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Internet filtering and blocking policies

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

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Open Rights Group

Dear Durham University,

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.

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

Yours faithfully,

James Collis
Researcher
Open Rights Group

ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Mr Collis

 

Thank you for your request for information from Durham University. 
Colleagues have provided the information below in response to your
questions.

 

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.

 

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

Our EndPoint security software that runs on IT department managed
computers blocks access to known malicious sites (virus, malware) using a
vendor proprietary method.

 

(b) Content types, eg adult, alcohol etc

No blocking or filtering is in place on IT department managed systems
other than malware, except computers in the University nursery (for
pre-school children) where the following categories are blocked/filtered:
Adult, Alcohol & Tobacco, Anonymiser Proxies, Criminal Activity, Gambling,
Hacking, Illegal Drugs, Intolerance and Hate, Phishing and Fraud, Spam,
Spyware, Tasteless & Offensive, Violence, Weapons.

 

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

Malware category blocks: 18317 between 22/05/2017 – 22/05/2018.

 

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

The University will not undertake monitoring of the use of IT Facilities
by a specific individual (Targeted Monitoring) except for specific
purposes as identified in the University’s monitoring and interception
policy.  Staff, students and any other users are aware that use of IT
Facilities, including internet and email use, may be logged and monitored,
and that the University may access electronic information, whether stored
or in transit.  This is in order to comply with the law and applicable
regulations and to ensure appropriate use of the University IT systems.
 Use of University IT Facilities constitutes consent by the user that
their activity may be logged and / or monitored, this is part of the
University’s IT regulations that are signed up to by users who make use of
the IT facilities.

If you are dissatisfied with the University’s response to your freedom of
information request, you can ask us to internally review our handling of
your request, including the application of any exemptions applied.  To do
this, please email [1][Durham University request email] or write to:

 

Information Governance Unit

            Maple Wing

            Mountjoy Centre

Stockton Road

Durham

            DL1 3LE           

 

Please state the grounds on which you wish the decision to be reviewed and
enclose any other information that may be useful in considering the matter
further.  We aim to inform you of our decision within 20 working days from
the date your request for internal review is received.

 

If you are not satisfied with the results of the internal review you may
apply to the Information Commissioner's Office for an independent review.

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

David Cull

Information Governance Officer

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Durham University request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Open Rights Group please sign in and let everyone know.