FOI Request - Filtering Software on PCs within Libraries

Request 101000349622

1. Do you employ the use of content filtering software on the PCs based in your libraries which are connected to the internet and intended for use by the users of your library?

If answer to 1. is “yes”, please:

2. Provide the name and annual cost of the content filtering software.

3. Provide a full list of the categories of websites blocked (e.g.
“pornography, gambling, phishing etc.”). If these differ according to the user profile accessing the PC (e.g. child, student, adult, staff etc.) please provide a full list of categories of websites blocked for each user profile.

4. Confirm whether you also block specific URLs in addition to categories, and provide a complete list of these URLs.

5. Provide the relevant policy document or written documentation which outlines the procedure a user must follow in instances where they would like to gain access to a website that is blocked.

6. From January 2013 until the present day, please provide a list of the URLs where users have requested access to despite them being blocked by the content filtering software.

7. Of the list provided in 6., please detail which URLs access was granted for and which were denied.

Response 05-06-2015

1.  Yes

2.  Smoothwall - £24,000 per annum (this covers all Corporate, Education and Library users)

3.  See document ‘Web Filtering Block Categories’ attached here.

4.  See document ‘Web Filtering Block Categories’ at Q3 above

5.  There is no written documentation for this procedure at the moment.  When a user encounters a block page for a site which they would like to gain access to, this is raised with one of the library staff who logs a request with the Council’s ICT Section on the user’s behalf.

The web filtering software was replaced recently and the intention is to incorporate the procedure into the text on the block page.

6.  See document ‘User Requests for Access to Blocked Websites’ attached here

7.  See document ‘User Requests for Access to Blocked Websites’ as at Q6 above

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