Internet Filtering

In response to legislation and the growing need to assure that schools have some measure of control over the internet content that their students are accessing, ETC offers internet content filtering. We use the leader in education filtering software called BESS, by Secure Computing (now part of McAfee).

Erate now requires that schools take steps to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Here is a link to the Federal Communications Commission website that explains what is required.

How it Works

The ETC maintains a proxy-server running the BESS filtering software. It receives a database update from Secure Computing/McAfee early every morning. Using BESS software, we determine which content categories to allow and which to block.

There are three methods to deploy Web filtering:

  1. At your school, manually configure Internet Explorer or your specific browser on computers on which you want to filter Internet content. This makes them access the Internet through the proxy-server and filter.
  2. Include a small batch program in your logon script or use GPOs to set proxy settings each time a user logs onto the network. This allows use of your Active Directory security groups to determine the application of filtering. For example, all student computers can be filtered, but admin and staff computers can be left to bypass the filter.
  3. Configure your router or firewall, if compatible, so all internet web traffic is routed through the proxy server. This protects your entire district without having to install any software, but is presently only available in limited situations.

When a user requests a web page in the browser, the request goes to the proxy-server, which compares the site requested to its database list. If the site is permitted, it relays the request to the appropriate site transparently to the user. If the site is blocked, it returns a message to the user to that effect and logs the event to a file that can then be used to generate a report.

ETC is constantly improving and updating our internet filtering systems. The options for filtering overall and customizing the filtering criteria and sites continues to expand. We can provide an option that works best for your district or school.

How Can You Get Filtering?

ETC offers this service on a per computer subscription basis. Please contact ETC for details and a quote for your school by emailing the Director.