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FOI request for internet search data policy at public institutions (universities)

Open Rights Group made this Freedom of Information request to University of Sheffield

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

We're waiting for Open Rights Group to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear University of Sheffield,

I am writing as a research volunteer at the Open Rights Group. We are conducting a study to better understand filtering and blocking of websites on the public estate, to understand what content and sites are inaccessible and why. I am writing to ask about this in relation to Universities. We are following up our previous FOI requests with a refined list of questions to make the answers uniform and suitable for analysis. With this in mind, please answer the questions as directly as possible.

We would like to know, in relation to your publicly accessible Internet networks, or Internet networks for your clients:

1. The categories of content blocked or filtered, e.g.:
(a) Security or Malware
(b) Content types, eg adult, alcohol etc

2. Statistics relating to the requests blocked or filtered, eg how many site requests filtered or blocked per category

3. Monitoring requirements you have for users, eg if you record or may record their Internet usage

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

Pascal Crowe (Open Rights Group)

Anne E Cutler, University of Sheffield

Dear Mr Crowe

I write in response to your recent Freedom of Information request to
Sheffield University:

1)  The University of Sheffield blocks content reported as
malware/phishing. This is a combination of a manual process as well as
being a subscriber to the Spamhaus DBL for malware.

2) We currently have 156 active sites manually blocked due to reports of
malware/phishing. Spamhaus do not publish how many sites are contained in
the DBL.
3) The University's position on monitoring is described in our IT Code of
Practice, [1]www.shef.ac.uk/cics/codeofpractice - see section 9 in the
accompanying guidance document for
details [2]https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/...

I am required under the Act to inform you that if you have cause for
genuine complaint regarding our reply to your request for information, you
should within 60 days of receiving this response, write to the University
FOI Unit, The University Secretary’s Office, Sheffield University, Western
Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN or email [3][University of Sheffield request email] explaining why you
are not satisfied with the result.

If you still remain unsatisfied with the University's decision, you will
be entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.


Yours sincerely


Anne Cutler

The University Secretary’s Office

University of Sheffield

Western Bank


S10 2TN

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