This document outlines the guidelines for managing access to internet content by all users on the Department's corporate network.
Access to internet content is controlled using an internet filtering service. This document provides guidelines for managing the categories of content that are allowed and blocked by the internet filtering service. It also provides guidelines for managing exceptions.
This guideline applies to the management of the internet filtering service. The guideline applies to all users on the Department's corporate network accessing internet content through the internet filtering service.
The scope of this guideline does not include:
Accessing the internet from school networks
System to system connections over the internet to enable business processes between the department and external parties
Access beyond normal web browsing or simple downloading and uploading of files (e.g. remote desk top support).
The Department’s corporate network allows access to the internet for users. This access is provided for business purposes consistent with the aims, values and objectives of the Department.
Not all websites and web pages available on the internet support this purpose. An internet filtering service is in place to prevent access to websites and web pages that do not support the aims, values and objectives of the Department.
The internet filtering service uses categories to allow or block access to websites or web pages on internet sites. The filtering service uses the content of information on the internet site to determine the category for the site. The filtering service will allow access to a site whose category is allowed, and block access to a site in a category that is blocked.
Review content categories
A selection of categories have been chosen to allow access to internet sites that support business purposes of the Department. Select categories have been blocked to prevent access to unsafe or unlawful sites or sites not necessary for the Departments business purposes.
The categories will be reviewed biennially to ensure allowed and blocked categories continue to be aligned to the Acceptable Use policy and are consistent with the aims, values and objectives of the Department. The Department may also choose to include categories that allow access to sites that are suitable for occasional personal use.
When the list of categories has been reviewed the internet filtering service provider will update the service if the allowed or blocked categories have changed.
Filtering on categories may result in preventing access to an internet site that is required for a legitimate business purpose.
Requests to enable access to a blocked site that has a legitimate business purpose, are to be logged via the Service Gateway. The request will initially be assessed to determine if the category for the site is accurate.
When the category for the site is accurate and access to the site is required for a legitimate business purpose the requestor will need to provide approval from their Executive Director (or equivalent). Following approval the site will need to be placed on an exception list to enable access (known as a whitelist).
The list of exception sites will be maintained as a whitelist on the internet filtering service.
Blocking access to sites
Filtering on categories may also result in allowing access to an internet site that is not appropriate or not required for a legitimate business purpose. Requests to block access to these sites are to be logged via the Service Gateway. The request will be investigated to determine what action needs to be taken. Sites may be blocked because they are illegal, offensive or inappropriate.
Access to sites may also be blocked on advice from government and non-government security specialists to protect the information assets of the Department. Blocking access to internet sites to protect Department information assets will be managed by ICT security specialists in the Department.