UCU LA hears of a “new project to introduce web-filtering arrangements. Web filtering is a control which automatically prevents staff and students from accessing websites which are known to disseminate information which is offensive, discriminatory, offensive (sic), illegal or which breaches University guidelines.”
Management have to date not approached UCU regarding this matter, and whilst we recognise that there is an absolute case for ensuring that illegal materials are not being deliberately accessed, we remain concerned that there is the clear potential for curtailing access to controversial material for a range of legitimate reasons (e.g. research purposes).
Moreover, at this stage it is not clear whether safeguards will be put in place to ensure that any filter is not used by management to contain uncomfortable news or unwanted media attention regardless of its legitimacy.
On a more general note it seems that the University continues with an apparent reluctance to consult on a range of matters to which staff may be able to make a positive contribution.