Monday, February 13, 2012

APS acts decisively to protect students

A message was sent out to allusers in APS this morning. In order “to protect children” administrators will no longer have internet access to pornography, gambling, online dating, e-Bay, Facebook and Twitter.

Being the cynic that I am, I suspect it wasn't really children abusing access at "administrative sites".

To: All APS Staff
From: Lynn Harris,
Chief Information Officer
APS Information Technology

Re: Web Filtering

Beginning today, more stringent web filtering will be in place on all Albuquerque Public Schools computer servers. While schools have had this filtering in place for many years, all administrative sites will be included now as well.

WHAT WILL BE BLOCKED or FILTERED OUT? All adult content sites, sites that show explicit art, image servers, freeware and shareware sites, gambling sites, online dating, instant messaging, online auction sites like e-Bay, alcohol and drug sites, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and others.

WHAT WON’T BE BLOCKED or FILTERED OUT? Online classes, online shopping sites where there is a valid business need, banking sites, and others.

WHY IS THIS BEING DONE? APS needs to comply with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA: ). CIPA requires school districts and public libraries to apply a number of information security best practices as a condition of receiving e-Rate funds. Web filtering is one of those best practices. If a school district does not comply with CIPA, its e-Rate funding will be frozen until the district comes into compliance. APS receives somewhere between $2 million and $3 million in e-Rate funding each year, which is used to provide IT infrastructure throughout the district. While web filters have been in place at the schools for many years, we need to apply those same web filters to the administrative network to comply with CIPA.

WHAT IF I HAVE A BUSINESS NEED TO ACCESS A BLOCKED SITE? Contact your supervisor for approval. If your supervisor approves, the request will be forwarded to the district Executive Leadership team. If the Leadership team approves, your request will be sent to the Information Technology Security staff to unblock the requested site for you.

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