Is TAG (Technology Awareness Group) a not-for-profit business?

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  • #617784

    Mrs.L
    Member

    I don’t get it! We have had plenty of talk against the internet, and all the Rabbis are trying to encourage people to do the right thing and get your phones filtered.. So why is TAG charging for their services? I know there are expenses involved such as rent, computers, and secretaries, but can’t we get sponsors or donations, so that this should be a free service? I heard a true story recently about a Bachur who had a smartphone, he was interested in getting a filter on his phone, walked into TAG, but when he was told it would cost him $60, he left the store because he didn’t have the $… Is this what TAG and other Filter Organizations are doing? Charging a fee will only discourage people… Can we change this?

    #1154585

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The last time I spoke with someone from TAG, the only time they charged was if they installed a paid filter, where it wasn’t their charge, but the filter company’s charge.

    Your thread title is misleading and unfair. Your question should be, “Why can’t TAG lose money so I don’t have to pay for my ruchniyus?”.

    #1154586

    apushatayid
    Participant

    1: Does TAG charge for their services? I walked into a TAG office in Flatbush a little more than a year ago and had filters installed on 4 smartphones, for no charge.

    2: Assuming something changed in the last year, are YOU, Mrs. L. volunteering YOUR time so that they do not have to charge?

    3: I am purposely avoiding taking the discussion down the road of “why does this bachur need a smart phone” because it will take away from the real conversation here, you want something for nothing.

    #1154587

    Mrs.L
    Member

    Don’t they own those filters? Do they really pay “someone” for a filter? And, No, TAG should not lose money, they should have “Ruchniyas’diga sponsors like the Mosed, who tells you to go specifically to their place.

    TAG should be an Not-for-profit Organization.

    #1154588

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There are plenty of free internet Filters

    #1154589

    Joseph
    Participant

    TAG does not charge one penny for their services. Most of the available filters that are most effective are commercial products that charge for their software. Those filters are not owned by TAG. And TAG does not make anything if you purchase those filters. They will install it for you at no charge.

    The free filters are not as effective in being able to identify what is inappropriate for frum people and families, and block what to a goy is a normal picture of women or discussions of topics that are normal for an average goy (even child) to read, but inappropriate for a Jew.

    #1154590

    Mrs.L
    Member

    apushatayid:

    1. Yes, things did change with TAG, I did hear that they use a better filtering company, hence the price, but why can’t they find sponsors?

    2. There are alot of Tzedakah givers in the community, so I don’t think that’s a problem…

    3. Let’s not try to figure out why this Bachur has a smartphone, fact is: He has one! Now he was willing to get it filtered, but the $ threw him off.

    #1154591

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Mrs. L. the TAG I went to put on K9 under there password. K9 is the best free filter and has almost no loopholes. Many people use it for their children. Some people don’t want k9 since if it’s free, how good can it be, right?

    Mrs. L., Do you know which office he went to or what exactly went on there? You may not know the complete picture. Please don’t bash TAG. Many of their services are free and they are wonderful people. I think this entire thread is loshon hora as many people have clearly stated TAG does not charge and so on.

    #1154592

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “why can’t they find sponsors?”

    You sponsoring? What about his parents? Why should I care about his ruchniyus any more than his own father? Let him pay for it if he made the decision to allow his son to have a smartphone to begin with.

    “Now he was willing to get it filtered, but the $ threw him off”

    Money didnt seem to be an issue when it came to buying the smartphone or the recurring monthly fees.

    #1154593

    Mrs.L
    Member

    I am not bashing TAG, i believe it’s a great place, I just want to understand why the $…

    #1154594

    Mrs.L
    Member

    apushatayid, Yes, if I would get a phonecall from TAG, I would be happy to “sponsor a filter”.

    #1154595

    apushatayid
    Participant

    You pay for the Rav Hamachshir (whether the cost is itemized or not) on the restaurant or the packaged food, you dont ask why.

    #1154596

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    apushatayid, Yes, if I would get a phonecall from TAG, I would be happy to “sponsor a filter”.

    Why wait for a phone call? Call them! Offer to sponsor 100 filters!

    The paid filters are better than the free ones. They cover more loopholes.

    #1154597

    kollelman
    Participant

    I’ve heard some horror stories about filters. Many of the filters currently being installed are run through proxies – and are insecure by design. Any banking or passwords would be decrypted by the proxy server and subject to interception.

    Being a senior level “computer guy”, I think we need to have a serious discussion about the overall concept of filtering and find a better way. I propose an initial meeting of top-level programmers and consultants to discuss options.

