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ScotRail removes ‘Sex Education’ firewall category following PinkNews report

Joseph McCormick December 27, 2015

After being questioned by PinkNews on having a ‘Sex Education’ category on its onboard firewall, ScotRail has removed it.

Last week rail operator ScotRail unblocked PinkNews from being accessed on board its trains after users complained to the company as they were unable to access the site on board ScotRail trains.

The on board wifi categorised PinkNews as “Sex Education/News”, despite no adult advertising or non-worksafe content being present on the site.

ScotRail since announced that it would remove the block on PinkNews being accessed on board its trains.

Scotrail

The operator has now confirmed that it will remove the Sex Education category from its firewall, which it says is provided by a third party.

ScotRail confirmed to PinkNews that they had not been aware of the category, and that it will be removed.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail last week said: “We’d like to thank PinkNews for pointing this out to us.

“Our webfilter sometimes blocks sites it shouldn’t, and we can confirm we’re taking steps to ensure that PinkNews will be accessible via our onboard wifi.”

Speaking to PinkNews, SNP Equalities spokesperson Angela Crawley MP said:

“I was pleased to see ScotRail recognise this mistake and take action to ensure PinkNews and other LGBTI news sites will be accessible on their trains.”

Last year, firewall provider Symantec announced that it is removing a firewall category which blocked LGBT sites such as PinkNews, following complaints.

The ‘Sexual Orientation’ category of Symantec’s firewall Norton, blocked sites such as PinkNews, Stonewall GLAAD and the Trevor Project.

Aid and development charity Oxfam in 2013 responded to a report from PinkNews which found that access to LGBT news sites was being blocked from terminals operated by the charity, to say that it was the result of an automated firewall, and is not company policy.

More: firewall, scotrail

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