Web Filtering

Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), schools and libraries must have measures in place to block or filter Internet access to materials that are obscene, are harmful to minors or are child pornography. Schools are also required to adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors.

To comply with this regulation, EGUSD uses web filtering technology that monitors, logs and filters all Internet activity to or from any system connected to the EGUSD network.  This includes all district servers, workstations and laptops, as well as any personal system that is connected to the network. The web activity logs are monitored regularly for attempts to access inappropriate material or blocked sites, attempts to bypass the web filtering technology, or other violations of district internet use policies.

Until recently, all users and workstations were subject to the same filtering restrictions. Improvements in the filtering technology have allowed EGUSD to create separate filtering rules for different user groups, based on their needs.  For example, different filtering rules can be created for students and teachers.  This may allow teachers to access sites which are blocked to students, but may host material that has instructional value.

The filtering policy each user is assigned depends upon their network user login.  In most cases, the web filter will recognize the user based on information sent from the workstation.  In some cases, that information is not received, and the Student (most restrictive) filtering policy is applied.  If you are blocked from sites for which you should have access, it may be because the wrong filtering policy has been applied.  In that case, you can submit your login credentials through the web browser.  Please see the document titled “Web Filter Login” for instructions.

In some cases, appropriate sites are blocked by mistake and inappropriate sites that should be blocked are left available.  In either case, you may ask the Technology Services Help Desk to have the site reviewed and reclassified if appropriate.

The sites to which we block access include:

  • Any site containing nudity or sexually explicit material;
  • Sites containing depictions or descriptions of violence;
  • Sites promoting hate speech or violence against any group;
  • Sites promoting or encouraging the use of illegal drugs;
  • Sites related to gambling;
  • Sites containing unlicensed software, freeware and shareware;
  • Sites containing tools and instructions for gaining unauthorized access to information systems (“hacking” sites);
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing services (Kazaa, BitTorrent, LimeWire, etc);
  • Sites known to spread viruses or spyware;
  • Sites designed to allow users to bypass the district web filtering software (web proxies);
  • Social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  • Game sites (except sites with educational games);
  • Bandwidth-intensive sites with no apparent instructional purpose, such as Internet radio, streaming audio/video sites, etc.  (For users other than students, we may allow access but limit bandwidth, which may result in slow/choppy playback);
  • Search engines which do not enforce a “Safe Search” option which filters offensive and sexually explicit search terms and content.  Currently, the only search engines providing an enforceable safe search option are Yahoo and Google.

Due to the growing use of instant messaging applications to spread viruses and spyware, many of these applications are blocked.  Those that are not blocked are logged and may be scanned for suspicious terms and activity.

Any questions, concerns or suggestions may be directed to the EGUSD Computer Security Manager, Skip Brewer. He may be contacted by phone at (916) 686-7710 x. 2028 or by e-mail at rlbrewer@egusd.net.