FOI Request - Prevent Policy Guidance

Request 101001285488

Paragraphs 42 and 45 of the Prevent counter-terrorism policy guidance in Scotland suggests local authorities in Scotland should take action to prevent IT equipment provided by the council being used to access "extremist" materials.

1. Please could you provide me with a list of website addresses that have been specifically restricted by the council in order to comply with this policy?

2. Please also provide me with the minutes of any meetings where this aspect of the Prevent policy implementation was discussed, and any associated reports considered at these meetings.

3. Please provide me with any recorded information retained by the council that details how the restricted websites are identified, and how the list is maintained and updated.

I would prefer not receive the list of filtered websites in pdf format. Instead, please supply them in an excel spreadsheet.

Response 15-09-2016

1. No website addresses have been specifically blocked in order to comply with this policy.

Whilst it is possible to block specific websites, the internet filtering software used by the Council works on the basis of website categorisation; the website categories are determined by the system provider.  User policies are then created and these determine which categories are allowed / blocked.

In addition the software uses real time content filtering to determine whether the web content being delivered is consistent with the category.  This allows inappropriate content to be blocked regardless of whether the category of the website is one that would ordinarily be allowed.

For reference, the category of ‘terrorism’ is blocked by default; the following website categories are also blocked by default:

  • Legal & Liability Issues
  • Intolerance
  • Violence
  • Criminal Activity
  • Personal Weapons

2.   In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 we can confirm that this information is not held. There have no meetings to discuss this aspect of the Prevent policy implementation.

3.   In accordance with section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 we can confirm that this information is not held.Websites are categorised by the system provider, please see response to question 1 for further explanation. 

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