Blocked websites revealed

Websites on terrorism, sexuality and drugs are joined by others dealing with gambling, jokes and torture on the list of sites banned on school computers in the Borders.

Freedom of Information requests lodged this year have revealed the range of blocked computer websites.

Categories that pupils are banned from viewing also include those concerned with such things as malware/hacking, child abuse, intolerance, piracy/copyright infringement, pornography, self harm, alcohol/tobacco, criminal activity, gore, naturism/nudism, non-pornographic nudity, adult only, file/image hosting, bandwidth wasting file types, plagiarism, mobile phones, peer-to-peer networking, webmail, online auctions, dating sites and social networking sites. There is also a list of explicitly-named blocked sites, including several dealing with torture and games.

Asked to comment on how the list of prohibited websites was arrived at, the local authority told The Southern: “As well as manually blocking websites, we also use a standard pre-populated list of exclusions provided by our specialist web-filtering software supplier.

“Teachers can request specific sites be unblocked if they need them for lessons.

“This can be carried out quickly and easily.”