Steph has released some details of his short survey of the blocking of useful websites within the public sector. The following figures show the percentages of organisations which allow access to each type of site:

Google 100%
LinkedIn 100%
NetMums 100%
Wikipedia 97%
Digg 97%
Google Reader 91% 89%
Yahoo account 86%
Flickr 83%
Twitter 83%
Bebo 69%
YouTube (able to see well) 63%
Gmail 60%
Facebook 54%

The worst offending organisations seem to be:

  • DWP
  • Directgov (DWP)
  • Surrey County Council
  • ‘A north east council’
  • Environment Agency
  • MOD
  • FCO
  • Home Office

And Steph concludes by saying:

Does DIUS or Cabinet Office have staff any more or less likely to waste time than the Home Office or DWP? Is ’security’ more important in Surrey than Devon? Might the good burghers of Directgov benefit from a bit more exposure to the social web? Would people at FCO tasked with engaging around the world be helped by being able to view more of the World Wide Web?

You decide. Or you could always pop your CV on LinkedIn to find an opening somewhere that actually lets you do your job?

I have spoken to a number of people about this issue. The reasons giving for blocking that are given by IT departments are quite often laughable: network overload? Increased risk of viruses? The truth is that the reason why these tools are blocked is because organisations don’t trust their staff not to abuse them. It sucks.

2 thoughts on “STOP BLOCKING”

  1. We also recently started blocking Google Docs here which hampered some stuff that I was doing; Zoho is open though, so I have migrated my work to there.

    Also, interestingly, while we don’t block Flickr, Picasaweb is blocked.

    Even though the (global) reason is down to a lack of trust, however, I think that it also shows a lack of trust in management to be able to properly control their staff’s use of the web.

  2. At Dept of Health most sites are open, the only one which I’ve found to be blocked is – oddly, you can get onto Google Docs, and edit word documents, you just can’t open spreadsheets on it!

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