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CLEO Thread, New Filter (June 2010) in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Originally Posted by "Smart" filter page Important Notice: The Lancashire Grid for Learning is implementing a new Internet Content Filtering ...
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    Arcath's Avatar
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    New Filter (June 2010)

    Quote Originally Posted by "Smart" filter page
    Important Notice: The Lancashire Grid for Learning is implementing a new Internet Content Filtering system for all schools from June 2010. As part of the migration to the new system, from Monday 10th May all update requests (blocking* / unblocking of sites) to the existing Smartfilter system will only be actioned between the hours of 1700 & 0800.

    * Please note: The immediate blocking of sites can continue to be done via the school’s own local caching server (NED).
    I'd heard some rumours about a change in the system, anyone know anything more about the changes?

    I like the line at the bottom implying that of the tiny fraction of the internet we are allowed on we'd actually want to block some stuff.

    Its nice to see the people at the westfield are only going to work outside office hours forcing us to work late or get in early to get things un-blocked.

    My big question is will we still have to go through a form for review or will we be able to quickly and easily gain access to filtered websites (on the un-catergorized list, not the black list)?

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    I noted while at the EduGeek conference at the Woodlands Conference Centre (having not set foot in a Lancashire school lately) that this is now live? How's it going?

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    Thumbs down

    Day one with CLEO Netsweeper. EPIC FAIL (IN MY VIEW) Doing my day to day job all i have had was ether, Page is blocked,Timed out or page is being scanned, and there are only 3 people in school! whats it going to be like when i have 800 people online and every other school on the grid.

    There is also the small matter of getting websites unblocked. To do so all you need to do is input your email address and a comment... Oh almost forgot, your email password as well (P.S its an unencrypted page )

    So, what am i looking forward to on Monday i wonder?

    This does remind me of what some one (No name) was saying when CAPITA SIM.NET guys where taking questions at edugeek2010, its another example of a corporation off loading its responsibilities onto the school.



    ** These are my personal views and not of my employer! **
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    I did note it appear to get 'stuck' scanning pages indefinitely. Have you had feedback from LancsNGFL/Westfield about the issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    ... Have you had feedback from LancsNGFL/Westfield about the issues?
    I personally have emailed #westfield with my "Concern" over having to put ones email password in and also the apparent slowdown of the internet as its scans... but with out reply.

    Now i know for a fact it now cant be out connection which use to be a problem as we have been moved over to the CLEO 100Mb Fiber

    Someone else complained and got a nice email roughly saying "some key staff can get permission from there head... from 1st July.

    I think thast the point where we can choose as a school to unblock previously unblockable sites, such as youtube, facebook...

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    Other than the 'Geek, I've visited one website so far today and every other page of that site was scanned because it was an unknown URL. Obviously that's better than the old 'uncategorised' problem because I did get to see the pages eventually but the scanning wasn't as quick as the 3-5 seconds mentioned at the meeting last week. Worrying that the message states that it can take up to 10 minutes to scan a page too!!!

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    I've also noticed that somebody has taken it upon themselves to filter advertising on websites... great for those organisations that require advertising revenue to pay for the services offered to their members.

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    IMHO the main problem is that the county corporate centre basically just want to tick boxes to say they've done their job and then go home

    And because they are just an amorphous cloud, you can't get anyone to actually take responsibility and get things sorted, and even if there were trying to sort things - you wouldn't be able to find out

    It makes me weep.

    The password thing is just B&*^%y stupid - how would Lancs know a high schools internal email password?

    I'm just going to create an email address (On the Lancs email system) for each of my schools.

    Suggestions please as to what name to use before the @school.lancs.sch.uk

    No Fs please

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    The password thing is just B&*^%y stupid - how would Lancs know a high schools internal email password?
    I just get a mailto link so they've either changed that page or different schools get different pages depending upon their email provider.

  10. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    SimpleSi (4th June 2010)

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    You can't make this stuff up!
    I've popped in to my local school (for local people) and this is what I got on my very first search after I clicked on the link

    (It was for Helium Frog - a stop-mo animation software)

    I personally had this site whitelisted 2 months ago so that means they've completely ignored the whitelist that we've all spent 2 years building up.

    There is no icon to represent my emotions

    Simon
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    mm- it works now - is someone from the cloud listening

    Simon

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    And if so - you need to block the search phrase "pink skin"

    For the sake of balance ( ) - I like the fact that google searches are re-wriiten as safe and that I can't save changes to my prefs

    regards

    Simon

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    I've also noticed that somebody has taken it upon themselves to filter advertising on websites... great for those organisations that require advertising revenue to pay for the services offered to their members.
    I just get the normal
    Prefetching is not allowed due to the various privacy issues that arise.
    when I click on the first offered Edugeek link

    But it used to do that anyway

    Simon

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    Its seems quite simple. We are all having to cost cut (Smaller budget...) seems they have done the same!

    Its was out to tender, they got a cheaper option and have off loaded the responsibility of the filtering onto the school. Now its not a bad idea in some cases, some school might want youtube, facebook, twitter... unblocking and others would not dream of doing that, but what will happen to primary schools.

    As part of my high school role was to visit local primary's and deal with there IT problems and i know (Not to put them down) they would find it so very difficult to manage there own filtering.

    Now it could be the case that westfield/CLEO/LGFL or whoever will deal with them on a one to one, but that has never been said, unless we have missed an email or two in my school that explained this new filter i feel left in the dark.

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    I don't think that there was much of a consiltation process but we all knew that the SmartFilter solution had to go. With CLEO wanting to become a Becta Accredited ISP (although now a moot point) there was other hoops that had to be jumped through. I don't think it's down to cost.

    The current service is meant to be like-for-like (although it obviously isn't) and there probably will be teething problems. I'm sure some of our findings are also down to 'taste' and personal opinion... I'd rather just have every page's content examined rather than use what is escentially a URL filter and a fancy engine for adding new sites to the URL lists. I'll probably be happier once we're given the freedom to open up more of the web and then I'll use a local solution to fine tune.

    @AWicher: The decision to block and unblock things will be left down to the schools with a default level of filtering applied so primaries that don't want to manage their own filtering should be fine. I do agree with your comment that there has been a lack of communication regarding the purchasing process and it would have been nice for all schools to have been given the chance to give input in the process - web filteringhas a pretty massive effect on schools after all!

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