    Additionally, the concept of schools dictating filter levels on parents’ phones – and even having access to data usage (and who knows what else) abhors me. This is not Iran. If we can’t trust parents, don’t accept their kids to school. Besides, kids can easily buy a prepaid smartphone from Walmart or staples and use it — even without activating it!! In Brooklyn, I’ve heard from many Bochrim who have access to “optimumwifi” hotspots that are found all over NYC. Ein Davar Ha’omed Bif’nei Ha’Ratzon…

    We’ve come a long way as Jews, but there seems to be an important need to teach good Middos and self-control from a very young age. There’s clearly something lacking all around- but that’s another discussion entirely.

    #1154598

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    kollelman – As you point out, the child or parent who wants to see what they shouldn’t can go to the corner store, buy a prepaid smartphone, and look at whatever they want. School or no school, filter or no filter, smartphone or flip phone.

    Filters work as a “first line” of defense, so that a momentary lapse doesn’t result in a breach, as well as unintended viewing. They are not meant for a teenager or other enticed to the Dark Side.

    Finally, if schools can dictate lengths of skirts (well past tznius by any definition), Snoods vs. Sheitels vs. Hats, and Kollel vs. working, they can dictate whatever they want. Unfortunately, your assertion in the middle of your third paragraph is not completely correct.

    #1154599

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Mods I ask you to close this thread or at least change the title. It is misleading a great organization that works very hard. Esspecially when thousands of people read this stuff daily. It is unfair to TAG.

    kollelman: It’s not just about middos. Some need a filter to keep them in check. What other idea do you propose we do? I need internet, but it’s hard to keep myself from going places I shoudln’t so I have a filter.

    #1154600

    kollelman
    Participant

    gavra_at_work: I agree about schools making rules, but the level of rules and the all around lack of privacy is very disconcerting. From what I understand, some schools are able to see entire browsing histories. There are many reasons this is a breach of privacy (medical condition, private family issues- divorce, therapy, etc.). Coupled with the fact that they are using “Man in the middle” to decrypt secure traffic, means they can technically log and access any account – be it facebook, a bank, or anything else. This is seriously slippery slope territory, besides the inherent security issues.

    Shopping613: I agree completely about the filter being there for safety, but I believe we need to bolster ALL of our middos (myself included). Life and the world has changed extremely quickly over the past years and our children (and adults) need tools to deal with it. I don’t think Middos training will ever fully compensate for a filter, but locking down parents’ phones or spying on them is not the proper solution either. Let the parents choose their levels – just as they choose their level of Kashrus. Kashrus has just as much effect on our Neshama.

    I mentioned Middos as an aside, since we all live in the world, with all its dangers, we need to learn to deal with it. Not everyone lives in their 4 amos. There are many other forms of danger that seem to be be completely ignored (drinking!). All I’m saying is, we all need mussar. Better to start it from young and inspire our youth to act properly, rather than just ram academics (Torah or otherwise) down their throats – after all – Derech Eretz Kadma La’Torah

    #1154601

    mw13
    Participant

    kollelman:

    I think it is imperative to take a little bit of a more nuanced view on this particular subject. Most people are neither a tzaddik gamur nor a rasha gamur; so to speak of people who always, without exception, do or don’t want to do aveiros is far-fetched at best. Most people try to what is right, but if they find themselves in a situation where they are faced with a significant enough temptation (everyone on their level), they will succumb to it. This is why Chazal set up various gedarim (in particular with regards to arayos, which the Gemara tells us “nafsho shel adam mechamdasam, the nature of a person strongly desires”) to ensure that a person does not end up in a situation of overwhelming temptation; the issurim of yichud, harchakos niddah, and kol bi’isha erva in particular come to mind. We try to avoid putting ourselves in situations of temptation and nisayon as much as possible; I don’t see why here should be any different.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/whats-wrong-with-whatsapp/page/2#post-610723

    #1154602

    feivel
    Participant

    well done mod

    #1154603

    feivel
    Participant

    Sorry: Mod

    #1154604

    Poster
    Member

    TAG does not charge for their services. They are amazing, we have all our computers and phone filtered free with free service when we need it.

    I am amazed at the pple that work there. Kol Hakovod!

    #1154605

    kollelman
    Participant

    mw13: I completely agree! But there is a need to do this safely and securely. So let’s have a team of pros sit down and figure out the best plan. As a 2-pronged approach, we should bolster our Middos and teach our children to deal with the world and expect to confront certain things and how to respond appropriately.

