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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Does a webfilter need to be Becta approved for use in schools? in Technical; If we replace our existing web filter does the one we replace it with need to have any accrediation for ...
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    HMCTech's Avatar
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    Does a webfilter need to be Becta approved for use in schools?

    If we replace our existing web filter does the one we replace it with need to have any accrediation for its use in schools? Is this a legal requirement?

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    i didnt think becta existed any more hasnt the funding been stopped?

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    Its not a legal requirement. They are just guidelines

    Anyway Betca will be gone soon...

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    Its recommended, but if the brown and stick stuff came back and you were not using one that was accreditied I suspect you may find it harder to shut the aforementioned sticky stuff to someone else other than just you.

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    tom_newton (21st September 2010)

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    Becta may be on its way out, but I *suspect* that the accreditation will remain. We'll see.
    John's not too far off the mark - it is a sensible CYA manoeuvre, plus it gives you an idea that the filtering is at least OK on BECTA categories (though they don't cover proxies, be sure to test that yourself).

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    As I understood it, your filter needs access to the IWF's list of dodgy sites. Last time I asked them, no open-source filtering provider had shown they could keep the list sufficiently* secure.

    *how they determine this is unclear because at some point the list needs to be in plain-text for the filter to load it into memory. Maybe they just don't want google code search indexing it.
    Last edited by pete; 21st September 2010 at 01:55 PM.

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    Pete,

    I believe they will let you encrypt the list - but as you say, you then have to decrypt it in RAM to match.
    We normalise the URLs in the list (via some automatic process) then store a hash. We then normalise the requested URL, and do a hash comparison. As such, no-one can reverse-engineer the IWF lists out of Guardian. This is also why you will see "iwfhelper" as a process on your guardian box.

    Though the reason they aren't ever used by open-source/very cheap filters is that IWF membership is costly (it costs us per user).

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    We are facing a 4K bill for internet access next year, has anyone implemented a private connection and if so how much?

    Sorry for the Hi Jack.

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    Even if the Department for Education doesn't give two hoots about filtering your access the Local Safeguarding Children's Boards do ... partly down to the fact the social services have an interetst to ensure that any child in their care is adequately protected whilst in an educational setting.

    A lot of people are still waiting to see who picks up the various strands of Becta's work (they may be going but chunks of their work isn't ... we just don't know who is going to do it yet!) and many folk cannot see the filtering accreditation being dropped off the radar ... if nothing else, a school independent of the LA and answerable only to itself and OFSTED needs a benchmark for a number of things. This subject is one of those areas which is likely to still be heavily probed.

  11. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    tom_newton (21st September 2010)

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