Seed explains vulnerability in public school computers

The Union of High School Students of Paraná (UPES) published a post on its Instagram profile stating that public school students in Paraná will be exposed to pornography due to malfunctions in the computer systems of state schools. According to an announcement made last Monday (12th), these devices would not have any kind of content filtering, allowing students to access inappropriate content online. In a note, the Paraná Department of Education acknowledged that 14% of state schools do not have an “activated content filter” but that the problem must be resolved by the end of the year.

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According to the entity, the published complaints to UPES were submitted by teachers and technicians from the state education network under the condition of anonymity. According to these whistleblowers, computers in normal use do not require login and password identification. This fact, UPES warns, reduces security and the ability to monitor the authors of access to inappropriate content.

The vulnerability would affect not only computers in labs, the entity asserts, but also Educatrons, the multimedia equipment used by teachers to access content available online in the classroom.

“One of the teachers who reported the case said that in the school where he teaches, everyone knows about the problem, students, teachers and staff. But the Education Department is not taking any security measures,” concludes the UPES post.

The Secretariat confirms that 300 schools are outside Čelepar’s network

requested by National newspaper, the State Department of Education (SEED) has notified, through a notice, that schools in the state education network have installed a content filter on the computer network. However, according to the ministry, about 300 schools, 14% of the total, are still not connected to the internet contracted by the state and operated by Celepar, a public telecommunications company in the state of Paraná.

“Most of these institutions,” the note states, “are located in rural areas and have hired a local Internet service provider, with a lower efficiency of this filter,” he points out. The government’s forecast is that the process of integrating these schools into the SEED internet network – where they would have greater protection against access to inappropriate content – should be completed by the end of the year.

The deadline is necessary, the secretariat said, because several steps are needed to ensure efficiency, from the procurement of equipment to the implementation of digital protocols and technical training. “Many of these schools are located in hard-to-reach places, without proper internet infrastructure,” the document notes, thanking UPES for its concern and guaranteeing that the map keeps its doors open for student subjects to ask questions like this.

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All schools have an activated content filter, but 297 schools in the state network, which is 14% of the total number of schools, are still not connected to the internet contracted by the state, managed by Celepar, a public telecommunications company in the state of Parana. Most of these institutions are located in rural areas and previously engaged a local Internet service provider, with a lower efficiency of this filter.

In order for all institutions to have the same standard, Paraná has set up the largest network of public schools in Latin America to connect all schools in the country in one internet network. This process ensures a more stable and secure network for all people and should be completed by the end of this year. In addition, the state contracted, for about R$ 6 million, a solution to block inappropriate content not only via the network, but also on school computers and students’ cell phones connected to the school Internet. This includes the procurement of a range of equipment, digital protocols, training of technical staff, installation and support to block not only pornographic content, but also pornographic image searches via Google, for example.

Both the corporate network and the filter began to be installed last year. This process is not fast due to the characteristics of the schools in the network, as many of them are located in hard-to-reach places, without adequate internet infrastructure. Finally, the secretariat would like to thank UPES for taking care of the images accessed by the students and emphasizes that the entity always had an open door in the secretariat for asking such questions.

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