Publication - FOI/EIR release

Blocked web categories within the Scottish Government: FOI release

Published: 12 Dec 2017
Directorate:
Digital Directorate
Part of:
Public sector
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
12 Dec 2017
Blocked web categories within the Scottish Government: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/17/02906
Date received: 16 November 2017
Date responded: 11 December 2017

Information requested

You asked for:

Information contained in any lists, including identities, of websites and social media websites and specific pages/links which are currently blocked by the Scottish Government and comparison lists under the same above criteria for 2015-2016 & 2016-2017.

Response

The Scottish Government use next generation firewalls to protect our network and manage web site access. Our IT Code of Conduct allows limited personal browsing of the internet in staff's own time.

The web sweeping technologies deployed in the Scottish Government rely on cloud-based reputational databases which continuously check and update web categories and block malicious websites on a minute-by-minute basis.

This is necessary as the size of our user base (11,000 users) and both the existing and continually emerging threats on the web means that the level of protection we require to safeguard our services can no longer rely on simple whitelisting or blacklisting sites on an individual basis.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The Scottish Government use the web categorisation tools included in our technologies to block or allow web-sites. The web categorisations are determined by the solution provider. However, please note that even within permitted categories websites may still be blocked if the technology discovers malicious or dangerous content upon access. A full list of blocked categories and an indication of what the categories contain is appended in Annex A.

Please note we do not maintain point in time records of allowed/blocked categories from 2015/16 and 2016/17, therefore it is also not possible to provide data for past years. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG