Censorship of the internet on library computers.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear East Sussex County Council,

What is the council policy with restricting use of the internet on library computers within East Sussex?

Which sites are denied access and what are the grounds for these being refused access?

Please supply a full list of the websites that users of these services are prevented from accessing. This should be available at the press of a button. What crieria are used to decide which websites are included or not?

How was the decision taken to censor the internet and by whom?

Which political sites are included in the restrictions?

Yours faithfully,

Susan Christie

Tracey Cochrane, East Sussex County Council

Dear Ms Christie

 

FOI Request ref:  4121/Censorship of the internet on library computers

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above. Your request
was received on 20/06/2014 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and in this case will do
so no later than 18/07/2014, which is the 20 working day deadline. The
deadline is counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date
a letter is written / posted or an email sent.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we proceed in dealing with your request.

Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this request.

 

Yours sincerely

Tracey Cochrane
Customer Information Team Leader
Communities, Economy & Transport

Tel: 01273 481243

 

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Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Ms Christie

 

FOI Request ref:  4121/Censorship of the internet on library computers

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
request and our response are set out below. Please note that any
information we provide is subject to the copyright and reuse of
information terms and conditions set out at the bottom of this email.

 

 

 REQUEST

 

What is the council policy with restricting use of the internet on library
computers within East Sussex?

 

Which sites are denied access and what are the grounds for these being
refused access?

 

Please supply a full list of the websites that users of these services are
prevented from accessing. This should be available at the press of a
button. What crieria are used to decide which websites are included or
not?

 

How was the decision taken to censor the internet and by whom?

 

Which political sites are included in the restrictions?

 

 

 

 

 

RESPONSE

 

 

What is the council policy with restricting use of the internet on library
computers within East Sussex?

 

Management of the allowed/blocked internet categories are controlled by
the council’s ICT department and the Library and Information Service..

 

ICT will restrict any internet access that it believes poses a direct risk
to the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the council’s
networks or  the information processed within them. ICT will also restrict
any internet access that may result in the council breaching the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act or any other regional law or directive.

 

The Library and Information Service will consider and restrict access to
sites that are deemed inappropriate to access in a public library for that
age group.

 

Access to the internet within libraries is split into three categories:
Adult, Child and Walled Garden. The Walled Garden access is mainly for use
by children under eight and only permits access to listed sites determined
by the library service in line with planned activities . Details of Adult
and Child restrictions are listed below.

 

Customers have to agree to an Acceptable Use Policy prior to using the
internet in libraries:

[1]http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries/p...

 

 

Which sites are denied access and what are the grounds for these being
refused access?

 

East Sussex County Council uses a web filtering application to manage
access. This uses categories to decide if a site should be accessed or
not. The site is either assigned a category by the vendor or scanned
before access is granted to determine a category.

 

Details of category definitions can be viewed at
[2]http://www.websense.com/content/Regional...

 

*Blocked by ICT for reasons listed above.

**Blocked by Library Services for reasons listed above.

 

Adult**

Adult Material**

Adult Content**

Nudity**

Sex**

Entertainment  (root category not blocked)

Media File Download*

Extended Protection*

Dynamic DNS*

Elevated Exposure*

Emerging Exploits*

Suspicious Content*

Gambling**

Illegal or Questionable*

Information Technology (root category not blocked)

Hacking*

Proxy Avoidance*

Web and Email Spam*

Parked Domain*

Security*

Advanced Malware Command and Control*

Advanced Malware Payloads*

Bot Networks*

Compromised Websites*

Custom-Encrypted Uploads*

Files Containing Passwords*

Keyloggers*

Malicious Embedded iFrame*

Malicious Embedded Link*

Malicious Web Sites*

Mobile Mailware*

Phishing and Other Frauds*

Potentially Exploited Documents*

Potentially Unwanted Software*

Spyware*

Suspicious Embedded Link*

Violence**

 

Custom URLs

Go.sky.com/vod/page/tvlistings.do*

News.sky.com/#watchlive*

Watchlive.channel4.com*

 

Child (as above plus)

Internet Communication (root category not blocked)

Web Chat**

Society and Lifestyles

Personals and Dating**

 

Custom URLs

Secondlife.com**

Cybertown.com**

Gameseverytime.com**

Totaljerkface.com**

Virtualibiza.com**

 

Please supply a full list of the websites that users of these services are
prevented from accessing. This should be available at the press of a
button. What criteria are used to decide which websites are included or
not?

 

The council is not able to answer this as every site has the potential to
be blocked if malicious code is detected. This function is not available
in the filtering software used.

 

How was the decision taken to censor the internet and by whom?

 

Please see question 1.

 

The ICT information Governance and Continuity manager will consider what
categories pose a risk to the council, it's ICT systems or members of the
public  and their information when using council services.

 

The Assistant Head of Libraries - Strategy and Performance will consider
what sites are inappropriate to be accessed in a public library.

 

Which political sites are included in the restrictions?

 

By default, no political sites are restricted (with the exception of the
Walled Garden) unless malicious code is detected. In the event malicious
code is detected, the site is regularly reviewed by the vendor until the
malicious code is removed.

 

 

 

 

I hope that this answers your enquiry. If you believe that the County
Council has not complied with the FOI Act in responding to your request,
you may ask for an internal review. If you wish to do so, please set out
the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive, East Sussex County Council,
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [3][email address]

 

Please quote the FOI reference number in any communication regarding this
particular request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council’s internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Janice Evans

Customer Information Adviser

 

East Sussex County Council

Communities, Economy and Transport

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [5][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [6]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

P    please consider the environment - do you really need to print this
email

 

 

 

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This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries/p...
2. http://www.websense.com/content/Regional...
3. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
6. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi