Vericept Solutions for Education—a collection of internet monitoring tools from Vericept Inc., formerly known as eSniff—captures and reports all violations of a school’s internet acceptable-use policy. Unlike typical filtering systems, however, Vericept Solutions for Education doesn’t block objectionable material, and it doesn’t presume to know what a school feels is appropriate.

Instead, the system—which consists of a Linux-based hardware device—captures and reports activity predefined by the school as inappropriate. Vericept’s unobtrusive monitoring technology uses advanced linguistics and mathematical analysis to analyze a school’s network traffic, including internet, intranet, and eMail use; print jobs; and instant messaging.

Vericept Solutions for Education allows schools to define their own boundaries when it comes to acceptable-use policies. The software simply captures the full content of the activity that violates these policies, so school officials can take action in real time or follow up later. By recording and reporting inappropriate internet use, Vericept helps school officials identify pending violent attacks, substance-abuse problems, or even attempted plagiarism. The device can capture when students use school computers to buy term papers online, download pornography, view drug or bomb-making web sites, or engage in racist dialogue. The sensitivity of the categories can be tailored to suit each school.

Vericept Solutions for Education costs between $10 and $20 per workstation, depending on the number of stations at a given school. In addition, there is an optional annual maintenance fee of 20 percent.

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