Dear House of Commons,

Please inform me of the number of times attempts were made to reach blocked internet sites in 2016 and the names of the sites and the number of times access was attempted to be gained to each individual site.

Yours faithfully,


FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear M Spaven,


Freedom of Information request F17-090


Thank you for your request for information dated 8 February 2017, received
by us on the same date, which is copied below.


We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 8 March 2017.


If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted above and in the subject line of this email.


Yours sincerely,


Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of



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FOI Commons, House of Commons

8 Attachments

Dear M Spaven,



Freedom of Information request F17-090


Thank you for your request for information as copied below. You asked for
the number of times attempts were made to reach blocked internet sites in
2016, including the names of the sites, and the number of times access was
attempted to be gained to each individual site.


Whilst the House of Commons and the House of Lords are separate public
authorities in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA),
the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) is a joint service providing
information and communications technology services for both Houses of
Parliament. The information below covers both Houses and all users of the
parliamentary network e.g. MPs, Members of the House of Lords, their
staff, staff of the House Administrations and non-parliamentary network
users participating in parliamentary business. The data also includes
users of the guest wi-fi service from May 2016.


The data you have requested is held by a third-party supplier on behalf of
the House but we are not able to fulfil your request in its entirety. In
terms of explanation, around June 2016 the technology used to record
access attempts and produce reports changed and the process used to
extract and compile data for these reports is now very complex and time
consuming. This means we are unable to provide data for the whole of the
time period you have requested on the basis of time/cost. The different
reporting processes also affect the way the data is presented in the
attached files.



We hold data, produced by the previous reporting system, for January 2016
to May 2016 inclusive and this is attached.


Our supplier has also managed to retrieve three months of data under the
new process within this limit, so information from 1 October 2016 to 31
Dec 2016 is also attached.


However, retrieving the remaining information for the period 1 June 2016
to 30 September 2016 would take us over the time/cost limit laid down by
section 12 FOIA. To extract the remaining data, our supplier would be
required to further use the new reporting technology, and due to the
complexities of the process we estimate that the cost of providing data
for this period would exceed the appropriate limit of 24 hours or £600,
specified in the FOIA, to locate, retrieve and extract the information.
Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act the House is not
obliged to comply with your request and we are sorry to inform you that
will not be processing this part of your request further.


Unfortunately, on this occasion we are unable to suggest a way that you
can narrow your request to allow you to access more data. However we can
assure you that we are currently working with our supplier to find a
technical solution for future requests.


Please note the following about the information provided:

• The staff policies for both House Administrations permit staff to access
the internet for personal use in non-working time (while setting clear
boundaries and having measures in place to discourage inappropriate use).

• All users consent to the stewardship of their ICT services and the
implications of their use of these via agreement to abide by Parliament’s
Acceptable Use and ICT Security Policies. Data about internet use is
retained by PDS on behalf of the two Houses who have agreed to PDS
deploying resources to protect the Parliamentary Network (PN) from
inappropriate use as well as technical and legal risks. This includes
deploying industry standard solutions to block known or likely
vectors/sources of data-mining, spam, software viruses, spyware and other
forms of malware and illegal material.

• The data covers all sites access via all ‘non-public’ computers on the
parliamentary estate; from May 2016 our data also includes requests which
are sent via the guest Wi-Fi service, and this will include personal
devices, not just computers on the Parliamentary Network.

• The data covers only “requests” and these could include pop-up adverts
from other sites. Requests could also be generated by elements of content
loading as separate items from the same single page. A single page could
generate a number of requests, depending on how the page has been built.

• These records do not distinguish between requests instigated
purposefully by an individual user and those that are the result of
automation, e.g. the operation of unauthorised third party software,
temporarily sitting on users devices (malware) and website design. PDS has
advised that the profile of requests to view websites in general, whether
blocked or not, indicates beyond reasonable doubt that automation and the
variety of website design has a significant impact on these numbers.



You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request. Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research and Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [1][House of Commons request email]. Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with 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,




Lauren Puckey | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Fifth Floor, 14 Tothill
St, London SW1H 9NB



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