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Internet control at different levels

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by olivero, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. I hope someone can help - I suggested to my head that our current monitoring of internet and email use is very blunt - one level of control for students and another for staff. I would like to reward older and more responsible students with a higher level of trust and therefore access to some of the blocked sites such as youtube. This could then be downgraded if a student misuses the internet, or blocked for serious offences - with an easy to use interface that allows comments explaining why a block is in place so others don't accidentally reinstall access. I am sure I saw such a system a long time ago but I can't remember what it was.
    He thought this sounded great and suggested I go and do some research. Does anyone have such a system in place or know of how this can be done? One major hurdle is that we subscribe to LGFL which do a lot of the filtering for us however. they are in the process of changing their ISP to Virgin so I'm not sure what difference that might make.
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    The switch to LGFL 2.0 will make a lot of difference, the web filtering is set to improve dramatically: if Virgin can ever get their connections right ------ poor Northern Rock customers!!
  3. The solution is going to rather depend on your budget and/or level of expertise. If your ISP (LGFL) provide a filtered connection for you anyway then all you really need to do is ask them to switch you to their lowest level of filtering (which should cut out any ****, gambling, etc) and leave you with things like YouTube, Facebook, etc, to filter as you see appropriate. I would do that myself by installing a server to act as a transparent Internet gateway (using the Squid HTTP proxy server) and having it integrate with your Active Directory server so your pupils/staff can authenticate with their own username/password to get appropriatly filtered content.

    If you, or whoever handles IT at your school, can manage the above then that's probably your best (and cheapest) option (and once set up it shouldn't need to much fiddling with). However, you can simply buy system that do filtering for you. Smoothwall is a popular choice, although its main feature (filtering out dodgy sites in a way that pupils can't get around) is probably going to be unnessesary, you just want it to do user authentication and apply an appropriate filtering profile to each user. Smoothwall and similar systems will set you back around £1,000 a year, but obviously you do get technical support for installing and running their system.
  4. Many thanks Becton boy - I had no idea this was in the new LGFL connection. Rare that a free solution to a problem falls into your lap like this (asuming it works of course!).

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