Please disclose the top 500 websites visited by MPs as disclosed to the Mail on Sunday

The request was partially successful.

FAO :House of Commons Commission,

RE: Top 500 web sites visited by MPs.

Please disclose:

1 The list of the top 500 websites visited by MPs, as disclosed to the Mail on Sunday

2 Please confirm how the House of Commons monitors records and retains the details of each MP's online activities.

3 Please confirm whether MPs are informed of the above (2)

4 Please confirm all data collected : for example
- Website URL
-Time/Date accessed
-IP address( sender & recipient)
-individual network user ID & status eg staff or MP
-the length of time the above information is retained

5 Please confirm which individuals and departments were accessing these top 500 websites from within the HOC.

6 Please confirm the "IT rule" which has been broken, resulting in a website being "blocked" and the name of the website/s ( eg (*) Adultery website 'Out of Town Affairs' received 52,000 hits in seven months from Parliament computers - www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276344.)

7 Please list all web sites that are blocked by House of Commons authorities.

8 Please confirm all IT rules that allow Commons authorities to monitor MPs online communications and activities.

Yours faithfully,

Pauline Geoghegan

Politics in Brum
www.politicsinbrum.co.uk
Twitter @politicsinbrum

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

Dear Ms Geoghegan,

Freedom of Information Request F13-070

Thank you for your request for information as copied below.

You asked us a number of questions which we have sought to answer in turn. Please note that Parliamentary ICT covers both Houses of Parliament.

1 The list of the top 500 websites visited by MPs, as disclosed to the Mail on Sunday

The information provided in response to a Freedom of Information request concerning the top 500 websites visited is already available in the public domain, having been published on our website.
The information is available at: http://www.parliament.uk/site-informatio...

2 Please confirm how the House of Commons monitors records and retains the details of each MP's online activities.

Parliamentary ICT is authorised to block access to categories of website assessed as posing a technical or legal risk to the network or users. This is implemented via an industry-standard, automated system, provided by a third party who automatically categorise websites.

3 Please confirm whether MPs are informed of the above (2)

An 'Acceptable Use' form is signed by Members, a copy of which is available online at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/foi/a...
Additional information is available in House of Commons Member and Staff handbooks which are published online:

Members: www.parliament.uk/documents/foi/members-...

Staff: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commo...

4 Please confirm all data collected: for example
- Website URL
- Time/Date accessed
- IP address (sender & recipient)
- individual network user ID & status e.g. staff or MP
- the length of time the above information is retained

The website URL and time/date are held within the system managed by third party on our behalf.

5 Please confirm which individuals and departments were accessing these top 500 websites from within the HOC.

The data held covers both Houses of Parliament. It is not possible to break the data down by House or user type. As the data is anonymous the House of Commons does not hold the information you require.

6 Please confirm the "IT rule" which has been broken, resulting in a website being "blocked" and the name of the website/s (e.g. (*) Adultery
website 'Out of Town Affairs' received 52,000 hits in seven months from Parliament computers - www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276344.)

After access to this site was highlighted to the Parliamentary ICT department, our third party supplier was asked to review whether this site fitted into the category of posing a technical or legal risk to the Houses of Parliament.

7 Please list all web sites that are blocked by House of Commons authorities.

Parliamentary ICT is authorised to block access to categories of website assessed as posing a technical or legal risk to the network or users. This is implemented via an industry-standard, automated system, provided by a third party who automatically categorise websites. A list of sites blocked is therefore not held.

8 Please confirm all IT rules that allow Commons authorities to monitor MPs online communications and activities.

The content of communications or internet sites visited is not routinely monitored. Policies are strictly in accord with applicable legislation (including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) and Parliamentary procedures, including the Speaker’s Protocol. IT equipment and systems are subject to the acceptable use and ICT security policies. These are also part of the Members' and Staff handbooks.

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to the House of Commons. Any such complaints should be addressed to: Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, House of Commons London SW1 0AA or [House of Commons request email]. Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make.

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Arianne

Arianne Kitchener | IRIS Manager
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of Commons

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