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South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) Thread, SWGfL and Google Apps in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Lost without gmail and apps here. I have applied for it to be unblocked, as it is unlikely to be ...
  1. #16
    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Lost without gmail and apps here.

    I have applied for it to be unblocked, as it is unlikely to be a major problem here with less tech savy junior school kids. If they were caught using ssl and searching for stuff that was less than savoury then they would loose their internet privileges.

    As an interesting aside, there have been rumblings about Ofsted wanting unfiltered access to the net for all kids. We should be teaching them what to do to avoid harmful content and what to do when they find it rather than trying make a pretend "safe" internet. With upwards of 90% of the net dedicated to pr0n and freaky stuff its always going to be easier to teach kids to avoid that to try to block every objectionable site.
    Last edited by ICT_GUY; 17th June 2010 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #17
    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Just got this.

    This message gives an update on the 'Google ssl searching' issue I informed
    you of last week.

    Google have acknowledge the problem and this link explains how they are
    going to deal with the issue:
    Official Google Enterprise Blog: An update on encrypted web search in schools

    Put simply, Gmail & Gdocs will remain on https://www.google.com but Google
    will move their 'encrypted search' service to a new URL. At that point
    SWGfL will be able to remove the block on https://www.google.com

    However, the Google statement says this will be "in a few weeks".

  3. #18
    Devontechie's Avatar
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    I've just had this via email from SWGfL:

    Good News - You can now control access to Google SSL pages yourself

    As you may be aware Google have recently released a beta version secure search engine. This new search engine allows users to search the internet, with their search terms and results encrypted. This encryption bypasses the filtering system in place and is affecting many of the mainstream filtering suppliers to education. This means Google Secure Search will return results for ALL search terms, including video/picture thumbnails. Users who attempt to click through to inappropriate sites will find these pages subject to normal filtering policies. For more information click here. To ensure the continued online safety of all users, the South West Grid for Learning has taken the decision to block ALL traffic to secure Google sites. The knock-on effect of this is that access to other secure Google sites, such as Gmail, Google Apps and YouTube will also be blocked.

    The South West Grid for Learning are aware a number of customers use these Google services, and as a result have added a new filter list to your SWGfL Filtering service. This gives schools the ability to quickly unblock access to these sites. The new filter list is called “Google Secure Services (Inc GMail and Calendar)”. To grant access to these sites again, your SWGfL Filtering administrator will need to un-check this filter list in the admin interface - https://admin.filtering.swgfl.org.uk. If you are unsure of the process to unblock these sites, please contact your normal support provider. Remember, you can also reset your password for the admin interface in the latest version of SWGfL filtering by going to the Settings page.

    NOTE: By granting access to GMail, Google apps and other secure Google services such as YouTube users will gain access to the Google Secure Search. As explained above, this will give users access to an unfiltered search engine. Any attempt to view an inappropriate site from these search results will be subject to normal filtering rules.

    The SWGfL and RM are working with Google to find a longer term solution and will update all customers once a more permanent resolution is found. You can find the latest update from Google here.

  4. #19
    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Ours has been unlocked woohoo!

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Anyone else just being informed by their LEA that they might be fined 500,000 if Google Apps data is found to be outside the EU?

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Anyone else just being informed by their LEA that they might be fined 500,000 if Google Apps data is found to be outside the EU?
    I seriously doubt that is true, as the US and the EU have the 'Safe Harbor' agreement, which Google is registered with. US Safe Harbor

  7. #22
    morganw's Avatar
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    If it transpires that the data is hosted external to the European Community I am advised that this would not be considered acceptable practise by Cornwall Council.
    That's what the email says. I think Live@Edu would be out too as the same restrictions apply.

  8. #23

    john's Avatar
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    We had a discussion over this at our last IT Managers meeting in N Yorks, and it was said that Google Mail for schools etc was out as Google store data outside the EU which isn't allowed, but Microsoft Live@Edu stores it in a new data-centre they have just got within the EU so that is a good possibility for N Yorks Schools to replace the existing Scalix E-mail platform.

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    Live@edu is hosted in Dublin, with fail-over to Amsterdam.
    Google do abide by and have a safe harbor agreement which is accepted by Becta and ICO. The fine of 500k would be from the ICO ... who don't have a problem with the Safe harbor agreement?

    A council not accepting this as acceptable practice is very different to the ICO issuing a massive fine. I would advise whoever you spoke with at the council to contact the ICO to get clarification as other LAs have no issue with this.

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    Google has 12 european datacentres, but how can anyone give a guarantee that data isn't backed up / load balanced back to the US? The Microsoft data centers will be part of a global infrastructure so can they guarantee where the data will be at all times? It makes sense to sync changes worldwide if you can so that while the US is asleep if you can use the idle capacity.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Live@edu is hosted in Dublin, with fail-over to Amsterdam.
    Google do abide by and have a safe harbor agreement which is accepted by Becta and ICO. The fine of 500k would be from the ICO ... who don't have a problem with the Safe harbor agreement?

    A council not accepting this as acceptable practice is very different to the ICO issuing a massive fine. I would advise whoever you spoke with at the council to contact the ICO to get clarification as other LAs have no issue with this.
    Thanks, will look into this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    We should be teaching them what to do to avoid harmful content and what to do when they find it rather than trying make a pretend "safe" internet. With upwards of 90% of the net dedicated to pr0n and freaky stuff its always going to be easier to teach kids to avoid that to try to block every objectionable site.
    I'm coming round to that view. When doing my weakly naughty trawl I came accross a record from a yr 7 student who'd searched for "Homosexuals Being Abused". It was obviouse that they just wanted pictures for PSHE, but my first though was would would happen if they attempted the search at home. I passed it up to the assistant head who got the student's HOY to phone home.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Anyone else just being informed by their LEA that they might be fined 500,000 if Google Apps data is found to be outside the EU?
    Hi Morgan,
    The email was typical late response as we've come to accept. What it said was that a 500k fine would be payable *if a school was prosecuted as result of data loss*
    Through a mixture of concern / lack of understanding, the current guidelines for Government departments is that data is kept secure inside the UK (perhaps the EU too?). Obviously we know what the Google answer will be in response to their questions, which means the LA will more than likely rally Cornwall Heads to seek alternative provisions - either for all, or just for users involved with data transfer/export.

    (You know where I am if/when you want to play with Exchange! )

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    We did inform the relevant person when we started using it (September 2008) and no one could give a answer as to whether using it was a good thing or not. I find it surprising that (as claimed in the email) they've only just realised people are using it.

    Aren't emails the legal equivalent of a postcard though? I'm fairly sure this is the case, if it gets read in transit that is just the nature of how the system was designed. I've always told people not to email confidential data without some kind of encryption, and also been surprised when unencrypted confidential data has come in from outside agencies e.g. the police.

    Thanks for the offer of a look at Exchange, might be forced to implement this.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    The 2008 reference doesn't surprise me at all. Pretty much the standard response when something isn't known or understood - which was probably the case for them back then! (It might be useful if you still have that email though - might be good evidence further down the line if/when challenged?)

    Generally I agree with the postcard analogy, but the real world scenario is that people do transmit unsuitable data like you said.
    It's all one huge "cover your back" cycle. The Government had high profile data losses and had to show the public they implemented new measures to stop it happening. We're an extension of Government so we get dragged in to it too.

    I'm currently writing a Data Protection Policy which touches on this, and quite frankly is a complete load of tosh as well!
    [This rant is not protectively marked!]

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