Lightspeed Systems releases updated school web filter

Version 3 of Rocket Web Filter features increased speed, live reports, easy SSL traffic handling

Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems announced the release of version 3 of Rocket Web Filter for content filtering in K-12 schools.

The release features a new user interface as well as a variety of new features to simplify school network management.

Rocket Web Filter — which is powered by Lightspeed Systems’ proprietary Rocket appliances, either on school networks or in a cloud — was built specifically for schools. With a reputation for robust content filtering without over-blocking, Web Filter quickly became the K-12 market leader for filtering. The new version features improvements to filtering speed, scalability and SSL handling as well as live traffic reports and other tools to make filtering and reporting fast and easy.…Read More

Companies respond to ACLU’s ‘Don’t Filter Me’ campaign

The ACLU has called for the removal of filters that block content in support of the LGBT community.

Web filtering software companies have started to respond to the American Civil Liberties Union’s call to remove filters that block websites with content geared toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

The ACLU has launched a national “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which seeks to remove censorship of pro-LGBT information on public school computer systems.

As part of its campaign, the organization has sent letters to several schools, asking them to reset their filtering software to stop blocking students’ access to such information, which it says is protected free speech. The ACLU also has contacted leading makers of filtering software, asking them to remove websites with content in support of the LGBT community from their block lists.…Read More

ACLU demands high schools remove anti-gay filters

The ACLU is urging schools to remove web filters blocking access to legitimate LGBT websites.

Several public high schools on March 28 received letters from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as well as local ACLU arms from Michigan, Kansas, and western Missouri, demanding that those schools stop using web filters to eliminate access to websites that support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

The ACLU says it learned that the schools were censoring material after teaming with Yale Law School to launch the “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which asks students to check to see if their schools are blocking content.

“Under the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), schools are already required to filter out adult-oriented or sexually explicit materials,” said Joshua Block, an ACLU staff attorney for the LGBT and AIDS Project. “What’s happening at these schools is that in addition to filtering out [those sites], they have an additional filter they’re using and that filter is designed to filter out LGBT content.”…Read More

Australia delays internet filter to review content

Australia’s widely criticized proposal to mandate a national web filter blocking child pornography and other objectionable internet content has been delayed at least a year so the government can review what content should be restricted, reports the Associated Press. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said a 12-month review would begin this year into the filter, which would force all Australian ISPs to block a regularly updated list of web sites. If a mandatory filter is passed into law, it would make Australia one of the strictest internet regulators among the world’s democracies. Some critics have said the proposed filter would put the nation in the same censorship league as China. While child pornography was the main target, the filter also seeks to ban sites that included bestiality, rape, and other extreme violence, as well as detailed instructions in crime, drug use, or terrorist acts. “There are some sections of the community that have expressed legitimate concerns that the [restricted content] category … does not accurately reflect current community standards about what type of content should be refused,” Conroy told reporters in Melbourne…

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