Internet Filtering Guidelines

Internet Filtering Guidelines
Crane R-III School District

The Crane School District provides access to the Internet for students, faculty, staff, administration, and others through a local area network. While much of the information available via the Internet has significant educational value some does not. Federal, state, and local mandates require Internet content to be filtered or blocked. This document helps define what content must and should be filtered as well as the procedure to add or remove blocks to Internet content. No equipment or software has been developed to block all undesired content, but the Crane School District is determined to implement the best technologies available.

Federal Mandates

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is the primary document defining the types of content that must be filtered or blocked. Schools must be in compliance with CIPA to receive any federal funding for technology. (Click here for more information.) The portions of CIPA that apply to this document are that a technology protection measure must be used and that it filters or blocks access to visual depictions that are obscene1, child pornography1, or harmful to minors1.
(Note: Numbers denote categories listed in chart below.)

State Mandates

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted an Internet filtering policy effective April 30, 2003 that restricts minors from gaining access to inappropriate material on the Internet. The guiding documents are CIPA and NCIPA (Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act). (Title 5 CSR 50-380.020 Internet Filtering)

MOREnet is the Internet Service Provider for the Crane School District. As part of the Acceptable Use Policy agreement, "All network use by MOREnet members, project participants and those connected via MOREnet members or project participants shall be for, or in support of, research; education; local, state or national government affairs; economic development or public service." Furthermore, "It is not acceptable to use MOREnet in a manner that intentionally or negligently disrupts normal network use and service." (MOREnet Policies and Procedures-Acceptable Use Policy). Examples of Internet content that can interfere with normal network use and service include file-sharing programs, unsolicited advertising, spyware, etc.2 Websites that promote or allow intentional disruption of network services such as hacking, bypass proxies, and redirectors need to be blocked.3

The Missouri General Assembly adopted HB 1301 and 1298 in August 2003, commonly referred to as the Safe Schools Act, to help stem the tide of violent behavior found in many school systems. The Internet filtering of websites that promote violence, illegal weapons, and other forms of aggression is a necessary extension of this policy.4

Missouri state and United States federal laws prohibit alcohol consumption and gambling by minors as well as illegal drug use for all citizens. Websites that promote these activities should not be allowed.5

Local Mandates
According to the Crane R-III School District Technology plan, modern technologies are to be provided that will empower all students to become lifetime learners who are responsible, productive citizens in a changing, global society. Any Internet content that interferes with this mission is subject to be disallowed. Some Internet content is counterproductive and therefore does not comply with the district mission. Examples of this include online social chatting, social emailing, and other sites that waste valuable instruction time. 2,6

Current Filtering Information
The current filtering system is a proxy/filtering server using SmoothWall Corporate Guardian software to cache websites and verify users. The blacklist is a subscription list provided by SmoothWall which is managed by SmoothWall and is updated weekly on the local server. SmoothWall divides websites into many categories. See the list below for the categories and divisions.

Any of the sites in any category may be allowed and additional sites may be added on demand. Any teacher, staff, or administrator may submit a site for inclusion or exclusion by contacting the system administrator. The site will be evaluated for compliance with the current set of mandates and included, excluded, or no action as needed. Appeals of the decision may be submitted to administration or the board of education.

Crane Category SmoothWall Category*
1. Pornography Adult, artnudes, naturism, sexuality, porn
 2. Disruption of service  Ads, antispyware, audio-video, dialers, kidswastingtime, onlinegames, phishing, radio, virusinfected
 3. Intentional misuse  Hacking, proxy, warez
 4. Violence  Aggressive, violence, weapons
 5. Inappropriate for school  Beerliquorinfo, beerliquorsale, drugs, gambling
 6. Chat/email  Chat, instantmessaging, mail, webmai

APPENDIX A - Definitions
Block - To deny access to a website or a portion of a website.
Filter - A program or device that examines incoming data to ensure that only specific information may pass through.
Technology protection measure - a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access (CIPA definition)
Child pornography - any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct (TITLE 18 - PART I - CHAPTER 110 - Sec. 2256, United States Code)
Harmful to minors - any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors. (CIPA definition)

Appendix B - Sample Blacklist Categories
Source: – 12/16/05
ads - Advert servers and banned URLs
adult - Sites containing adult material such as swearing but not porn
aggressive - Similar to violence but more promoting than depicting
antispyware - Sites that remove spyware
artnudes - Art sites containing artistic nudity
audio-video - Sites with audio or video downloads
beerliquorinfo - Sites with information only on beer or liquors
beerliquorsale - Sites with beer or liquors for sale
cellphones - stuff for mobile/cell phones
chat - Sites with chat rooms etc
childcare - Sites to do with childcare
clothing - Sites about and selling clothing
culnary - Sites about cooking et al
dating - Sites about dating
dialers - Sites with dialers such as those for pornography or trojans
drugs - Drug related sites
ecommerce - Sites that provide online shopping
entertainment - Sites that promote movies, books, magazine, humor
frencheducation - Sites to do with french education
gambling - Gambling sites including stocks and shares
gardening - Gardening sites
government - Military and schools etc
hacking - Hacking/cracking information
homerepair - Sites about home repair
hygiene - Sites about hygiene and other personal grooming related stuff
instantmessaging - Sites that contain messenger client download and web-based messaging sites
jewelry - Sites about and selling jewelry
jobsearch - Sites for finding jobs
kidstimewasting - Sites kids often waste time on
mail - Webmail and email sites
naturism - Sites that contain nude pictures and/or promote a nude lifestyle
news - News sites
onlineauctions - Online auctions
onlinegames - Online gaming sites
onlinepayment - Online payment sites
personalfinance - Personal finance sites
pets - Pet sites
phishing - Sites attempting to trick people into giving out private information.
porn - Pornography
proxy - Sites with proxies to bypass filters
radio - non-news related radio and television
religion - Sites promoting religion
ringtones - Sites containing ring tones, games, pictures, and other
searchengines - Search engines such as google
sexuality - Sites dedicated to sexuality, possibly including adult material
sportnews - Sport news sites
sports - All sport sites
spyware - Sites who run or have spyware software to download
updatesites - Sites where software updates are downloaded from including virus sigs
vacation - Sites about going on holiday
violence - Sites containing violence
virusinfected - Sites who host virus infected files
warez - Sites with illegal pirate software
weather - Weather news sites and weather related
weapons - Sites detailing or selling weapons
webmail - Just webmail sites
whitelist - Contains site specifically 100% suitable for kids

Original Document: August 3, 2004
Revisions: September 17, 2004; December 19, 2005; May 9, 2007

Special Thanks to David Hendrix at Sparta R-III Schools for use of this document.