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SCHOOL-IT  June 2011

SCHOOL-IT June 2011

Subject:

Re: apps & filtering

From:

Bob Wickberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:29:47 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (88 lines)

I'm starting to think about content filtering myself, so I did a search in
my school-it archives, and found this old post.

We're in the same boat, except the contract expires over the summer, so
before I just renew it, I thought I'd check out alternatives.  Our filter,
an 8e6 R3000, won't do one thing that'd be really helpful for malware
avoidance: stop all downloads of executable files.  If the company could
keep up, they could just list all sites containing malware on their
malware sites list, and I could block that, but that's impossible, the
sites change too fast.  On a typical day, 20% of the sites our students
visit haven't been categorized by 8e6 yet.  I'd like to block all
executable file downloads by certain users, I'd spend a lot less time
cleaning up after trojans that masquerade as virus scanners.

I got the same flyer you did, Raymond, but a lot earlier.  What they're
talking about in that flyer is just the fact that handheld devices often
won't use a proxy server such as SOCKS server, so if that's how your
appliance works, you either have to allow those devices to bypass the
proxy server, or not allow those devices to access the internet at all. 
The content filters I've used, though, are transparent, you don't have to
set the clients up to use a proxy server, so I don't see how this is an
issue in the real world.

When I got that flyer, I did, just for the heck of it, check it out a bit.
 It looks like their appliance will do pretty much what our current one
will, and a whole lot less expensively, so now that summer's here I think
I'm going to look a lot closer.  They'll even supply a demo unit for 90
days.

To address your issues below, I don't know the answers to the iPad
questions yet.  I'd be surprised if the app store didn't use port 80
mostly, though, so you could probably block it if you liked.  On the new
AUP, there's an update on that in the ed tech update from DOE sent two
days ago, check that.  On the CIPA question, it requires us to block
student access to content on the internet that's considered harmful.  I
think it'd violate the spirit if not the letter of the law if we just
ignored new routes that harmful content can get in, just by saying, well,
they didn't access it through a browser, so that's OK.  On the other hand,
I think we're required to make a good faith effort to keep them safe, I
don't think you have to hand back all your e-rate money the first time a
student is exposed to something you wish s/he hadn't seen.



Bob Wickberg

Technology Coordinator
Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
802-451-3418

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Dear List:
>
>I got a flyer today from k12usa that talks about filtering for new
>devices.
>
>Our current filtering solution will EOL in about a year, and I am
>wondering how 
>people are dealing with new devices and filtering.
>
>This company is talking about proxies and ipods, and how most filters
>wont 
>work with ipods/proxy/https.
>
>That's not our setup, so I am not concerned about this specific issues,
>but 
>rather going forward how to deal with student control devices and
>filtering.
>
>Is there a way to filter an app store 
>Is there a way to block an app store outright?
>Is there a way to filter what apps will run from a device
>Many apps are just crammed down versions of websites, does web filtering 
>block those?
>
>our needs for filter will have changed for our next purchase 
>student controlled devices (did the student install proxy bypass software)
>apps v web (something that filters http and https, may not filter apps at
>all)
>
>other random thoughts
>-I know the state and VTSBA how proffered a new AUP, but that hasn't 
>trickled down to use yet. Has anyone adopted it yet, whats the status?
>-does CIPA require us to filter all internet traffic or just web?
>
>R
>

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