    #1154606

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    kollelman: the internet is 100 times worse than drinking. Besides for with it you can access any black market in the world, purchasing drugs, drinks, and so on-you can see bad things thatyou can never forget. Rehab can help people with addictions and put it behind them but there are some things you never forget and can replay in your mind.

    #1154607

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The latest scams with phones hijack your phones by using device manager, the disable your phones and then demand alot of money to allow the phone to be used again. Many people use their phones to pay for stuff. The hijackers can actually deplete your bank account when they hijack your phones.

    The latest filters do not use proxy servers which can be overidden in various ways, but rather use the device manager method which cannot easily be overidden. Someone could hack and take over hundreds if not thousands of phones and have access to bank accounts, phones #’s and other vital personal information

    #1154608

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    kollelman – Aderaba, that is my point. Schools have the power (and have established) that they can look at your bank account and medical information, as a condition of you entering your children into that school. If you don’t like it, send somewhere else.

    #1154609

    The little I know
    Participant

    I will chime in on the misleading headline to this post. TAG is an incredible organization that does not serve in order to make profit. They openly charge for certain mechanical services, such as removing internet access from certain devices, etc. These are intricate professional services. The volunteers there do excellent work, and I have needed their guidance many times – they passed all tests.

    The filters that they charge for are commercial products. The payment does NOT go to TAG, but directly to the company that makes and sells the product.

    The debate here about which filter to use is out of place. I discovered that different phones have different operating systems, and require filters that are matched. Likewise, people have different needs for their phones, and filters to accommodate those needs are a challenge to match. TAG has done a spectacular job for me (and for many others I know), and I commend them with the highest praises.

    It was noted in an earlier comment that anyone desperate to violate the standards of shmiras einayim can find a way to do so. We cannot legislate and close every single avenue that the yetzer horah uses to tempt us. But we do need to take as many measures as we can. Meanwhile, we all have a pressing need to improve ourselves (a lifelong task) in our Yir’as Shomayim, so that our brains are involved in kedusha, and less prone to stray into the domains of tum’ah.

    May we all be zocheh to rise higher in kedusha with our avodah in sefiras haomer and with the upcoming kabolas haTorah.

    #1154610

    flowers
    Participant

    Mrs. L: Why didn’t you give this bochur the $60?

    #1154611

    Poster
    Member

    Mrs. L, even if they do charge (which they do NOT), who should pay for the service.

    Do you eat treif bec kosher is more expensive. Maybe kosher food should be free so that no one is tempted to buy treif food?

    #1154612

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Do you eat treif bec kosher is more expensive. Maybe kosher food should be free so that no one is tempted to buy treif food?

    There are some chabad emissaries in outposts who sell kosher food below cost because they dont want people to eat treif. I think one of the places is Bangkok. They know if the price is too high people wont buy from them and will go elsewhere

    #1154613

    mw13
    Participant

    zdad, that’s an interesting tidbit, but you haven’t answered the question.

    #1154614

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Should kosher food be free? Of course not

    Should it be the same price as non-kosher absolutly.

    #1154615

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Why should it not cost more, since it costs more to produce?

    #1154616

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    In many communities people dont care about the price of Kosher food, they will pay whatever the price is. I am not talking to those people.

    And it some cases the Extra hashghca is just Lmamon and nothing else, there is no reason other than greed to have 2 or more hashghchas at a restaurant

    However there are people more on the frindge who make decsions based on price. You can decide which is better to have a higher cost of food vs more people keeping a Mitzvah.

    Dont kid yourself the high cost of being frum is a major problem and if not solved will not have a good ending. I am already seeing some negative feedback about yeshiva tutions that people are asked to pay that they cant possibly afford (you cant pay $60,000 in tutions on a $50,000 salaray)

    #1154618

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Greedy restaurant owners want more customers so they take hechsherim recognized by different groups.

    Evil capitalists.

    If you want to subsidize tuition for those on the fringe, support Oorah or your local day school.

    I guess we need to define “should”. If you define “should” by attracting the most people to buy kosher and go to frum schools and have filtered phones, not only “should” it be equivalent, it should all be free (after all, public school is free). In fact we should pay people to take kosher food, go to frum schools, etc. That will attract even more people.

    #1154619

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    By your comment why not charge $100 lb for meat since there is more tzar and therefore greater Zchus.

    I know of a few Jewish schools that charge alot less because they are competing with Public schools, I dont know if they will ultimatly be successful, but at least they are trying

    #1154620

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Is TAG (Technology Awareness Group) a not-for-profit business”

    No, TAG is not a business at all. It is a group of volunteers who assist those who have smart phones install and set up filters suited to their needs. Sometimes the solution most suited to someones needs is a product sold by a for profit company which TAG is asking you to pay for since it is being installed on your device to protect you. Who should pay for it, the volunteer who will help you install and configure it?

