|What system does the district use to block inappropriate web sites?
The system is called Total Traffic Control by LightSpeed Systems. It is the same system that also provides spam filtering for our district. The company, LightSpeed Systems, reviews web sites and places them into categories. Our district then selects which categories we want blocked. We also have the ability to block specific sites as well as unblock sites for specific users.
Why do we filter at all, can’t we just turn it off?
Do we block more than is required by CIPA?
Are the filters 100% accurate?
What categories are currently blocked in West Des Moines Schools?
Currently, the following categories are blocked…
Porn – Pornography related sites, including tumblr.com
Security.proxy – Web proxy servers and open SMTP relays. Proxy web sites are used to bypass filtering to gain access to pornography or other blocked material
Security.warez – Sites promoting illegal access and sharing of software and other copyrighted material
security.phishing – Web sites of internet scams that try to get personal information
security.spyware – Spyware – advertising supported software
security.virus – Viruses, malware, trojans, backdoors, hacker tools
plagarism – Web sites that sell term papers, research papers, and other ways to help students cheat
What about other services such as streaming radio?
What about YouTube, what is the district policy regarding YouTube?
If a website is blocked, what is the process to have it reviewed?
1) Visit the webpage online. When presented with the “Blocked by LightSpeed Systems” page, click on the link to submit a review. Fill out your rationale for why this site should be available to staff and students.
2) The information on this form is first sent to LightSpeed Systems, who reviews the form within an hour (during business hours). They review the web site to ensure that the web site was categorized correctly. For example, if the website was categorized as a porn web site, they check to verify that this categorization was correct. If it was categorized incorrectly, they change the category, which will open up access to the site. If the categorization is found to be accurate, then they will forward the request back to our school district, where it will be reviewed locally.
3) If the request is sent to the district, it will be reviewed by members of Teaching & Learning Services.
What if the web site is open and available and I want to see it blocked?