same strong privacy guarantees as 1.1.1.1 that it launched two years ago. You can configure it on your home devices or network router. The company says that it processes more than 200 billion DNS requests per day, making it the second-largest public DNS resolver in the world behind Google. 

  • 1.1.1.1 for Families 
  • Malware Blocking Only 
  • Primary DNS: 1.1.1.2 
  • Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.2 
  • Malware and Adult Content 
  • Primary DNS: 1.1.1.3 
  • Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.3 
  • For IPv6 use: 
  • Malware Blocking Only 
  • Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1112 
  • Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1002 
  • Malware and Adult Content 
  • Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1113 
  • Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1003 

Fast. Free. Private. 1.1.1.1 by Cloudflare

cloudflare 1.1.1.1

In the coming months, the company plans to provide the ability to define additional configuration settings, including options to create specific whitelists and blacklists of certain sites for 1.1.1.1 for Families. “You will be able to set the times of the day when categories, such as social media, are blocked and get reports on your household’s Internet usage,” says the company. 

About service: 

Two versions of the service were released: 1.1.1.2 for malware protection, and 1.1.1.3, designed to filter out both malware and adult content.  

However, once released to the public, users quickly realized that several LGBTQIA+ sites were also restricted.  

According to Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, the “mistake” caused by categorizations used by data providers, of which information feeds are licensed by the company to create the backbone of the filtering service.  

Prince said feeds provided by multiple providers are in use. While the last few months have spent verifying which ones to use for the family service — generally-agreed malware and blacklisted, malicious websites being the easiest to sort out — Cloudflare attempted to mirror Google’s SafeSearch tool in the definition of “sexually explicit content.” 

When we released the production version, we included the wrong “Adult Content” category from the provider in the build,” the executive said. “As a result, the first users who tried 1.1.1.3 saw a broader set of sites filtered than was intended.” 

Cloudflare said that it took several hours for a new data structure rebuilt once the mistake was spotted. As of now, websites unblocked, but the company has asked users to report any remaining, inadvertent LGBTQIA+ website blocks they come across.  

“Going forward, we’ve set up several checks of known sites that should fall outside the intended categories, including many that we mistakenly listed,” Prince commented. “I’m sorry for the error. While I understand how it happened, it should never have happened. I appreciate our team responding quickly to fix the mistake we made.”  

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