    “Should it be the same price as non-kosher absolutly.”

    Who should shoulder the additional costs, the business (sometimes they do, sometimes they dont)? You want kosher meat, buy a cow, learn the relevant halachos and do it yourself. If you want the convenience of purchasing a ready to cook piece of meat that is certified by a reliable person (agency), guess what, there are those who are willing to provide such a service, provided they make a profit which includes the cost of paying the Rav Hamachshir. As to multiple hashgachos on the same store/product, it is because the store/company feels it will appeal to the widest range of customers and the investment is worth it. As an aside, do you really believe that on a bottle of wine with 6 certifications, there are 6 different people representing the 6 hechsherim at the plant? The same person almost certainly works for all of them, this is especially true the further you go from an established Jewish community.

    #1154621

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You apparently don’t know what my logic is. I am not saying the various providers should charge exorbitant amounts because it’s such a big z’chus.

    I’m saying they need to cover their costs, and in the case of private business, make a profit.

    The yeshivos and BYs need to pay their salaries and bills. TAG is paying filtering companies and other costs. Both are subsidized by donors and therefore charge less than the actual cost.

    The yeshivas, BYs, TAG, and other organizations I’m sure would love to provide their services for free, but they can’t.

    #1154622

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Back to the OP for a sec. She said Tag wanted $60 to install the filer

    How much of this was the cost for the filter and how much was “profit”

    I dont know any filter that costs $60, they are alot cheaper than that , mostly even free

    #1154623

    Joseph
    Participant

    $0 for profit; the entire cost was for the filter. The filter has a monthly fee of about $5, the entirety of which goes to the filtering company. She must be annualizing the cost.

    #1154624

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “I dont know any filter that costs $60,”

    Which is proof of exactly what? I am quite sure there are a lot of other things you do not know. That is not proof of anything.

    #1154625

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One can easily go to the App store , the prices of the Apps are listed clearly

    #1154626

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The most effective filtering app (that I am aware of) is not on the Play Store.

    Another is listed as a free app, but (as they clearly write in the product description) it us only free for a trial. To keep it, you need to make an in app purchase.

    Call TAG and ask them for the most updated information (mine might not be).

    #1154627

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If the filter is not on the App store, it should not be used, Any App not in the App store is not approved by Apple or Google. Improper use of such apps can brick the phone. there is a term for phones that. its called Jailbreaking for an iphone or Rooting for an Android.

    #1154628

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    $0 for profit; the entire cost was for the filter. The filter has a monthly fee of about $5, the entirety of which goes to the filtering company. She must be annualizing the cost.

    Stupid question – Why are they installing a filter that has recurring fees, so that if the fees are not paid next year coverage will fall off? Why not choose a company that has a one time flat fee?

    #1154629

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    There is a danger if they try to root a phone model for the first time that it could brick it. The phone could still be fixed.

    They have probably installed thousands of these filters without issue. If you know what you’re doing (they do) it’s fine. The phone manufacturers also tell you to only use chargers made by them. They do that in their own financial interest.

    Also, there are filters which don’t need phone rooting, and as I mantioned, the prices are NOT clearly stated on the app store.

    Call them and ask, instead of spreading misinformation.

    #1154630

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Gavra, I don’t think every filter offers that.

    Also, I wonder if it becomes unfiltered, or resorsts to a free version, or the phone stops working for data.

    #1154631

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    Only IOS APPS are on the Apple App store. Android software is not. Google Play does not monitor the Apps on its site.

    OP never said it was an IPhone.

    And Google is helpful, even if it is not your Friend and , it took no time to find several filters (BTW, recommended by non-Jewish organizations) that have monthly fees that eventually add to at least $60 over the year.

    #1154632

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Apple makes profit off ever itunes purchase, Google does not. Apple is alot more strict about Jailbreaking than Google is over rooting.

    I did a check check on the google play store , And there is a filter called Web Blocker pro and it warns you, that it is going to root the phone

    #1154633

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Apple monitors apps more than google does, but both are worried about rouge apps making it into the App store. A rouge app can hijack a phone or steal your personal data. rooting or jailbreaking your phone makes your phone more vulnerable to rouge apps

    Just to translate for some when I use the term App store, i am referring to Itunes store for Apple and google play for Android

    #1154634

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The reason they give for not wanting you to install third party apps is security, and in some cases it’s legit, but TAG only installs filters from known, secure companies.

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