Thursday, April 5, 2007

Accessing Ancestry at the FHC/FHL

As feared and anticipated, access to Ancestry.com at the LDS FHL and the FHCs was restricted on Monday, April 2. In addition, people with personal Ancestry subscriptions could not access Ancestry using an LDS network, since the IP Addresses of the LDS wireless networks were being used. Needless to say, an uproar ensued.

Leland Meitzler at the Everton's GenealogyBlog reports that Ancestry.com and the LDS are working on permitting access to Ancestry.com using personal subscriptions at the FHL or in the FHCs. Leland's post is at http://genealogyblog.com/ancestrycom/anecstrycom-says-were-working-on-it-5902.

The last paragraph of the Ancestry release reads:

"Ancestry and the FHL are currently exploring solutions to allow people to gain access to their personal accounts at the Family History Library while still protecting the privacy of customers. Rest assured that we (Ancestry and the FHL) are working on a resolution–but there is not yet a timetable for its completion."

Previously, on the APG list, several work-arounds were suggested. I thought that the most promising was to use an "Anonymizer" - a program that hides the IP address of the user. I tried two of them -- IDZap.com and Anonymouse.org and could not get to the http://www.ancestry.com login! www.IDZap.com told me my Internet Explorer was not recent enough (I'm using IE7.0) and www.Anonymouse.org said the URL I input (http://www.ancestry.com/) was not a good URL. On the APG list, someone suggested using Tor (http://tor.eff.org/) - which is free, but requires a download to use it. I did not try that before I saw Leland's post.

I think we all need to wait until Ancestry and the LDS get this sorted out. I hope that Ancestry subscribers will be able to use their personal subscription in an LDS building in the near future. That is the RIGHT thing for Ancestry to do, and I think they will get it done.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Hi,

I just tried it with Anonymouse and I didn't get any errors. However, Ancestry is not in English with Anonymouse, I think this is German and in the free version of Anonymouse you can't login. This is only working in the VIP-version of Anonymouse.

Bye,
Sean