Publication - FOI/EIR release

Websites accessed by Scottish Government staff: FOI release

Published: 11 Dec 2020
Directorate:
Digital Directorate
Part of:
Public sector

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
11 Dec 2020
Websites accessed by Scottish Government staff: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000101936
Date received: 22 Oct 2020
Date responded: 24 Nov 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

  • The most visited websites by Scottish Government staff on Holyrood computers in the 12 months up to the end of September 2020 (30 September 2019 to 30 September 2020). Please provide a list of the top 15 websites accessed, with a total number of times each website was visited and the average time a user spent on each website in an active session.
  • The number of visits were made to the Daily Mail website (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/) by Scottish Government staff on Holyrood computers in the 12 months up to the end of September 2020 (30 September 2019 to 30 September 2020) including the average time a user spent on this website in an active session.
  • The number of visits made to an ‘adult’ or pornographic website including one of the following adult websites – ‘pornhub.com, xvideos.com, xnxx.com and xhamster.com’ – by Scottish Government staff on Holyrood computers in the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  • Please give a total number for each year and also provide a list of the 5 most visited websites in this category. I.e. there were X number of visits to an ‘adult’ or pornographic website in 2019.
  • The most visited ‘adult’ or pornographic website in 2019 was X with X number of visits.
Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested below.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have all the information you have requested.

Please note the time periods you have requested for each ask listed above cannot be fully provided.

The Scottish Government's policy is to retain logs of web access for six months only. Therefore the data below lists the top 15 websites accessed and the number of visits to the Daily Mail's website between the dates of 11th May 2020 to 9th November 2020.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing some of the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.

Specifically the average time a user spent on websites, both top 15 and Daily Mail in an active session. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600, such as narrowing the time period of the requests. It should however be noted for any future request that the average time a user spends on a website may not be a true reflection of web browsing activity. For example, if a member of staff leaves an open connection to a website whilst away from their device the reports cannot differentiate from active time on a website from a website left open while the computer is unattended.

You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

Top 15 websites accessed
The table below details the top 15 websites accessed between the dates of 11th May 2020 to 9th November 2020.
Website (Origin Domain) - Hits
launchdarkly.com - 37,247
driftt.com - 33,672
microsoftonline.com - 29,133
wetransfer.com - 29,120
huddle.net - 27,829
thetimes.co.uk - 27,305
virginmedia.com - 26,471
live.net - 25,491
ruralpayments.org - 25,056
roombookingsystem.co.uk - 24,893
acrobat.com - 24,648
royalmail.com - 24,369
decibelinsight.net - 24,233
wayfair.com - 24,210
spectrumhosting.net - 22,433

Daily Mail website access
There were 20148 hits to the Daily Mail's website (www.dailymail.co.uk) between the dates of 11th May 2020 to 9th November 2020.

Adult Websites Accessed
The number of recorded visited sessions to pornographic web sites by Scottish Government devices for the latest 6 months is Nil. The Scottish Government block access to malicious, hacked, or inappropriate websites using Web Filtering categories. Web filtering is the first line of defence against web-based attacks. Malicious or hacked websites, a primary vector for initiating attacks, trigger downloads of malware, spyware, or risky content.

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 Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG